Harper | 15 February 2022 | 352 pgs
Two female employees are working late in their offices of fashion conglomerate Claudine de Martineau International (CDMI) on a Sunday night. Lucy Barton-Jones is the HR director and Shay Lambert is the newly hired legal associate whose aim is to work hard for her financial woes. On that fateful night both of them meet at their thirtieth floor elevator lobby on their way home, each preoccupied by her own thoughts. But when the elevator open its door on the ground floor, one woman is found dead. What happened inside the elevator and is it murder or suicide?
While the book synopsis sounds like a locked-room mystery, it's actually read more like a legal thriller with an unreliable character. The author has nicely weaved an intriguing suspense with multiple intricate relationship and issues within CDMI. As most of the story progression somewhat revolves around Shay's profession and her findings, so there's a lot of legal jargon which would either bore or enlighten the reader. I'd no issue with this as my main focus was more onto the mystery and the lead character. Given her dire circumstances and labelled as a suspect, surely there must be something more than meets the eye.
The first half of the story was fast paced and compelling as it depicts the action and covers some of Shay's past; the second half was bogged down by several aspects surrounding CDMI's operation mode and the like but the pace was quickly picked up once again towards the relevation. While it was a slowburn thriller, one of the strengths is the authenticity in the legalese since the author is a former lawyer. Overall it was an intriguing read and I'd recommend this if you're a fan of legal thrillers.
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