Ellen Pall's Must Read Well is a work of rare beauty, a psychological thriller that explores the relationship between two complex and finely drawn female characters. Liz Miller is a Ph.D. student with meager means, struggling to complete her dissertation. Things get more complicated for her when her boyfriend dumps her and she suddenly becomes homeless. A Craigslist posting that offers a room with a view in a Greenwich Village apartment is a great find — it costs almost nothing to the tenant, who must, as part of the arrangement read to the landlady. Liz is surprised to learn that the landlady is none other than Anne Weil, author of The Vengeance of Catherine Clark, and the same woman who has successfully stalled the progress of her dissertation by not providing the support she needs. While Liz has access to the person she needs to complete her Ph.D. program at Columbia, she quickly finds herself pulled into Anne Weil's past through secret journals of a passionate love affair.
Ellen Pall’s alluring writing immediately catches the interest of the reader. Her prose is fluid and fills the pages with terrific descriptions and compelling imagery. The detailed and cleverly constructed world-building creates an immersive reading experience. The author imbues the writing with realism. The journals offer powerful glimpses into Weil's past, providing depth and the backdrop against which her character is shaped in the story. The author pulls an impressive feat in character development, creating relationships that are nuanced, and weaving mystery into scenes that are focused and deftly written. Pall weaves elements of different genres into this gripping tale, successfully making an offering that will be welcomed by fans of mysteries, thrillers, and suspenseful women's fiction. You will fall in love with the characters in Must Read Well and want to know what happens to them at the end of this page-turning psychological thriller.