Leta’s Book Review: Please Join Us by Catherine McKenzie

Please Join Us by Catherine McKenzie

Mystery, Thriller, Drama, 15+

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Thank you to Simon&Schuster Canada via Netgalley for a copy of Please Join Us in exchange for an honest review.

This was a doozy. I would classify Please Join Us as a psychological thriller because of the extent of psychological manipulation happening to both the reader and the heroine, Nicole.

When Nicole is faced with a plummeting career and potentially losing the apartment she shares with her husband, she receives an invitation to a women’s networking group: a highly exclusive club-like group called Panthera Leo. After joining along on their retreat, she is immersed in what appears to be an extremely supportive “pride” of women who are there to help each other get ahead in what they see as a “man’s world”.

What follows is Nicole’s journey through good and bad advice, career changes, manipulation of many sorts, and the lies and deceit of many. It was a wild ride. And I loved almost every minute of it.

Nicole is smart, and though I knew that I was most likely supposed to be able to see the red flags and screwed-up nature of this women’s group from the start, I understood why she didn’t. It’s easy to see anything as a possible solution when you feel like you’re at the bottom and Panthera Leo was preying upon that (pun definitely intended).

The climactic moment at the end of the novel is the reason this was only a four-star book for me. There was definitely an extra twist that I felt didn’t quite need to be there for the plot to work, though I will admit that it wrapped things up quite nicely and provided a final piece of tension.

Thriller readers, mystery readers, and psychological genre readers, you’ll love this book. Catherine McKenzie is a master of character manipulation. I’ll be checking out more of her backlist in the future, as will my cousin, who has already read this one. Her response was, and I quote: “11/10 read asap”. I think that speaks for itself.


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