Title: You Can’t Catch Me
By: Catherine McKenzie
ISBN: 1542019036 (ISBN13: 9781542019033)
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
When the game is deception, nothing is as it seems in this novel of cunning psychological suspense.
Do you want to play a game?
Twelve years ago Jessica Williams escaped a cult. Thanks to the private detective who rescued her, she reintegrated into society, endured an uncomfortable notoriety, and tried to put it all behind her. Then, at an airport bar, Jessica meets a woman with an identical name and birth date. It appears to be just an odd coincidence—until a week later, when Jessica finds her bank account drained and her personal information stolen.
Following a trail of the grifter’s victims, each with the same name, Jessica gathers players—one by one—for her own game. According to her plan, they’ll set a trap and wait for the impostor to strike again. But plans can go awry, and trust can fray, and as Jessica tries to escape the shadows of her childhood, the risks are greater than she imagined. Now, confronting the casualties of her past, Jessica can’t help but wonder…
Who will pay the price? (Goodreads)
Catherine McKenzie’s new novel, You Can’t Catch Me, is a fantastic psychological thriller which kept me engaged and riveted to the edge of my seat as the story progressed. I must admit – I am a fan of her writing – so I am a bit biased but what the heck.
I was fortunate enough to partake in a Facebook event where Catherine McKenzie was discussing her new book, with a contest to boot – and I won a copy. So when it arrived – I set down to read You Can’t Catch Me. A couple days later (and yes – I did manage to sleep and eat during that time) – I finished the book! I loved it so much that when my book club was choosing books for our 2021 reads – I suggested the book. I then set about asking Ms. McKenzie to join our meeting. It was a smashing success via Zoom. While not everyone was in love with the book – it definitely created a lively discussion. And of course, having Ms. McKenzie there was a pleasure and added an interesting perspective.
I loved the impetus for this story – a real life event morphed into a wonderfully engaging piece of fiction. Ms. McKenzie wrote on Goodreads:
“Several years ago, a friend of mine kept getting stopped at the border. She has a common name, and there was an APB out for someone with a similar name and the same birthday. Over time, we realized that they were looking for a man, but it got me thinking: if you did have the same name and birthday as someone, wouldn’t it be the perfect way to steal all their money? I’m sure that’s what you were thinking too! So that was the genesis of YOU CAN’T CATCH ME … a book about a woman who meets another woman with the same name and has all her money stolen.”
So You Can’t Catch Me is the story of Jessica Williams (times a bunch ☺). I loved the transformation of the “original” Jessica (I shall refer to her as O.J.), as she sought out other Jessica’s and learnt of the financial damage the grifter was inflicting on all of them through identity theft. O.J. became more devious as time went on – in fact, I think she was a serious “bad-ass” by the time the story was over (and maybe not necessarily in a good way?? – that is for you to decide).
The reader is led on quite the chase to find the “grifter” Jessica. An intriguing, suspense filled chase. I was sad to see some damage done to relationships during this journey but one must do what one must do to have the truth come out.
This was an intriguing game of cat and mouse, sprinkled with much deception! Given the nature of the chase, I will forgo much detail and leave it to each individual reader to discover all that there is to discover! If you are into this type of psychological thriller – then I encourage you whole heartedly to read You Can’t Catch Me by Catherine McKenzie as you will not be sorry! But maybe leave the lights on and NOT read late at night?