Kepnes’ series continues to be a sly, subversive exploration of what people choose to reveal and what they hide in their relationships, and just how difficult it is to truly know another person. That Kepnes manages to limn such heady subjects in such a compulsively readable way while serving up twists aplenty is the reason the series still feels fresh three books in.
A wild ride, full of twists and slapstick gore. It’s also a metatext in some ways. Joe’s obsession with Mary Kay is true to what we know of him, and his interior monologue full of TV, music, film and book references make him a compelling antihero. Mary Kay’s relationship with a rocker from the heyday of Seattle’s grunge scene feels realistic, while her female friends are more like caricatures, overdrawn in a way that’s often hilarious ... Kepnes makes Joe compelling in a way that allows for some brilliant sleight of hand. Surprises seem to come from out of nowhere, and the end is truly shocking, yet there’s a relaxed flow as it all unfolds ... The reader has to wrestle with a character who is charming, funny, well read, accommodating to a fault—and also a monster. Start here if you like, but be prepared to read the whole series. It will really get under your skin.