How much can you really trust another person? That is the question at the heart of The Hand That Feeds You, a new psychological thriller by A.J. Rich. Morgan has escaped a troubled childhood to find success in New York. She is studying psychology and she is currently researching how predators select their victims, though she seems to be surprisingly unaware of her own history of high-risk behaviours which have landed her in some dangerous situations in the past. Recently, she has started adopting dogs from the local animal shelter and has become engaged to Bennett, a mysterious charismatic man whom she met online. When Morgan finds Bennett dead in her apartment, savaged to death by her dogs, a number of deeper mysteries begin to unravel. Who was Bennett really and why did he lie to Morgan about his past? And how many other women are out there that he has also lied to?
The Hand That Feeds You takes twist after twist as Morgan slowly unravels the mystery that was Bennett and discovers deeper, darker and deadlier secrets, all of which eventually lead toward an unlikely predator. This not only leaves Morgan fighting for her life, but questioning everything that she knows about the profile of a predator and that of a victim.
I found The Hand That Feeds You to be an enjoyable, fast-paced read that surprised me on a number of occasions. At times, I felt that the story could have delved deeper into the characters and their situations, as Morgan seemed to take everything at face value (except when it suited her,) and there were a lot of jumps--the big reveal at the end of the book happened a bit too quickly for my liking, without allowing me to have the fun of wondering "are-they" or "aren't-they". Still, this was a lot of fun to read on a cold afternoon by the fire and I think that many readers will enjoy this one of its believable plot twists and fast storytelling.
Thank you to Simon and Schuster Australia for my reading copy.