Book 3 of the new year for me was The Sixes, by Kate White, an engaging psychological thriller.
Kate White was the editor of Cosmopolitan for many years, and I stumbled upon her books while browsing deep in the stacks one day at the Fort Mill library.
I read a couple of books in her Bailey Weggins series last year — So Pretty It Hurts and Over Her Dead Body — which are “journalist gets caught up in a murder mystery” sorts of stories. As a longtime newspaper editor who can’t quite bring herself yet to admit she’s not still running a gaggle of reporters, those are always my favorite kinds of books. Strangely, no one outside a newsroom actually likes to obsess about the details and motives of murder like journalists do.
Another aside: All three books of Kate White’s that I’ve read have a curious trademark of focusing on the main female character making pasta for dinner. I imagine the poor woman lives in the East Coast world of high fashion and drama where sinful carbs are simply never allowed. Please, have a big, saucy plate of spaghetti now and then for the good of your soul!
Back to The Sixes, it’s about Phoebe, a celebrity writer who’s tarnished in a plagiarism scandal and heads to a small college in Pennsylvania to teach for a year while she figures out her next step.
Her friend Glenda runs the place and seeks her help in sorting out secret society of mean girls known as The Sixes. Adding in an extra layer of drama is a backstory from their past in which Phoebe was tormented in her own youth by girls in a similar group.
At the same time, a student drowns in a nearby river, and other cases of students meeting a similar fate keep popping up. Phoebe naturally sets out to see if there’s a connection.
There’s a couple of great plot twists, and it’s all woven together rather expertly. Nearly every time, I can see in advance how things are coming together to finish off the story. But not in The Sixes — it held me in suspense until the end. I will definitely be hunting down more of her work.