From internationally bestselling crime writer Katia Lief, INVISIBLE WOMAN is the story of a dangerous secret held for too long between estranged best friends and a long marriage that comes apart with devastating consequences.
by Katia Lief
Atlantic Monthly Press/Grove Atlantic, January 2024
Joni Ackerman’s decision to raise children came with a steep cost. Twenty-five years ago, she was a pioneering filmmaker, one of the few women to break into the all-male club of Hollywood feature film directors. But she and her husband Paul had always wanted a family, and his ascending career at a premier television network provided a safety net. They have recently transplanted to Brooklyn, so that Paul can launch a major East Coast production studio, when a scandal rocks the film industry and forces Joni to revisit a secret from long ago involving a powerful man who abused women, including the friend of her youth, Val.
Joni is adamant that the time has come to tell the story, but Val and Paul are reluctant, for different reasons. As the marriage frays and the friends spar about whether to speak up, Joni’s struggles with isolation in a new city and old resentments about the sacrifices she made start to boil over. She takes solace in the novels of Patricia Highsmith—particularly the masterpiece Strangers on a Train, with its duplicitous characters and their murderous impulses—until the lines between reality and fantasy become blurred.
INVISIBLE WOMAN is at once a literary thriller about the lies we tell each other (and ourselves), and a powerful psychological examination of friendship, marriage, and motherhood.
Katia Lief is the author, most recently, of the novels A Map of the Dark and Last Night published by Mulholland Books/Little, Brown under the pseudonym Karen Ellis. Earlier work includes USA Today and internationally bestselling novels Five Days in Summer (a #1 bestseller in Germany), One Cold Night (#1 on Kobo’s UK bestseller list), and The Money Kill, the fourth installment of her Karin Schaeffer series published by HarperCollins and nominated for the Mary Higgins Clark Award. She teaches fiction writing at The New School in Manhattan and lives with her family in Brooklyn.