Title: The Personal Assistant
Author: Kimberly Belle
Published: November 11th 2022
Publisher: HQ Fiction – US
Genres: Fiction, Thriller, Psychological
Rating: 3.5 stars
USA TODAY bestselling author Kimberly Belle returns with a deeply addictive thriller exploring the dark side of the digital world when an influencer’s assistant goes missing.
When Alex first began posting unscripted family moments and motivational messages online, she had no intention of becoming an influencer. Overnight it seemed she’d amassed a huge following, and her hobby became a full-time job — one she couldn’t manage without her sharp-as-a-tack personal assistant, AC.
But all the goodwill of her followers turns toxic when one controversial post goes viral in the worst possible way. Alex reaches out to AC for damage control, but her assistant has gone silent. This young woman Alex trusted with all her secrets, who had access to her personal information and a front-row seat to the pressure points in her marriage and family life, is now missing, and the police are looking to Alex and her husband for answers.
As Alex digs into AC’s identity — and a woman is found murdered — she’ll learn that the greatest threat isn’t online but in her own living room.
USA Today bestselling author of Dear Wife and The Marriage Lie Kimberly Belle makes a welcome return with her new book, The Personal Assistant. A compelling and secretive novel that looks at the downside of the influential digital world, The Personal Assistant is quite the page turner.
A dark domestic thriller that examines the world of a popular mommy-blogger, The Personal Assistant is an absorbing contemporary tale. The focus of this latest Kimberly Belle release is a blogger named Alex, who likes to share her candid family experiences with her fans online. But the online world is fickle and soon Alex finds that one of her Instagram posts have gained negative rather than positive attention, which creates an immediate headache for this powerful bogger. When Alex seeks out the help of her personal assistant, she is met by silence. With no clue as to the whereabouts of her assistant, Alex grows suspicious of the young woman she placed all her trust in, sharing so many personal anecdotes about her life. Where is Alex’s personal assistant?
I developed a taste for Kimberly Belle’s writing back in 2020 when I read her novel, Stranger in the Lake. I made a pact then to catch up on all the books I had missed from this talented domestic thriller writer’s collection. Sadly I haven’t had the chance to read any further Kimberly Belle books, but I did snap up the opportunity to review her latest release. The Personal Assistant offers a fresh twist on the standard domestic thriller genre. Looking closely at the world of influencer and the online world via blogging, I was excited about this one.
I do think the less I say the better about Kimberly Belle’s latest, it is that kind of read. Do expect plenty of twists, turns, red herrings, pitted testimonies, suspect events, incorrect assumptions and plenty more. The multiple perspective structure this novel takes allows us to get to know the main characters in just enough detail so we think we know them. I know I developed some theories and ideas about the main of events of this complex story but I was not very correct in these assumptions. The mystery aspect story is tense and perplexing. The flashback element provides some essential grounding and helps to explain some important twisty areas of the novel. The twists, lies, secrets, deliberately withheld information, shocking truths and the umbrella theme of social media makes this one highly engaging, if not cautionary too. My only issue seemed to be with the characters, I did find it hard to like them, or sympathise with them. I think Belle did a good job of expressing to her audience what the pressure cooker lifestyle of a blogger is for those who do not exist in this world.
The Personal Assistant is a story that I enjoyed indulging in over a recent flight. This latest Kimberly Belle title is a great escapist read.
The Personal Assistant by Kimberly Belle was published on 30th November 2022 by HQ Fiction – US. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of The Personal Assistant, Kimberly Belle, visit here.
*Thanks extended to Harper Collins Books Australia for providing a free copy of this book for review purposes.