Rouda weaves a dark tale of marriage, betrayal, and deception in this page-turning thriller. Readers are in the mind of narcissist Paul Strom, a handsome and successful advertising executive that is trying to have the "best day ever" with his wife—Strom is a combination of a character from "Mad Men" and Patrick Bateman from American Psycho. Paul is confident, charming, and thinks that every woman wants him.
The story begins with Paul and his wife, Mia, leaving for a child-free weekend up at their lake house. He's promised her that this will be the best day ever. The couple say this phrase several times during the drive and the reader wonders what is going on with these two. The tension is palpable and written as such that we don't know the extent of the problem, or if in fact these two even like each other.
Paul is an incredibly unreliable narrator, so narcissistic that he cannot read social cues or navigate relationships. He thinks that women want him, when in fact he is actually stalking them and the attention that he bestows upon these victims is stalkerish and harassing plain and simple. The comparison to Ellis' Patrick Bateman is there, although Paul is not quite as polished, and unlike Bateman, there is no likability whatsoever.
Rouda goes out on a whimper. There needed to be more of a psychological throw down to amp it up to another star. All-in-all, a great read for the summer and I would definitely recommend this book.