By: Wendy Heard
Narrators: Kelsey Navarro Foster,
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group Ballantine/ Bantam
Publication Date: 06/13/2023
My Rating: 4 STARS (ARC)
“With its sizzling wit, flash-bang plot, and scorching social commentary, Wendy Heard’s You Can Trust Me is THE hot thriller of summer 2023. ”—Layne Fargo, author of They Never Learn
“A blazingly sharp, sexy, feminist thriller for those who wished The White Lotus season two was told from the POV of Mia and Lucia.”—Halley Sutton, author of The Hurricane Blonde
In this gripping, stylish thriller, two best friends grift their way through the California elite, until a scam goes awry . . . with devastating consequences.
Summer and Leo would do anything for each other. Inspired by the way each has had to carve her place in a hostile and unforgiving world, and united by the call of the open road, they travel around sunny California in Summer’s tricked-out Land Cruiser. It’s not a glamorous life, but it gives them the freedom they crave—from family, expectations, and the painful pasts they’ve left behind. But even free spirits have bills to pay. Luckily, Summer is a skilled pickpocket, a small-time thief, and a con artist—and Leo, determined to pay her own way, has learned a trick or two from Summer.
Eager for a big score, Leo sets her crosshairs on Michael Forrester, a self-made billionaire and philanthropist. When her charm wins him over, Leo’s rewarded with an invite to his private island off the coast of Los Angeles for a night of fabulous excess. She eagerly anticipates returning with photos that can be sold to the paparazzi, jewelry that can be liquidated, and endless stories to share with Summer.
Instead, Leo disappears.
The police assure Summer that her friend probably just ditched her. After all, who would believe a philanthropic billionaire could be up to no good? On her own for the first time in years, Summer decides to infiltrate Michael’s island and find out what really happened. But as Summer searches for Leo, she discovers heavily guarded secrets—ones worth killing for. Could Summer have met her match?
Wendy Heard's YOU CAN TRUST ME is a fun popcorn thriller for summer or beach read. However, I would recommend not analyzing too much or taking it too seriously, or you will begin to find things that are not totally believable.
It is not a complex thriller, and as some of the other reviewers referenced, and I will have to agree, it lacked depth and plausibility. You must read it for fun.
Summer and Leo are misfits and have had tough painful pasts. Now they have found one another—partners in crime, free spirits, traveling around California in Summer's Land Cruiser.
All sounds fun, but someone has to pay the bills, and Summer turns to her pickpocket skills (think con artist/thief/scammer). Leo wants to help—she has learned a few tricks as well.
They have been doing these scams for five years. Summer keeps stealing from rich people while Leo uses her seduction skills, choosing older rich men as her targets.
They think their good luck has arrived when Leo meets a self-made billionaire and philanthropist. He could help with their Instagram influencer #vanlife project.
When Leo gets invited to his private island for the night, she imagines all kinds of things she can take and come back and sell to the paparazzi. This will be so much fun.
However, this street-smart girl is less savvy than you would think. (Guys, the same) Leo does not return, and Summer is worried. She was to text her the following day. Nothing.
Now she is alone; she must find a way to get to Michael's private island to find Leo.
Summer devises a plan to get close to one of Michael's guys so that she can attain access. She can seduce Michael's co-worker and get an invitation to Michael's private island for the top-secret technology meeting.
Did she want to ditch her, or did something sinister happen? She must follow her to the island to learn the truth.
With alternating chapters, Leo/summer, we get all the details from their earlier life to the present.
What she finds is dark and dangerous. How will she escape, and how will she find her partner in crime?
What is Michael capable of? They have no clue how their past is connected.
When I first started reading, I thought of Blake Crouch's GOOD BEHAVIOR (Letty Dobesh Books #1-3) and TV series, which I LOVED. Unfortunately, these gals or guys are not in the same league as Letty (Michelle Dockery), the con woman, and hitman man Javier (Juan Diego Botto). Gosh, I loved this series! Hated to see it end.
Ironically, there is a Javier in YOU CAN TRUST ME, too. Dark, twisty, claustrophobic, and a bit of self-discovery. My first book by the author.—I look forward to reading more.
@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks
My Rating: 3.5 Stars ⭐rounded to 4
Pub Date: June 13, 2023
May 2023 Must-Read Books
“Heard keeps the pace taut, the stakes high, and the pages turning. Trust me! You’ll devour this dynamic, pulse-pounding tale as you cheer for Summer and Leo, and the power of female friendship. I loved it.”
—Kaira Rouda, USA Today bestselling author of The Widow and The Next Wife
“Holy page-turner, y’all. Scrupulously plotted with two of the most memorable protagonists I’ve read in a while, You Can Trust Me is one for the keeper shelf. It’s an absolute must-read.”
—Kimberly Belle, internationally bestselling author of The Personal Assistant
“Clear your schedule and settle in . . . This is one hell of a thriller about doing whatever it takes to survive, and the power of female friendship. I devoured, and loved, every single page.”
—Hannah Mary McKinnon, internationally bestselling author of Never Coming Home
“Wendy Heard’s You Can Trust Me is THE hot thriller of summer 2023. The iconic friendship between con women Summer and Leo will make you want to rally your own girl gang (and maybe even show an entitled dude or two what he so richly deserves . . .).”
—Layne Fargo, author of They Never Learn
“You Can Trust Me is a blazingly sharp, sexy, feminist thriller. If you wished The White Lotus season 2 was told from the point of view of Mia and Lucia (then added sexy billionaires, private islands, and a whole bunch of murder most foul), run, don't walk, to pick up You Can Trust Me.”
—Halley Sutton, author of The Hurricane Blonde
“You Can Trust Me had me hooked from the start with its unlikely heroines and their schemes . . . weaving an electric tale of sisterhood, survival, and dark secrets.”
—Kate Alice Marshall, author of What Lies in the Woods
“I inhaled You Can Trust Me. Wendy Heard ratchets up the suspense, even before any bodies hit the floor. I was so tense reading this—and so very satisfied by the end. A brilliant look at class, sex, gender, and more! This is going to be your new favorite read of the year!”
—Amina Akhtar, author of Kismet
“You Can Trust Me is a propulsive, sun-drenched adventure with smart, sharp commentary on wealth and power. Come for the Glass Onion–esque island and eat-the-rich mentality, stay for the clever, layered female characters. You’ll want to devour this in a single sitting.”
—Grace D. Li, New York Times bestselling author of Portrait of a Thief
“Wendy Heard’s writing never disappoints and You Can Trust Me is no exception. It is a slick and stylish thriller that seamlessly weaves mystery and suspense into a gripping story of two young women who prove everything isn’t always what it seems, especially when it comes to murder.”
—Wanda M. Morris, award-winning author of All Her Little Secrets and Anywhere You Run
“With hell-for-leather pacing and anchored by a pair of con-artists with genuine love for each other, You Can Trust Me is as addictive as it is original.”
—Eliza Jane Brazier, author of Good Rich People
About the Author
Wendy Heard is the author of suspense and thrillers for adults and teens, including the upcoming YOU CAN TRUST ME and WE’LL NEVER TELL. Wendy has spent most of her life in Los Angeles, California, which is on fire more than she would honestly prefer, and can often be found haunting local hiking trails and bookstores. She loves all things vintage and has a collection of thrillers and adventure books from the 80s. You can hear more from Wendy through her newsletter at www.wendyheard.com.