The Personal Assistant by Kimberly Belle #BookReview #PsychologicalThriller

USA TODAY bestselling author Kimberly Belle returns with a deeply addictive thriller exploring the dark side of the digital world when a mommy-blogger’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 that was impossible to manage without her sharp-as-a-tack personal assistant, AC.

But all the good-will 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 front row seats 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 find the greatest threat isn’t online, but in her own living room.

Written in alternating perspectives between Alex, her husband, and the mysterious AC, this juicy cat and mouse story will keep you guessing till the very end.

What’s it about (in a nutshell):

The Personal Assistant is a psychological thriller about remembering what is important and how wrong things can go when you don’t.

Initial Expectations (before beginning the book):

This is not my first Kimberely Belle story; it is my third. So, I expect much of what I experienced with her other two books that I read – My Daling Husband (2021) and Stranger in the Lake (2020) – which is a twisty turny story and lots of shocking revelations.

Actual Reading Experience:

I loved the Acknowledgement written by the author. Frequently, the acknowledgment goes unnoticed, but there are times when I find great insight in the words at the end. This is one of those times. Belle talks about the second year of the pandemic, how it impacted her writing, and her choice of theme. The theme of this psychological thriller is remembering what’s meaningful in life and what isn’t. People and family are essential; the rest is just fluff (paraphrasing the author).

This story has everything I love in a thriller and more. I caught on to some twists and turns before they were revealed, but one came as a complete surprise and absolutely floored me. I love when a story shocks me like that and provides a lasting creepiness that worms its way into my very being and forces me to look at my life in a new way.

I also love that the author based the story on Instagram and the influencer’s career path. It’s a perfect setup for a psychological thriller but also so utterly relevant to our world, where children want to become Influencers when they grow up. But we can all see how that is such a precarious job.

Characters:

Alex is the primary character. When she was a single mother of twins, she unexpectedly became famous on Instagram, and her life as an influencer took off. It was a job that no one could

have expected, but it enabled her to care for her children, which meant everything to Alex. She eventually met and married Patrick, a model husband, and stepfather. Alex is a bit carried away with her job as an influencer, but at whose expense.

Narration & Pacing:

 Alex and Anna Claire narrate this story primarily. Alex narrates in the first person, which is part of why the pace is so fast, and Anna Claire narrates in third-person-limited. Both stories are compelling: Alex’s because her life is falling to pieces, and she doesn’t know why and Anna Claire’s because her story is more mysterious. I anxiously awaited to find out the exact details that put Anna Claire’s story into the context of Alex’s story. This is definitely a page-turner type of thriller, as the stakes get higher, and lives are lost.

Setting:

The story is set in an upscale suburban neighborhood – I believe it is in Georgia. Still, the exact local isn’t essential to the story. I could argue that the setting is Instagram, which is much more relevant.

Read if you like:

  • Fast-paced thrills
  • Unexpected twists and turns
  • A unique look at social media and families

Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫

Originality8
Writing Quality10
Pace10
Character Development8
‘Couldn’t Put It Down’-ness10
Use of Setting10
All scores, except the overall rating, are on a scale of 1-10. The overall rating is converted to the standard 5-point system.

15 Replies to “The Personal Assistant by Kimberly Belle #BookReview #PsychologicalThriller”

    1. I did too. Thrillers don’t always have such an important message. It’s always eye opening when they do, though.

      Like

  1. I love it when a book floors me like that. We both read so much that’s it’s difficult to do that sometimes. This sounds like a good one, Tessa.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! And in thrillers like this – they always present those whammy revelations in an aside kind of way – where you’re like what? And then have to reread it a couple of times. So creepy!

      Like

  2. Wonderful review, Tessa. I also enjoy Kimberly Belle’s books and I am looking forward to reading and listening to this one soon. In this day and age, books set in the world of social media make so much sense and are relatable to many.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.