Please Join Us
Atria Books 2022
Catharine McKenzie’s new thriller, “Please Join Us,” pivots around Nicole Mueller, a hard-working lawyer, whose boss tells her she is not bringing in enough “billable hours” so her job is at risk. Desperate, she accepts the invitation from “Panthera Leo,” a network of women CEO’s who can help “you succeed the way men have for centuries.”
McKenzie interweaves issues that affect women: sexual harassment and assault in the workplace …
Shortly after taking her membership oath, Mueller’s life changes dramatically. She gains a new client, is authorized to hire a new assistant and a member of the group offers her a stylish New York apartment. In return she must remain in constant communication on a private app with her personal group of five named “Pride,” which includes a newly elected congresswoman, a CEO, an actress, and a financier, all of whom owe their success to the organization.
But then Mueller begins to believe her husband might be correct when he told her Panthera Leo could be a cult. And when she attempts to leave the group, she is blackmailed. Still, she continues to follow their rules — to support each other regardless of their needs, even if it meant covering up a murder.
McKenzie interweaves issues that affect women: sexual harassment and assault in the workplace, the influence of the #MeToo movement, online dating, and struggles to move up the corporate ladder. The concept of women helping women is an honorable one. Clearly, the women in Mueller’s group gained financial and political success through the support of the organization, but is there another motive? This mystery is what keeps the pages turning.
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