Paula Treick DeBoard has written another great psychological suspense novel. This contemporary thriller reminds us that things are not always what we think they are, nor are people the way they present themselves.
Liz’s dreams were coming true. She was happily married to Phil. They would live in a prestigious inclusive community. His new job as the Community Relations liaison for an elite gated community promised them paradise. Liz was also happy that her daughter, Danielle, would be attending a safe high school with good students.
As a country club community, “The Psalms” had it all. There was a huge, fully equipped center for parties and events, a full golf course, swimming pools, exercise and yoga programs, a walking trail, as well as the picturesque “mini-mansions”. Phil’s job was to keep the community organized and the residents happy.
As Phil and his family settle into their new community, reality also begins to set in. Behind the lovely doors of these gorgeous homes are some ugly secrets. As these secrets come to light, Liz quickly feels that she does not belong here. Her concerns for her family and marriage prove to be founded.
As a high school counselor, Liz never felt she quite fit in with her neighbors. They are always dressed in the newest, trendiest designer clothes. Disposable incomes are very apparent and a way of life. Competition may be silent, but is an obvious element in "The Psalms".
The children are obvious reflections of their parents. They seem to be always texting on their new phones or using social media to better their own status among their peers. Cyber-bullying becomes a serious problem for Danielle. When a someone she trusts doesn’t get her way, she holds Danielle responsible.
Things become even worse, however, for Phil and Liz when Danielle’s friend, Kelsey, develops a crush on Phil. Bored, over-privileged, and deeply disturbed, the girl-next-door is anything but harmless. Her infatuation quickly turns to obsession. There will be consequences for her rejection, and the entire community will pay.
Paula Treick DeBoard writes stories about families and communities facing many issues of the world today. Her meticulous attention to detail is notable. The author weaves dark elements of the human psyche into her storytelling of these families in crisis.
I highly recommend The Drowning Girls. However, do not stop there. I strongly recommend that you read The Mourning Hours, and The Fragile World, too. Paula Treick DeBoard never disappoints. She is one of my favourite authors.