Two women. One office. A fight to the death.
Laura has sacrificed a lot for her high-powered career – her marriage, the chance to have kids. Now, finally, she’s in line for a big jump up the corporate ladder – all the way to the boardroom. But there’s a fly in the ointment in the shape of beautiful Vanessa, a lowly assistant who seems to have it in for Laura.

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Vanessa is PA to Hank, the most powerful executive in the company, a man whose support Laura desperately needs if she is to secure the job of her dreams. Repelled by Laura’s naked ambition, fiercely possessive of her boss, Vanessa deliberately sabotages Laura’s every attempt to make a good impression on Hank.
Laura threatens and cajoles but Vanessa just won’t play fair. Soon their mutual dislike escalates to an all-out war. But career-obsessed Laura has always been willing to do whatever it takes to get ahead. And if Vanessa stands in her way… she’s going to pay the ultimate price

My Review

What a highly entertaining and fast paced read. I read this over one weekend. Just sat in the garden on the second day with my lunch of Shakshouka and Miso soup (yes I am that pretentious) and kept reading. It’s not a long book and it doesn’t stop for breath – a bit like Laura when she’s running on the High School track.

Neither Vanessa nor Laura are actually very nice. But what starts off as rather silly office rivalry starts to turn darker and more sinister. Laura wants the promotion that is on offer. She’s made for it. An MBA and a high flying CV – who else would be good enough apart from her?

Vanessa, on the other hand, looks for her kicks elsewhere. Her hobby is shoplifting and she thinks she’s very good at it. Unlike Laura, Vanessa is only the admin assistant to boss Hank, but she protects him like a doctor’s receptionist. And that includes keeping Laura at arm’s length. In this case the arm of a very tall basketball player and then some. Vanessa is not ambitious about her career, but she likes to be noticed, a bit too much at times with her tight slacks, high heels and lashings of lip gloss (frantically hiding my lip gloss in my bag as I write – it’s obviously the sign of a loose-moralled temptress). Laura can’t understand why Vanessa dresses so provocatively for work, It can only be to attract men – particularly Hank.

Laura’s gradual descent into all out madness is slightly unbelievable and somewhat Shakespearean, but as I’ve said many times, this is fiction. Otherwise it would be BORING. However, how far it goes was a shock to me and hopefully to other readers. I wasn’t expecting it. A very enjoyable read with a dark twist.

Many thanks to @damppebbles for inviting me to be part of #damppebblesblogtours

About the Author

Cathryn is the author of the Alexandra Mallory series, featuring a sociopath you can’t help but love. She is also the author of ten psychological thrillers, including The Good Neighbor and The Guest, published by Inkubator Books.

Cathryn Grant’s fiction has appeared in Alfred Hitchcock and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazines, The Shroud Quarterly Journal, and been anthologised in The Best of Every Day Fiction and You, Me & A Bit of We. Her short story, ‘I Was Young Once‘, received an honourable mention in the 2007 Zoetrope All-story Short Fiction contest.

Her psychological suspense fiction reveals the motives and desires that lead to suburban crime. She’s obsessed with the ‘why’ behind human behaviour. In real crime, too many times, the why is left unanswered. Cathryn’s fiction tells the stories of ordinary people driven to commit crimes, especially homicide. Cathryn also writes ghost stories – The Haunted Ship Trilogy and the Madison Keith series of novellas.

When she’s not writing, she’s usually reading fiction, walking on the beach, or playing golf, trying desperately to avoid hitting her ball in the sand or the water. She lives on the Central California Coast with her husband and two cats.

You can contact Cathryn at her website

1 Comment on “The Assistant by Cathryn Grant

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