As BEAUTIFUL MALICE opens, James’s heroine hopes to turn her life around as well. After an unspeakable tragedy tears her family apart, Katherine Patterson is desperate to escape the cruel headlines and media scrutiny—as well as the sense of guilt that shadows every move she makes. Changing her name, she moves to a new city to begin her life again. There she meets Alice Parrie, a girl who represents everything Katherine used to be: socially confident, gorgeous, and effortlessly adored.
Though Alice helps Katherine come out of her shell and the two quickly become as close as sisters, Katherine hesitates to reveal her true identity and the details of her family’s past. What holds her back are disconcerting glimpses of a less-than-charming personality and a sense that Alice has some dark secrets of her own. Are the occasional moments of friction just a case of girls being girls? Or is something more sinister at work? And when Katherine’s intuition starts sending her warning signals, will she be able to unravel a friendship to which her past and her future may have become inextricably bound?
As James said in a recent interview with Australia’s Herald Sun, “Everyone is scared they will have an Alice in their lives, someone who will betray their deepest secrets.” BEAUTIFUL MALICE will keep you reading late into the night—and might make you take a second look at the people you’ve invited into your own inner circle.
James's debut hits shelves on July 13 and has already earned her a starred review in PW.