In My Dreams I Hold a Knife

by Ashley Winstead
Sourcebooks Landmark, August 2021, $26.99

The setup is tried and true. Get a group of formerly close people back together after a chunk of time has passed and see what happens. The catalyzing event in the mystery thriller In My Dreams I Hold a Knife is the ten-year anniversary of Jessica Miller’s graduation from North Carolina’s Duquette University. Debut author Ashley Winstead uses it as the perfect opportunity to bring a group of once-close college friends together to compare notes, share secrets, and maybe get murdered.

Thirty-two-year-old Jessica has transformed herself into a successful, urban, New York consultant. She looks perfect, has the perfect job, and is looking forward to shoving it in all her classmate’s faces—especially those in the little clique she once hung out with. Mint was the rich one, Caro the good looking one, Frankie a star athlete, and Coop the cool one. Which always left Jessica the hanger-on. Oh, and one more: Heather Shelby, once an integral part of their group, she’s the dead one. Killed in her campus dorm while they were all still in college, her murder was never been solved and her brother, Eric, is still looking for the killer.

Jessica may be a decade older but she hasn’t grown up. It is difficult to warm to Winstead’s main character and hard to believe a successful career woman still has the emotional maturity of a teenager. It seems murder among friends includes multiple helpings of group politics, self-pity, and soulful confessions, all topped by a crackerjack ending.

Eileen Brady
Teri Duerr
August 2021
Sourcebooks Landmark