Book Reviews

Look in the Mirror by Catherine Steadman

A tremendous thank you to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for my advanced reader copy of Look in the Mirror by Catherine Steadman. This book publishes (in the US) on July 30, 2024!

The Story

When Nina’s father dies, she is left something in his will: a gleaming dream vacation home in a balmy tropical paradise.

Still grieving her father’s death, Nina learns she has inherited property in the British Virgin Islands—a vacation home she had no idea existed, until now. The house is extraordinary: state-of-the-art, all glass and marble. How did her sensible father come into enough money for this? Why did he keep it from her? And what else was he hiding?

Once an ambitious medical student, Maria is a nanny for the super-rich. The money’s better and so are the destinations where her work takes her. Just one more gig, and she’ll be set. Finally she’ll be secure. But when her wards never show, Maria begins to make herself at home, spending her days luxuriating by the pool and in the sauna. There’s just one rule: Don’t go in the basement. But her curiosity just might get the better of her—and soon she’ll wish her only worry was not getting paid.

My Thoughts


I’ve read a couple other books from Catherine Steadman, and I thought they were okay. They didn’t stick with me too much, though I do remember The Family Game being unlike what I was expecting.

Look in the Mirror, on the other hand, is one that’s going to stick with me. This book was suspense and tension without needing to rely on gore or substance abuse or infidelity or anything like that. It was situational suspense rather than “unreliable” or “questionable” suspense. I haven’t read a book like that in a long while.

I’ve also learned from my friends at book club that I am more of a plot-driven reader than character-driven. However, what I appreciated in Look in the Mirror was that the house itself practically a character itself. There was more development of the house than there was any other character.

I also appreciated all of the strong women in this book. I’m certainly not going to give anything away because that’s just not how I am. However, we love empowered and sensible women.

This book was paced so well! Chapters were told from the perspectives of a few different narrators, but it didn’t rely on switching every chapter. Sometimes you’d get 2-3 Maria chapters followed by a Nina chapter or two. It just kept everything interesting. I could not wait to pick it up and read it (which is high praise in my book).

I can’t say enough how much I would recommend Look in the Mirror. I wasn’t expecting too much from it, and I am so pleased that Catherine Steadman blew me away.

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