"Seeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed."She learns that her client who had signed up to participate has decided to drop out before the study has actually begun. She decides to present herself as a replacement.
She is accepted and thus begins an experience that will test her resilience and strength of character.
Running the study is a Dr. Shields. The writers tell their story through the perspectives of Jess and Dr. Shields.
Jess finds herself seated at a computer and faced with a series of questions to answer. They are questions designed to elicit her responses as to how she would handle certain questions of ethics and morality. She is admonished to be completely honest. She finds many of the questions challenging. After each session at the computer, some of them continue to haunt her as she goes about her daily activities.
As we get to know Dr. Shields, it slowly becomes apparent that there is more at stake for her than just the completion of a psychological study. We begin to suspect that she has a personal agenda and that she is maneuvering Jess to fit into that agenda in some way. It isn't clear at first just what is going on but it seems evident that it may not be in Jess's best interests.
The pace of the plotting is intended to build suspense slowly and that works pretty well for about half the book; then the slow pace began to lose me and I never really got back on its wavelength through the rest of the story.
One thing that niggled at me and finally began to actively irritate me was the voice of Dr. Shields. Her narrative is told in second person, passive voice throughout and after a while that became annoying to read. I suppose the intent was to keep her character aloof and mysterious. I can't really imagine another reason for that choice, but it just didn't work for me.
The writers deserve kudos for the originality of their plot and the character of Jess is multi-layered and fairly interesting, but overall, I felt the execution left something to be desired.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars