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Brooke's Pick: The Personal Assistant by Kimberly Belle

A hugely popular blogger, Alex relies on her personal assistant AC to help her manage each day, but when a controversial post goes viral, AC goes missing and a woman is murdered, Alex finds herself thrust into the spotlight with no one left to trust.

I am a bit burnt out on social media influencer storylines (and influencers, in general), so I wasn’t exactly eager to pick up Kimberly Belle’s new novel The Personal Assistant, despite loving her previous novel, My Darling Wife; however, I am so very pleased to share that I loved this book enough to rate it 5 stars! Wow, this is an absolute whirlwind of a story and I did not know what to expect through each twist and turn!

Kimberly Belle has made a name for herself in the domestic thriller genre, and she wastes no time diving into it with her latest novel, The Personal Assistant. In this story, a prominent mommy influencer, Alex, has a few too many drinks with her personal assistant, Anna Claire aka A.C., one night and wakes up the next morning to discover her assistant has hit the road and a very, VERY scandalous post has been made to her own Instagram account. All of a sudden Alex finds herself being “cancelled,” and A.C. is nowhere in sight. When some of the attacks begin to feel a little too personal, Alex wonders what is really at play here. Interwoven into the main storyline are the POVs of Alex’s husband Patrick, who may just have something to do with A.C.’s mysterious disappearance, and we also hear from A.C., herself.

This three POV novel is expertly woven and nail biting to the end. I love a book that doesn’t play around with everything that you DON’T need to know - all that Belle lays on the table throughout the pages of this book comes into play … it is just up to you to put the pieces together. The Personal Assistant manages to be both sinister and light at the same time, combining the frivolousness of hustling on social media, sharing every moment of your life to fund an enviable lifestyle, while also highlighting how dangerous and downright frightening it can be when influencers are ruthlessly cancelled and doxed (in case you aren’t familiar with the term, doxing is publicly identifying or publishing private information about someone, in this case, an influencer, as a form of punishment or revenge.)

This is a finely crafted tale of social media gone wrong. Secrets, deceit, and oversharing all play a deadly role in this compelling novel for the modern age.

- Brooke, Public Relations Librarian


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