Category Archives: Reputation

Review: Reputation by Sara Shepard

Title: Reputation by Sara Shepard
Publisher: Dutton
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss


In this perfectly-paced new novel from Sara Shepard, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Pretty Little Liars, the women of a tight-knit college town learn through gossip, scandal, betrayal, and even murder, who their neighbors and husbands really are.

Aldrich University is rocked to its core when a hacker dumps 40,000 people’s e-mails—the entire faculty, staff, students, alums—onto an easily searchable database. Rumors and affairs immediately leak, but things turn explosive when Kit Manning’s handsome husband, Dr. Greg Strasser, is found murdered. Kit’s sister, Willa, returns for the funeral, setting foot in a hometown she fled fifteen years ago, after a night she wishes she could forget. As an investigative reporter, Willa knows something isn’t right about the night Greg was killed, and she’s determined to find the truth. What she doesn’t expect is that everyone has something to hide. And with a killer on the loose, Willa and Kit must figure out who killed Greg before someone else is murdered.

Told from multiple points of view, Reputation is full of twists, turns, and shocking reveals. It’s a story of intrigue, sabotage, and the secrets we keep—and how far we go to keep them hidden. Number one bestseller Sara Shepard is at the top of her game in this brand-new adult novel.


Reputation by Sara Shepard  is a twisty, suspense-laden domestic mystery.

Kit Manning-Strauss is spooked by an anonymous text she receives while out of town wooing a donor for Aldrich University, an upscale private college.  Returning to town the next day, she, the rest of the campus and associated hospital staff are horrified when the system is hacked and their emails are publicly posted. Kit’s emails are aboveboard, but the same cannot be said for her cardiac surgeon husband Greg Strasser. A series of explicit email changes between he and “Lolita” are the subject rumor and speculation. Kit is so angry she just wants her husband to disappear and she gets her wish when he is murdered.  Kit’s memories of the night of his death are hazy but she is certain she is not a killer. But if she did not kill him, then who did?

Kit should  be a sympathetic character but she comes across as shallow and self-absorbed. Instead of helping her daughters Sienna and Aurora deal with their stepfather’s murder, she leaves them to cope on their own. Kit does not exactly welcome her sister Willa’s help in trying to unearth the truth about what happened to Greg.

Kit’s co-worker Lynn Godfrey is manipulative and controlling. She also delights in helping the unsavory revelations from the emails gain traction in the court of public opinion. Lynn is dismissive towards Kit and uses her co-worker’s distraction and grief to further her own career.  She soon becomes suspicious of her husband Patrick but will Lynn uncover the truth about what is going on with him?

Laura Apatrea is a nurse who works with Greg. She and her police officer husband Ollie are also new parents who are absolutely crazy about their infant son. Although Laura’s emails were also hacked, there is nothing notable in her exchanges. However it soon becomes obvious that she is very worried and anxious about another matter. Does this concern have anything to do with Greg’s murder?

Unfolding from alternating points of view,  Reputation is a fast-paced and engrossing mystery.  While the characters are well-developed, some are more appealing than others. The storyline is well-developed but a few of the plot twists are a bit melodramatic and soap opera-ish.  With no shortage of suspects or plausible motives for Greg’s murder, Sara Shepard  brings this clever mystery to a rather shocking conclusion.  I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend this riveting mystery to readers of the genre.

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Filed under Contemporary, Dutton, Mystery, Rated B, Reputation, Review, Sara Shepard, Suspense