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Reviewed by Sherri Fulmer Moorer for Readers' Favorite
Mara Butler believes her lousy luck has finally changed when she lands a job with Jacqueline Henderson, one of Chicago's top real estate agents. As a newbie in the business and fresh out of a firing and a failed romantic relationship, she believes her new career will not only launch her into the adulthood of her dreams but allow her to help with the bills from her younger sister's battle with cancer. She's excited about this opportunity until she gets a mysterious text from Jacqueline's former assistant, warning her against taking the job. But as so many twenty-somethings starting out in the world, she needs the job and all the perks it offers to set her life straight. Mara disregards the warning and dives fully into Jacqueline's real estate world, only to find out that it's a dirtier business than she ever imagined as Jacqueline takes unethical and ruthless actions to ensure that she will be next year's Top Producer for the Chicago area. Top Producer, by Laura Wolfe, is an excellently written mystery with an ending that you'll never see coming.
I loved Top Producer for so many reasons. It's a solid suspense novel, and I can relate both to Mara's desperation to become successful in young adulthood as well as Jacqueline's desperation to reach the pinnacle of her career. Both are characters very much like people you meet in real life, right down to questionable ethics and even more questionable actions as they both vie to be the "best of the best," albeit for different reasons. Laura Wolfe did an excellent job of creating a world that perfectly reflects ours, and the quiet desperation that we all feel from time to time in our chosen careers. But more than that, this is just a great, intriguing, novel. Definitely my first "top pick of 2020." You've got to read this novel!