The name of the elite women-only coworking space stretches across the wall behind the check-in desk: THE HERD, the H-E-R always purple. In-the-know New Yorkers crawl over one another to apply for membership to this community that prides itself on mentorship and empowerment. Among the hopefuls is Katie Bradley, who’s just returned from the Midwest after a stint of book research blew up in her face. Luckily, Katie has an in, thanks to her sister, Hana, an original Herder and the best friend of Eleanor Walsh, the Herd’s charismatic founder. Eleanor is a queen among the Herd’s sun-filled rooms, admired and quietly feared even as she strives to be warm and approachable. As head of PR, Hana is working around the clock to prepare for a huge announcement from Eleanor–one that will change the trajectory of the Herd forever. Though Katie loves her sister’s crew, she secretly hopes that she’s found her next book subject in Eleanor, who’s brilliant, trailblazing–and extremely private.
Then, on the night of the glitzy Herd news conference, Eleanor vanishes without a trace. Everybody has a theory about what made Eleanor run, but when the police suggest foul play, everyone is a suspect: Eleanor’s husband, other Herders, the men’s rights groups that have had it out for the Herd since its launch–even Eleanor’s closest friends. As Hana struggles to figure out what her friend was hiding and Katie chases the story of her life, the sisters must face the secrets they’ve been keeping from each other–and confront just how dangerous it can be when women’s perfect veneers start to crack, crumble, and then fall away altogether. (Ballantine Books)