One of BookRiot’s Most Anticipated Releases 2023, one of Town and Country’s Must-Read Books of Summer, one of The Millions’ Most Anticipated Books of 2023.From the author of Looker comes this “compulsive and unforgettable novel” (Mona Awad) of razor-sharp suspense about two local librarians whose lives become dangerously intertwined.

No one knows Margo’s real name. Her colleagues and patrons at a small-town public library only know her middle-aged normalcy, congeniality, and charm. They have no reason to suspect that she is, in fact, a former nurse with a trail of countless premature deaths in her wake. She has turned a new page, so to speak, and the library is her sanctuary, a place to quell old urges.

That is, at least, until Patricia, a recent graduate and failed novelist, joins the library staff. Patricia quickly notices Margo’s subtly sinister edge, and watches her carefully. When a patron’s death in the library bathroom gives her a hint of Margo’s mysterious past, Patricia can’t resist digging deeper—even as this new fixation becomes all-consuming.

Taut and compelling, How Can I Help You explores the dark side of human nature and the dangerous pull of artistic obsession as these “transfixing dual female narrators” (Kimberly McCreight) hurtle toward a stunning climax.

Don't just take our word for it...

“I love a good unreliable narrator psychological thriller that explores what it means to be a psychopath/hero/anti-hero. I finished it in a single afternoon because I couldn’t put it down.”
– Jenny Lawson, San Antonio Magazine

“A Highsmithian cat-and-mouth thriller featuring two librarians . . . Sims’s work harkens back to the complex personality studies of mid-century psychological fiction, and pays homage to middle-aged womanhood—serial killers age too, after all.”
– CrimeReads

“A book lover’s dream . . . A taut, high-stakes thriller set in a library…that culminates in a shocking climax.”
– Parade

Taste the very first page

The moment I walked through the front door, I knew. That deep, abiding quiet, and the sense that the outside world couldn’t reach me here. I was like someone chased by demons across the threshold of a church, stepping into the library that first time. I could have turned around, right there at the door, and stuck my tongue out at the world.

Can’t catch me.

I didn’t do it, and besides, the world wasn’t watching. Couldn’t find me anyway, could it? I’d already changed my hair and makeup, my clothes, my voice, and even the way I walked. I’d changed my name, too. I’d been Jane but I was Margo now. I liked Margo. Jane would have turned and stuck her tongue out, but Margo never would. No, Margo simply stood in the vestibule, shoulders back and head held high like a queen.

I hadn’t spent much time in libraries before then. It was quiet as a nighttime ICU ward—maybe quieter, without all…