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“Gripping ... Pitoniak delivers a pitch-perfect exploration of class, family, and female friendship.”

—People, Book of the Week


Stella and Violet are best friends, and from the moment they meet in college, they know their roles: Stella in the spotlight and Violet behind the scenes.

After graduation, Violet moves to New York and lands a job in cable news, where she works her way up from intern to assistant to producer, and to a life where she’s finally free from Stella’s shadow. Until Stella decides to use her connections, beauty, and charisma to land a job at the same network. Stella soon moves in front of the camera, becoming the public face of the stories that Violet has worked tirelessly to produce—and taking all the credit for them.

But Violet isn’t giving up so easily. As she and Stella strive for success, they each reveal just how far they’ll go to get what they want—even if it means destroying the other person along the way.

Delicious ... Thrilling ... I was so mesmerized by this story that I took the longer subway route to drinks more than once so I’d have more time to savor it.
— Marie Claire, Best Books of 2019 (So Far)
An inevitable crime takes place, a cover-up and investigation ensue, and then things get...dark. By which I mean completely effed up. In other words, welcome to Necessary People, a juicy thriller that will make you side-eye your friends and wonder if they’re capable of ~doing crimes~.
— Cosmopolitan, A Best Book of May
The center of Necessary People is a complicated friendship between the rich Stella and the up from rags Violet. ... Pitoniak is a shrewd observer of female attachment and ambition, and People both delivers interesting ideas and chronicles a shocking murder.
— CrimeReads, A Best Book of May
Take the simmering jealousy found in many female friendships, ratchet it up, and mix in some seriously Ripley-esque longings for upper-crust lifestyles, and you’ll land at Anna Pitoniak’s utterly enthralling novel ... Necessary People is an escapist thriller laced with substantive social commentary. A no-guilt guilty pleasure.
— Refinery29, A Best Book of May
Pitoniak is an astute social observer, and the novel—a literary thriller about class aspiration and young female ambition—is a twisting delight with a haunting punch. Deceptively nuanced, and impossible to put down, this is escapism with substance. ... Sheer pleasure.
— Kirkus (Starred Review)
A chilling mix of charm, danger, suspense, and surprises. You think you know where the story is going—but you don’t.
— Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author
Smart and stylish ... What begins as a sharp story about best friends—one who’s had everything handed to her, the other who has almost ruthlessly made her own way—develops into a darker tale of rivalry, hubris, and deadly desire.
— Town & Country, A Best Book of May
A tantalizing exploration of female friendship and ambition ... An ample playing field for Pitoniak’s dark look at competition and destruction between girls.
— Thrillist, A Best Book of Summer
Two complex women inhabit Necessary People, Anna Pitoniak’s second psychologically astute novel ... Pitoniak perceptively traces the fracture of their sisterlike bond, leading to a denouement the reader will not anticipate. An insightful glimpse into the competitive world of TV news and Pitoniak’s spot-on portraits of these two women come together in a gripping novel that’s sure to be a popular summer read.
— BookPage, A Best Book of Summer
Fantastic...This stirring character study and treatise on the dark sides of ambition, friendship, family, and privilege will hook readers from the get-go.
— Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)