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Young Woman

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Owens’ 2018 tale of a mysterious murder and a young woman who lives in a North Carolina marsh sold more than 7 million copies worldwide. “Surprise bestsellers are often works that chime with the times,” wrote Mark Lawson in The Guardian, noting that the book, though set in the past, “is, in its treatment of racial and social division and the fragile complexities of nature, obviously relevant. But these themes will reach a huge audience through the writer’s old-fashioned talents for compelling character, plotting and landscape description.” (Penguin, $14.99)

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As my colleague Meredith Blake wrote shortly after its premiere in September 2019, Netflix’s limited series, co-created by Susannah Grant, Ayelet Waldman and Michael Chabon, offers a revolutionary portrait of rape.

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When her late detective father leaves Kelly Pruett a letter including a clue for an unsolved case of a young woman’s death by train, she is determined to see the case to its end. While Kelly juggles taking care of her deaf daughter and dealing with a complicated family and a controlling ex, she discovers layers to this mystery that reveal a murder and a double life.

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Each episode of this very adult and harrowing tale is engrossing and perfectly paced. Sophie Turner stars as a young woman with suicidal tendencies who survives a plane crash and fights to stay alive in a snowy wasteland alongside another passenger played by Corey Hawkins. It looks and feels like prestige Hollywood fare, and Turner is superb as a woman haunted by her own illness.

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“Greta” is the kind of suspenseful mystery that reminds us of so many other films in that genre because human nature is so universal, especially in the blackest parts of our souls. And because it’s not the most original story. But this mean little thriller likes to have fun.

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