Both her noir and her latest novels have focused on issues of developing womanhood. Abbott has said that
Maybe more than any other genre, crime fiction is a place that takes deadly seriously the things that the larger culture doesn’t always: ambivalent motherhood, the trickiness of negotiating power at home, in the bedroom, the price of ambition and ambitionlessness, sexual identity, the murderous corners of marriage, the way our own vanities and desires can still send us down the rabbit hole, and how love-gone-wrong too many times can harden us all.
Her more recent titles also touch on falling down life's rabbit holes. In an interview, she discusses that "my friends who do talk about that weird transition—or even moment—when you realize you have no idea what’s going on in your child’s head. It’s such an important thing when you’re growing up—to develop an inner life, a secret life." Abbott's teen-centered novels are perhaps even more explicitly about the secret lives of girls and issues of identity than her crime fiction. Her latest book, You Will Know Me, focuses on the intensely ambitious world of gymnasts - an unnerving backstory just in time for those who got all caught up in the Olympics this summer!