Author: Rebecca Drake
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Indiebound |Goodreads
“Alison, Julie, Sarah, Heather. Four friends living the suburban ideal. But each of them has a dirty little secret, and… everything starts to unravel when Alison spots a nasty bruise on Heather’s wrist…As mysterious injuries and erratic behavior mount, Heather can no longer deny the abuse, but she refuses to leave her husband. Desperate to save her, Alison and the others dread the phone call telling them that she’s been killed. But when that call finally comes, it’s not Heather who’s dead. In a moment they’ll come to regret, the women must decide what lengths they’ll go to in order to help a friend.” (source)
I have really mixed feelings about this book, because it did some things amazingly well, while other aspects let me down. My least favorite thing was the plot. I was able to predict the broad outlines of the plot after reading the summary. Some of the details were surprising, but none were shocking. I really would have loved an unexpected twist. Somehow, despite finding the plot predictable, my favorite thing was the suspense. I guessed the broad outlines of the story, but I couldn’t wait to see how everything played out. Just imagining being in the situation the characters were in kept me on the edge of my seat.
Seeing how the characters reacted to the stresses they were under was another fun part of the book. They each reacted in ways that seemed to follow naturally from their personalities. This could have been done better, however, had they had a little more depth. As is, I felt each character was largely defined by a single flaw that determined how they reacted under pressure. Their friendships were the same, with a few points highlighted over and over. At the level of the details though, their interactions with each other and with others, were impressively believable. The dialogue was convincing and the smart, descriptive writing brought each scene to life. Seeing scenes of intrigue play out alongside scenes of domesticity was entertainingly surreal.
The biggest thing keeping this from being a real winner for me is that I went into it hoping the author would surprise me more than she did. Having loved the writing, suspense, and believable characters, I will almost certainly be picking up another of her books in hopes she still might.