Friday, February 2, 2018

Book Review: Best Friends Forever

By Jami Deise

There’s an old saying that friends help you move, but real friends help you move bodies. With domestic thrillers being all the rage, however, the body your friend is moving could be yours. In today’s fiction, husbands and friends are not to be trusted.

Margot Hunt (a pseudonym for an author with 12 other books under her belt; presumably she didn’t want to confuse her fan base as this is her first thriller)’s novel Best Friends Forever is inaccurately named – protagonist Alice Campbell hasn’t known her friend Kat Grant for all that long, but the two become best friends quickly, despite their different lives. Alice, a former mathematics professor, writes logic puzzle books for children while raising her own and is mostly happily married, although she and her husband are struggling financially. Kat is incredibly wealthy, owns an art gallery for fun, and her husband Howard is a drunken bully. Still, the two have fun together, such as the mini-vacation Kat takes Alice on to a fancy Florida hotel, complete with lounge chairs equipped with flags for ordering drinks. (Ironically, I read Best Friends Forever while staying at a similar hotel and lying on the same kind of lounge chair.)

The fun comes to a halt when Kat is overseas on a business trip, and her husband Howard takes a drunken fatal fall from their balcony. Alice is dragged in for questioning… but do the police suspect Kat, or Alice?

The book alternates between Alice’s police questioning and other events after Howard’s death, with the tale of Alice and Kat’s first meeting and their burgeoning friendship. Readers are left to ponder whether Kat is really the good friend Alice thinks she is… and how awful a husband is Howard? In this way, it’s very similar to Rebecca Drake’s Just Between Us, which I recently reviewed. And it conveys a similar warning of the danger of getting too attached to people before getting to know them well.

Best Friends Forever is a bit difficult to get into in the beginning, as Alice’s questioning by the police drags on and keeps readers from getting fully invested in the character. But the Florida setting and Kat’s wealthy lifestyle pull readers in, and Hunt sets the stage by creating subtle questions about motivation. Although the ending is satisfying, if a bit telegraphed, there are plot holes that go unfilled.

The explosion in domestic thrillers means fans of this genre will have many options in 2018. While Best Friends Forever is no Big Little Lies, it’s exciting that publishers see so much opportunity with these books.

Thanks to TLC Book Tours for the book in exchange for an honest review. Visit all the stops on their excerpt and review tours!

1 comment:

Janine said...

Sounds like an interesting book