Sunday, May 19, 2024

Book Review: A Friend Indeed

By Melissa Smoot

When single mom Jo Dykstra was at her lowest—jobless and penniless—her childhood friend Dana McFarlane helped her out bigtime by securing her a teaching job and thus an opportunity for a new life in the affluent Pacific Northwest town of Glebes Bay. So, when Jo gets a frantic late-night call from Dana, sobbing and desperate for help, it feels like a chance to help her friend in return.

The last thing Jo expects to see when she arrives at Dana’s oceanfront mansion? Her friend’s handsome and wealthy husband, Stan, dead, sprawled face down on the floor. Dana admits to killing her husband following years of secret abuse and begs Jo not to call the police. For nearly two decades, Dana’s marriage and family had looked picture perfect. Who’d ever believe that pillar-of-the-community Stan was a monster? Determined to cover up her husband’s killing and shield her kids from scandal, Dana convinces Jo to help her dispose of the body.

But the cover-up starts to crumble when a blackmailer threatens to expose their crime. Hounded by gossipy neighbors, ill-fated lovers, and zealous cops, truth and lies are laid bare between Jo and Dana, putting their families in danger and threatening to shatter a thirty-year friendship. Shocking and fast-paced, A Friend Indeed is a riveting tale about the power of friendship and the deadly weight of lies.

A Friend Indeed was amazing. Ray’s writing flowed easily from scene to scene and kept me engaged from the very first page. The story was full of suspense, mystery, and drama. As I read, I was trying to find the context clues that would tell me where the story was heading, but it kept me guessing and frantically reading to find out how it would end!

I loved the dichotomy of Jo and Dana’s friendship, and how one was extremely wealthy and the other was down on her luck, financially. Each time a new truth was revealed, it led me down a different path and it was not until the very end that we learned what really happened that fateful night that Dana’s husband was murdered. This was a fast-moving story with so many twists and turns. There was the perfect element of creepiness, from Dana’s enormous old home to the notes being left by a blackmailer. Someone was watching Dana and Jo, but who? 

You will stay up all night, desperate to get answers and find out the truth. This book was riveting, and I highly recommend adding it to your summer reading list!

Thanks to Kaye Publicity for the book in exchange for an honest review.

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