Another fast-paced psychological suspense novel I completed recently is Just Between Us by Rebecca Drake. It is the intriguing story of friendship and lies, and how far those friends are willing to to cover something up in the name of friendship loyalty.
This post contains affiliate links, see disclosure for more detail. I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are honest and my own.
About the Book:
Young moms Alison, Heather, Julie, and Sarah met through their young childrens’ school. The four have a great deal in common, and share regular coffee dates and from the outside, everything looks picture perfect with their lives. They are well-off financially, have great marriages, and those who choose to work have fabulous careers. During one of their many coffee shop get-togethers, Alison notices a large bruise on Heather’s arm, which Heather attempts to quickly conceal and brush off as an accident. But Alison doesn’t think it’s an accident, and shares her thoughts with Julie and Sarah, who think Alison is imagining things. After all, the four of them and their husbands, including Heather’s plastic surgeon husband Viktor, are so close that they would have to know if abuse was going on, wouldn’t they?
Another incident occurs, and then another, and finally the three women confront Heather about the signs of abuse they have observed. They are afraid for Heather’s life, but when Heather calls with news of a death, the friends must decide the lengths they will go to to help Heather. However, things are not as they seem for any of them–what secrets will come to light before it’s all over?
This book is told in the alternating points of view of the main characters, which is slightly confusing, even though the chapters are labeled clearly, because at first we aren’t given enough background or depth about each character to make one distinct from the other. After I got to know the characters a bit better, this way of telling the story really worked within this framework and made it more interesting–the characters have divided loyalties and preferences for one friend over the other in certain situations. It also allows the reader to get a glimpse into their private lives and some secrets they might be hiding from their friends, or just some of those friends.
Like most psychological suspense/mystery/thriller books, I had a pretty good idea where things were headed, but I didn’t figure everything out, so I was pleasantly surprised when “all was revealed” in the end. When I’m caught off guard with something I didn’t see coming it’s the mark of a good book for me. Since I read so many books and I’m really drawn to mysteries, something unexpected that I don’t puzzle out on my own is fantastic.
I definitely connected with certain characters over the others, but that’s the great thing about giving us diverse characters to read about, because different readers will identify with different ones. I honestly didn’t know what to make of Heather, my emotions ran the gauntlet from liking her to hating her to feeling sorry for her, then back again. You have to respect an author that can draw that much emotion from the reader about a character! This is the first book I have read by Rebecca Drake, but now I’m determined to go find her previous titles and will be first in line to purchase the next one.
Fantastic thriller with some really surprising twists. Fans of psychological women’s suspense fiction will want to put this one on their “must read” list.
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