Publish Date: May 7, 2019
“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, shame on both of us.” — Stephen King
Kate English’s mother, Lily Michaels, is dead, the victim of a terrifying attack in her tony suburban Baltimore home. Barely keeping it together for the sake of her family, Kate is surprised and grateful to see Blaire Barrington, her old high school BFF, at the funeral.
Now more than ever, Kate needs Blaire’s loving protection. Lily’s killer is still out there, and has begun taunting Kate with threatening notes sometimes accompanied by gruesome clues. Without any solid leads, the police investigation has stalled. As the messages become increasingly macabre, Blaire decides to take matters into her own hands, alienating friends and relatives with her relentless, almost accusatory questions.
As Blaire pushes further, the danger for those around her—including the increasingly unstable Kate—grows. But will her relentless quest for the truth push her—and Kate—over the edge?
I loved The Last Mrs. Parrish (my review here) and I was practically jumping up and down with excitement when I found out that Liv Constantine wrote another book.
Kate English has it all – a busy career as a doctor, a thriving medical practice that she shares with her father, loving parents, a gigantic trust fund, an adoring and handsome husband, a beautiful young daughter, and a large, luxe home on an expansive property where she can ride her horses.
Her picture perfect life comes crashing down when her beloved mother Lily is brutally murdered. The killer starts leaving freaky and disturbing clues like nursery rhymes and dead animals, hinting that s/he is stalking Kate and watching her every move. Kate slowly starts to become unhinged because why wouldn’t you if you thought a homicidal maniac was after you?! Thank goodness for her estranged friend Blaire, as Kate unravels because of this very traumatic situation.
Blaire, a famous, rich, bestselling author, inserts herself into Kate’s world and knocks their childhood friend Selby out of the BFF position. But, does Blaire harbor any grudges or have a hidden agenda? Why is Blaire coming out of the woodwork now after so many years?
This book is about murder, mental health, friendship, secrets, marriage, money, memory, and mother-daughter relationships. It’s well paced – not fast, not slow – and this pacing kept me engaged throughout the book.
Kate is a unreliable narrator just like Nellie/Vanessa in The Wife Between Us, and she gets worse as the story progresses. I wasn’t sure if she was imagining things or if she was the person wreaking all of the havoc. I would have liked more of a backstory on her, but this book had plenty of character development and I enjoyed the ride.
Liv Constantine’s last book drew me in right away and when I got comfortable with its direction, bombs were dropped and the plot turned unexpectedly. This time, I was on guard for bombs as I read this book. I was not disappointed; I loved the surprises, twists, and turns.
If compared to The Wife Between Us, I like this book so much more. It was creepier and had more mystery and suspense. It has a sinister feel and everyone seemed to have an ulterior motive; it was hard to figure out who to trust. This book is a psychological suspense and thriller wrapped in one, and I really liked it.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Note: I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.