Harper | 5 May 2020 | 400 pgs
Source: Library 

Not all marriages are perfect; but a good marriage requires communication, understanding and acceptance from both parties to make their relationship work and be happy. This novel by Kimberly McCreight, unlike the title suggested, leans a bit towards the dark side and unveils the complicated relationship between couples and how secrets and a brutal murder will tear a group of friends apart. 

The story opens with our lead protagonist, Lizzie Kitsakis, receiving a peculiar phone call while working late at an elite law firm, Young & Crane. Lizzie used to work as a federal prosecutor with the US Attorney, but was forced to abandon her passion for a more competitive pay to settle her financial woes especially since her (alcoholic) husband is a freelance writer. It's not like she is unhappy with her life, but Lizzie does know how to avert her eyes when necessary and she's doing good so far until she receives that call from her old friend, Zach Grayson. They used to go to the same college and at some stage, they'd have been together if Lizzie agreed to go out with him. They've lost touch since then until now; and it seems Zach needs Lizzie's help in getting him out from Rikers

Zach's initial prosecution is assault with a police officer, but he's now becomes a primary suspect after his wife, Amanda, was found dead at the bottom of the stairs in their Brooklyn brownstone. Investigations show it was murder and they've even found Zach's bloodied golf club nearby. Lizzie is reluctant to take on his case initially, partly she's more into corporate crimes but she's drawn by the intrigue of the idyllic Park Slope neighbourhood and its few residents, and most especially the dynamic between Zach and Amanda. What happened at Park Slope and what secrets are they keeping before one decided to commit a murder? 

To say this was a riveting domestic thriller is an understatement. Beneath this package it's also part legal thriller which explores the complications between couples, the threat of cyberbullying and finally, how much do you really know your other half? I've to say it took me some time to get settled with the story; both plot- and character-wise. It was a slow-burn and there's a few characters you've to familiarise with before the story take off, but let me assure you that all the wait and patience are worth it. 

The story was narrated by Lizzie and Amanda (six days before her death) and personally this type of execution works well with me as I like how one storyline/perspective parallel with the other as the story progresses until they merge to form an end. The characterisations are great; there're some whom I sympathised with, then there're also a few whose actions would make you shake your head and question why they'd do it. Overall, it was a great thriller and I love the author's writing a lot. I'm definitely picking this as one of my favourite reads this year.

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12 Responses
  1. Mystica Says:

    Author and book both new to me. I enjoyed the updates.

  2. Melody Says:

    Mystica - She's a new-to-me author too! I'll have to check out her older books considering how much I enjoyed this book.

  3. Lark Says:

    A five star read! This one must be good. :D

  4. I like this dual narratives as well. I haven't tried any of her books, but I look forward to reading this one at some point. I am glad you enjoyed it!

  5. Melody Says:

    Lark - Haven't read a book like this one that deserves a 5-stars in a while! And I'm so glad to have discover this author. :)

  6. Melody Says:

    Wendy - I always enjoy reading dual narratives. It's always interesting to read from different perspectives. :)

  7. jenclair Says:

    What a great review, Melody. I'm certainly intrigued!

  8. Susan Says:

    Same! I think the parallel story format helps make a mystery/thriller even more intense and suspenseful. I'll have to check this one out!

  9. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - Thanks, Jenclair! Hope you'll enjoy this book if you get to it. :)

  10. Melody Says:

    Susan - Glad we share the same sentiments on the parallel story format, Susan. Hope you'll enjoy reading this book as much as I did!

  11. Iliana Says:

    Ooh 5 stars! I'm pretty sure I have this one on my kindle so I'm excited to check it out.

  12. Melody Says:

    Iliana - I'll be curious of your thoughts if you do read it, Iliana. :)

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