Monday, 29 January 2018

Book Review: BEST FRIENDS FOREVER by Margot Hunt

Author: Margot Hunt
Harlequin (Australia)
January 18
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟1/2

Book Description:

Kat Grant and Alice Campbell have a friendship forged in shared confidences and long lunches lubricated by expensive wine. Though they’re very different women—the artsy socialite and the struggling suburbanite—they’re each other’s rocks. But even rocks crumble under pressure. Like when Kat’s financier husband, Howard, plunges to his death from the second-floor balcony of their South Florida mansion.

Howard was a jerk, a drunk, a bully and, police say, a murder victim. The questions begin piling up. Like why Kat has suddenly gone dark: no calls, no texts and no chance her wealthy family will let Alice see her. Why investigators are looking so hard in Alice’s direction. Who stands to get hurt next. And who is the cool liar—the masterful manipulator behind it all.

My musings:

Twisted female friendships usually make the perfect basis for a thriller, so I was instantly drawn to the premise of Best Friends Forever. Kat and Alice are polar opposites: Kat, the impulsive and slightly spoiled socialite from a rich family background, living in a big mansion with her successful financier husband; and Alice, the introverted brainiac who approaches life’s problems much like she would solve one of her logic puzzles. As they say, opposites attract, and somehow the two women’s different personality traits complement each other, making the friendship work – until one day it doesn’t, and Alice is left out in the cold, without a word of explanation from her former best friend.

In her novel, Hunt introduced the concept of “ghosting” to me, the practice of ending a personal relationship without explanation by suddenly withdrawing from all communication and freezing them out, despite the other person’s attempts to reach out or communicate. Strange that I have never heard that term before (I mentioned in a previous post that I do live under a rock sometimes), but it is the perfect word for this terrible way to end a friendship. I felt for Alice as she is initially pondering why her friend won’t answer her calls, which soon turns into panic as she finds that not only has Kat frozen her out, but has also implicated her as a potential suspect in a murder case.  Since the reader only has Alice’s narration to go by, I too was puzzled as to why Kat would leave her friend in this situation, coming up with all kinds of scenarios that would explain her behaviour. Some of these proved to be correct. However, as is the gift of a clever thriller writer, the author managed to throw in an extra twist at the end I absolutely did not see coming!

There was one point in the book where I thought the author had created the perfect opportunity to create some extra tension and intrigue to what had been a slow-burning story of friendship so far, which would justify its label as “psychological thriller”. Unfortunately this did not fully materialise, which was perhaps my biggest quibble with the book and left me feeling slightly let down at the time, as it did not mess with my mind as much as I had hoped. However, if you are a fan of chick-lit inspired slow-burning mysteries with that extra twist that leaves you slightly open mouthed with a WTF!?!?! expression stamped on your face, then this one might be just the book for you. I admit I had to flick back and re-read an earlier chapter to see what I had missed!


Whilst I have to admit that Best Friends Forever was a bit slow for me at times, and didn’t mess with my mind enough to stand out from other very similar books I have read in the past, it provided a quick, entertaining read with a surprise twist at the end faintly reminiscent of The Kind Worth Killing. It was the perfect beach read for a lazy summer afternoon, and I look forward to reading more from this author to see what she will come up with next. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Harlequin Australia for the free electronic copy of this novel and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review.

If you enjoy mysteries based on female friendships, you may also enjoy:

The Lying Game The Lying Game, by Ruth Ware  
The Perfect Stranger The Perfect Stranger, by Megan Miranda
Don't You Cry Don't You Cry, by Mary Kubica
Big Little Lies Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty
Watching Edie Watching Edie, by Camilla Way
Friend Request Friend Request, by Laura Marshall
Blame Blame, by Nicole Trope

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