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Title: A Simple Favor
Author: Darcey Bell
Publish Date: March 21, 2017
Genre: Psychological Thriller
My Rating: 3/5
She’s your best friend.
She knows all your secrets.
That’s why she’s so dangerous.
A single mother’s life is turned upside down when her best friend vanishes in this chilling debut thriller in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.
It starts with a simple favor—an ordinary kindness mothers do for one another. When her best friend, Emily, asks Stephanie to pick up her son Nicky after school, she happily says yes. Nicky and her son, Miles, are classmates and best friends, and the five-year-olds love being together—just like she and Emily. A widow and stay-at-home mommy blogger living in woodsy suburban Connecticut, Stephanie was lonely until she met Emily, a sophisticated PR executive whose job in Manhattan demands so much of her time.
But Emily doesn’t come back. She doesn’t answer calls or return texts. Stephanie knows something is terribly wrong—Emily would never leave Nicky, no matter what the police say. Terrified, she reaches out to her blog readers for help. She also reaches out to Emily’s husband, the handsome, reticent Sean, offering emotional support. It’s the least she can do for her best friend. Then, she and Sean receive shocking news. Emily is dead. The nightmare of her disappearance is over.
Or is it? Because soon, Stephanie will begin to see that nothing—not friendship, love, or even an ordinary favor—is as simple as it seems.
A Simple Favor is a remarkable tale of psychological suspense—a clever and twisting free-fall of a ride filled with betrayals and reversals, twists and turns, secrets and revelations, love and loyalty, murder and revenge. Darcey Bell masterfully ratchets up the tension in a taut, unsettling, and completely absorbing story that holds you in its grip until the final page.
Stephanie and Emily are best friends. Emily asks a favor of Stephanie – to watch her son one afternoon and she’ll pick him up that evening… but Emily never comes back.
Stephanie is a widow and mommy blogger with a young son. Emily is a working mom with a young son. They don’t seem to have much in common, other than their sons are friends, but soon they also become friends. They also both have secrets in their past that they don’t want to get out.
A Simple Favor is told with alternating points of view – Stephanie, Emily, and Sean. Plus, some of the story is told using posts from Stephanie’s blog. Stephanie is naive, creepy, and fake. Emily is arty, manipulative, and awful. Sean is Emily’s dopey husband.
A Simple Favor is a twisted psychological thriller. I enjoyed the writing style, but the story itself was not that great. Stephanie and Emily are both unlikable, and not in a “they’re morally corrupt, but interesting” way. Even with unlikable characters, I want to root for someone, and this book didn’t have that. There were some interesting happenings and twists. It’s just unfortunate that I never connected with any characters.
Books by Darcey Bell:
- A Simple Favor
- Something She’s Not Telling Us
- All I Want
- Woman of the Year