Length: 374 pages
Please note that the cover image leads to a universal buy link for the PAPERBACK of this book (I read the arc on Kindle)
What they say: Four suburban mothers conspire to cover up a deadly crime in Just Between Us, a heart-stopping novel of suspense by Rebecca Drake.
Alison, Julie, Sarah, Heather. Four friends living the suburban ideal. Their jobs are steady, their kids are healthy. They’re as beautiful as their houses. But each of them has a dirty little secret, and hidden behind the veneer of their perfect lives is a crime and a mystery that will consume them all.
Everything starts to unravel when Alison spots a nasty bruise on Heather’s wrist. She shares her suspicions with Julie and Sarah, compelling all three to investigate what looks like an increasingly violent marriage. As mysterious injuries and erratic behavior mount, Heather can no longer deny the abuse, but she refuses to leave her husband. Desperate to save her, Alison and the others dread the phone call telling them that she’s been killed. But when that call finally comes, it’s not Heather who’s dead. In a moment they’ll come to regret, the women must decide what lengths they’ll go to in order to help a friend.
Just Between Us is a thrilling glimpse into the underbelly of suburbia, where not all neighbors can be trusted, and even the closest friends keep dangerous secrets. You never really know what goes on in another person’s mind, or in their marriage.
The Review: You’ll know already that I’m a big fan of books with many characters (obviously only when done well, when they’re too confusing they send my head into a spin!), and thrillers that are page turners, but without too much violence in them and so this book was very much made for me. This is the story of a group of friends who know each other very well, but not as well as they’d thought. Like all groups there are some that get on better than others, some who secretly irritate the others, but they all meet up under the guise and go through the motions, a few glasses of wine, or a coffee and some banter.
Each of the characters lead very different lives which makes for great reading, there’s differences in personalities, attitudes to work and then there’s of course you see too whether a positive or negative attitude prevails (and experience the boom when they collide!) I knew each of the characters within minutes and loved learning of the secrets they were keeping.
As you can see there is a bruise spotted on Heather’s wrist and the group begins to realise that they don’t know anything about the seemingly perfect marriage between her and her plastic surgeon husband, Viktor. What happens next comes from the point of views of each of the women, as they muddle through with the largest secret they’ve ever had bearing down on them. The veering off of each of the characters into starting to look out for themselves, and turning against others is brilliantly done, with surprises popping up all over the place to throw you off course and have seeds of doubt coming into play as they realise that they may not be the only one who knows of the life changing night in question.
I really enjoyed this book and read it over two days, devouring it. Although the ending wasn’t totally for me, I found the settings and characters excellent and the surprises constant which was exactly what I needed to pull me out of a reading slump. I don’t think it will set lovers of fast paced thrillers on fire, but for me, it was a gem and I’ll definitely be looking out this author again. Thanks to St Martin’s Press and Netgalley for this book in return for an honest review.
About the Author
Rebecca Drake is the author of the novels Don’t Be Afraid, The Next Killing, The Dead Place, which was an IMBA bestseller, and Only Ever You, as well as the short story “Loaded,” which was featured in Pittsburgh Noir. A graduate of Penn State University and former journalist, she is currently an instructor in Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction M.F.A. program. Rebecca lives in Pittsburgh, PA, with her husband and two children.