Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A Simple Favor: A Novel by Darcey Bell

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

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.

my thoughts:

Hmm...not sure what to write. I just finished A Simple Favor the other day, so its still fresh in my mind.

Stephanie is a mommy blogger, widow, and BFF to Emily.  Her life is her son, Miles.  One day, Emily asks Stephanie to pick up her son Nicky from school - he's Miles' BFF.  Stephanie takes him home and expects Emily to pick him up later that evening.  Except, Emily never shows.  Days pass by and still now word from Emily.  Stephanie starts to panic as she worries that something awful has happened to her BFF.  She even phones Emily's husband, Sean, to find out if he knows where his wife is at.  He doesn't.  He's in London on business and heard that Emily was also away on business.  Stephanie begins to think she misheard Emily and that she wants her to look after Nicky for a few days and not just the one afternoon.  And then Sean comes home from London and realizes that Emily is still nowhere to be found and panic really sets in.  The cops are phoned, but they brush the whole thing off.  They believe Emily wanted a few days of rest and took off.  Stephanie doesn't believe her friend would leave Nicky behind.  As events unfold, Stephanie blogs about it all.  She posts about Nicky missing his mom, Sean becoming her friend, and finding out that Emily has died.  Yep, Emily's body is found and the mourning begins.  We find out that Nicky is acting out and blaming Stephanie for his mom's passing.  Sean and Stephanie are becoming more than friends.  And, one of the "mommies" reading Stephanie's posts is Emily.  Say what?!  Turns out she didn't die! I don't want to give anything away, so I'll just leave you with these words: twins, insurance policy, fish, ring.

Okay, so the story does sound interesting, right?  A friend helping out a friend who disappears.  Pretty intriguing, eh?  Well, its not.  I'm serious.  The story is lackluster and falls flat.  There are not twists and turns.  You can see everything coming long before it happens.  I will give you an example: when Emily shows Stephanie her prized possession - a photograph of twins by a famous photographer (we later learn its Diane Arbus) and asks her which twin she thinks is the dominant one - hello! huge clue!!  My point is that nothing surprising happens in the book.  There is no suspense or thrill.  Its just one event unfolding after the other in such a predictable manner. I skim read the book to get to the end and found myself wishing I had passed on this book. It just wasn't an exciting read like I had expected.  A Simple Favor is a HUGE miss for me.

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: A Simple Favor
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!


Lark said...

I was getting excited about this book until you said there were no unexpected twists or turns and that you saw everything coming miles ahead of time. That's disappointing. I prefer my psychological thrillers to be suspenseful AND unexpected. Guess I'll be passing on this one.

A Bookish Way of Life said...

Lark, exactly! I expected to be thrown for a loop, but you aren't with this book. Everything is just too predictable and cliched. Definitely a book to pass on.

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.

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