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Sunday, January 14, 2018

REVIEW: Just Between Us by Rebecca Drake @stmartinspress @authorrdrake

Just Between Us
by Rebecca Drake

Thanks so much to St. Martin's Press for this book in return for my honest opinion. 
Continue below for the synopsis, my review, about the author and praise for this outstanding book!

Publisher:  St. Martin's Griffin
Publishing: January 9, 2018
Pages: 384
Genres:  Domestic Thriller, Fiction, Crime

Goodreads Synopsis

Four suburban mothers and friends conspire to cover up a deadly crime in this heart-stopping novel of suspense in the tradition of Lisa Scottoline and Lisa Unger.

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.

My Review

Here is a story of four women and their friendship.  Sarah and Julie, who are the oldest friends that eventually befriend newcomers, Alison and Heather.  Alison is a bit passive aggressive and needy.  Julie is a realtor who just wants everything to be sunshine and rainbows.  Sarah is a former lawyer who gave up her career to be a stay at home mom and is the bluntest of the group.  Then there's Heather, the newest member, a former model married to a successful surgeon and has started showing up to their get-togethers with bruises.... and one night a fateful call comes from Heather and she needs their help.  Just how far would you go to protect your friend?  

"The strange thing about a secret is it longs to be told."

Everyone has secrets.  Everybody's marriage is different and you can never truly know everything about your spouse, your kid or your friends.  Sometimes those secrets come back to bite you in the ass.  This is a tale of friendship, deceit, manipulation and loyalty.  When one of your friends is getting hurt, what would you do to try and stop it?  What if she won't leave?  How far can you help someone who won't help themselves?? It's a fine line to walk isn't it?

What I liked about this book was the linear timeline - while we see through each of the four women's perspectives, we don't get the same scene regurgitated through different sets of eyes.  Instead, the timeline continues to move forward with each perspective.  I especially liked that the top of each page indicated whose perspective it was as you were reading.  With the close friendships of the women and the dynamics each of them had with each other, this book gave me lots of Big Little Lies feels.  

I did feel the book was a bit predictable but it didn't take away from me wanting to see how exactly it all played out.  There were definitely some nuances that were included that I wasn't expecting!  I felt like this was more a domestic drama/thriller than a psychological one.  If you're looking for a lighter, dramatic thriller this is a book for you.  Those who like Lisa Scottoline and Liane Moriaty will love this story as well.  

About the Author

REBECCA DRAKE is the author of the novels Don’t Be AfraidThe Next KillingThe 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.


"A twisty, domestic thriller [...] tense, bombshell-laden, and action-packed." — Publisher's Weekly

"Female friendships flourish, then falter, under the weight of chance events underlaid by secrecy and deceit [...] Drake shows a sure hand in spinning suburban thrillers." —Booklist

"Fans of Liane Moriarty and B.A. Paris are going to love this twisty, diabolical suburban thriller. Clear your evening, you won't be able to put it down." — J.T. Ellison, New York Times bestselling author of Lie to Me

"Rebecca Drake's Just Between Us is a stunner - a tense, twisty thriller about four ordinary women that begs the question: When a friend is in trouble, and all you want to do is help, how can everything go so terribly wrong?" — Karen Dionne, author The Marsh King's Daughter

"Rebecca Drake's Just Between Us is a riveting thriller that reveals the dark heart beating in the middle of American suburbia. Every character in this rich novel has a secret, and the secrets get deeper and darker as the pitch-perfect plot unfolds. This is a stunning story of friendship and the tangled lies that bind four women together. Don't miss it!" — David Bell, author of Bring Her Home

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