Happy publication day Sarah Wray! Sarah’s second novel, ‘Her Best Friend’ is published today by Bookouture and, to help celebrate the release of Sarah’s new novel, a host of bloggers are taking part in a blog blitz which kicks off today! I am rather honoured to be one of the four bloggers kicking off the blog blitz with my review. Huge thanks to Bookouture for the blitz invite, as well as the ARC of Sarah Wray’s novel. Here is my review:
You couldn’t have done anything to save her.
Or could you?
Sylvie Armstrong has been running from her past for twenty years – until her mother’s death forces her to return to her home town, along with her newborn daughter.
Overwhelmed by grief in her childhood home, Sylvie tries to block out the memories that surround her – but then someone leaves a gift on her doorstep: a gold necklace with a heart-shaped locket.
This locket belonged to Sylvie’s best friend, Victoria Preston – and she was wearing it the night she died. Now it’s back in Sylvie’s life…and it soon becomes clear that somebody knows what really happened to Victoria.
Sylvie has to know the truth. But is she in terrible danger?
What does TWG think?
What an intriguing storyline!
Sylvie is trying her hardest to forget her past, especially considering the fact that her past contains memories of her best friend, Victoria’s, death. Buried emotions are brought back to the surface when Victoria’s parents put their daughter’s death back into the media, hoping someone would finally own up for Victoria’s death. Seeing as twenty years has passed and nobody has come forward, the community aren’t holding out much hope for the killer to randomly come forward after all of this time…
The storyline of ‘Her Best Friends’ switches between the past and present. Whilst we do get to go back in time to the night of Victoria’s death, we only really catch a glimpse of what happened that night. Predominantly the emotion, naturally. Reading those ‘past’ parts of the book, it probably sounds ignorant of me to say, but I didn’t feel like there was anything untoward apart from the obvious. If you asked me to point a finger at one of the characters who I thought were responsible or knew something about Victoria’s death, I honestly wouldn’t have been able to. That said, when Victoria’s parents brought in Sam to help put the murder back into the media, I only began to suspect a character because of other character’s opinions and not because I managed to work it out. In all honesty, putting my faith into certain characters who decided to come out of the woodwork at the ‘right’ time, really was naive of me. However, due to the way in which the author had told the story, I was able to over think Victoria’s death big time which meant that when the story concluded, the truth had my jaw dropping by at least 6 foot.
As horrible as this probably sounds, when I was reading the parts where Victoria was alive, I found myself disliking her almost straight away. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I thought Victoria deserved to die – that would be nasty, but there was something about her character which really, really bugged me. Not that it matters, obviously, as she only appeared in the book for a short amount of time!
‘Her Best Friend’ is such an addictive read. This isn’t the sort of book where you can think ‘just one more chapter then I’ll go to bed’. Not at all. It’s the type of book which is extremely likely to get under your skin, with an even higher chance of removing any sign of logical thinking when it comes to pausing the book. It would not surprise me if most of the readers who picked up Sarah Wray’s novel, turned round and said that they finished it in one sitting.
Even though most of my thoughts of this book are extremely positive, there were a couple of chapters where I felt like the storyline had slowed down far too much, which meant that I was left waiting for everything to pick back up again. Personally I feel that the storyline would have flowed a bit better if the pace was a bit faster. However, I still enjoyed the book nonetheless.
I began this book with no expectations, but I ended the book with my jaw on the floor and the words, ‘what the f…..’ spilling out of my mouth before I could even stop them. What a fantastic, unexpected conclusion which, in my eyes, was the star of the show tenfold.
Sarah Wray is originally from Yorkshire but now lives in Newcastle-upon-Tyne where she works as a technology writer and editor. She won a Northern Writers’ Award (Arvon Award) in 2015 for an early version of her first novel.
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