Lucy Sharpe is larger than life. Magnetic, addictive. Bold and dangerous. Especially for Margot, who meets Lucy at the end of their freshman year at a liberal arts college in South Carolina. Margot is the shy one, the careful one, always the sidekick and never the center of attention. But when Lucy singles her out at the end of the year, a year Margot spent studying and playing it safe, and asks her to room together, something in Margot can’t say no—something daring, or starved, or maybe even envious.
And so Margot finds herself living in an off-campus house with three other girls, Lucy, the ringleader; Sloane, the sarcastic one; and Nicole, the nice one, the three of them opposites but also deeply intertwined. It’s a year that finds Margot finally coming out of the shell she’s been in since the end of high school, when her best friend Eliza died three weeks after graduation. Margot and Lucy have become the closest of friends, but by the middle of their sophomore year, one of the fraternity boys from the house next door has been brutally murdered… and Lucy Sharpe is missing without a trace.
A tantalizing thriller about the nature of friendship and belonging, about loyalty, envy, and betrayal—another gripping novel from an author quickly becoming the gold standard in psychological suspense.
-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.
Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings.
“If you knew you could get away with murder, would you do it?”
(3.5 / 5) If you’re in the mood for a slow-burn journey within a college setting, this might just be your cup of tea. This college-set tale has its highs and lows, but the overall experience is an exploration of friendships, mysteries, and a protagonist with a questionable character arc.
The narrative takes its sweet time to unravel, offering readers a slow-burn with potential. The college setting adds an extra layer to the story, creating a backdrop that increases the stakes as the plot develops.
“But friends for life is a myth, a fable. A feel-good fairy tale we tell ourselves to avoid having to think too hard about facing the world alone.”
Margot, the main character, adds an interesting dynamic. Her pliability to the influence of friends creates a character who is not always reliable. This added a complexity I wasn’t a fan of, turning me off to the bulk of the story.
While the slow burn can be enticing, the middle tested my patience and I found myself craving more immediate revelations. The need for bits of juicy information to maintain my attention was a concern and I craved a better balance in pacing.
The slow build finds its payoff in a great ending. The story has a satisfying conclusion that ties up loose ends and delivers the anticipated emotional punch. The strength of the finale compensated for the mid-story lull.
General content summary: F words= 18, language, alcohol (some underage, multiple), depression, sedative abuse, self harm (very small mention), marijuana, grief, missing college student, cigarettes, young woman death (previous, grief, fall from a height), pill (drug Molly), car accident death (previous), intimacy (few details), stabbing (blood), rape (few details, previous, death).
Thank you to Minotaur Books for the copy!
The book releases January 16, 2024.
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