Reading · Writing

Book Review: Keep Your Friends close by Janelle Harris

Genre: Domestic Fiction

Rating: 4/5

Plot:

Darcy Hogan’s perfect life is all over social media. She’s beautiful, she’s successful, and she and her childhood sweetheart are about to become parents for the first time. But behind all the followers and the superficial likes lurks a darker truth…

In reality, Darcy feels isolated and afraid. Her difficult pregnancy has her confined to the house, she’s being harassed online, and out-of-control debt threatens to ruin everything she’s worked so hard for.

When her husband is summoned away on business, Darcy’s cabin fever soon spirals into fear. Who is making mysterious phone calls and knocking on her door? Is it an old friend trying to reach out—or a stranger determined to push in?

As her due date creeps closer, Darcy feels ever more certain that someone is out to get her. She’s desperate to get away—but is she running from the right person?

My verdict: A fantastic Domestic thriller from Janelle! First, let me thank Netgalley for letting me read this fantastic debut, I can tell you know that Harris’s short, sharp and eerie writing style reminded me of Shalini Boland. This book has everything, the glitz and glamour that comes with being a local celebrity, murders and disappearances and old school revenge. It’s perfect for fans of Lianne Moriarty and Lisa Jewel an£ whilst the book has the hallmarks of a great thriller it touches on serious issues like bullying, blackmail, debilitating morning sickness (like the Duchess of Cambridge who has said herself that there is little understanding of the condition and is almost an unspoken topic for fear of being labelled a drama queen) and a serious psychosis and split personality disorder. Already Janelle has a nack for cliffhangers and foreshadowing which can be hard in a debut thriller but I love that she is able make us experience Darcey’# paranoia and Tina’s bitterness and loneliness. I also love how she was able to portray Gillian as a third primary narrator when in fact it is a representation of the true culprits state of mind. However it may just be me but I thought I was able to figure out the major plot twists early on and would have loved some more red herrings to add to the element of suspense and mystery. I did however love the use of flash backs and newspaper clippings as well as the first person point of view to truly show us the culprit’s obsession, vindictiveness and manipulation. Overall, a nice debut with lot of different mediums incorporated but the ending was a bit obvious for me. However, this is a skill Janelle will improve over time. I would love go have seen more subplots incorporated.

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