Thursday, August 20, 2020

The Best of Friends

The Best of Friends by Lucinda Berry
Thomas & Mercer: 8/18/20
review copy; 284 pages

The Best of Friends by Lucinda Berry is a highly recommended drama that follows three families after a tragedy.

In a wealthy southern California neighborhood best friends Lindsey, Kendra, and Dani are devastated after a tragic incident with a gun involving their three sons, Jacob, Sawyer, and Caleb. The teens were having a sleepover which resulted in the death of Kendra's son, Sawyer, and left Lindsey's son Jacob in a coma. Dani's son Jacob was not shot, but is uncommunicative but has nightmares and breakdowns. Do they really know each other and their sons? Is their friendship going to withstand the tragedy and resulting investigation?

Alternating chapters are told from each woman's point-of-view as they try to deal with the tragedy and figure out what happened and why. Everyone has secrets, shortcomings, and questions which, as they are revealed, put a strain on relationships. Detective Martin Locke questions the couples and their other children, but they all know he is keeping some information to himself (obviously).

The plot is well done, creating tension and questions, as these women face the nightmare their lives has become. The Best of Friends is a straightforward story. It is focused on these three women after a tragedy involving their sons and the disclosure of secrets involving each family and their sons. This isn't a thriller. We aren't looking for a suspect. We're looking for answers as to why this incident happened.

 Berry slowly provides clues and reveals secrets about the night and the teens.  The writing does have some flaws. The individual voices of the three women are not as distinctive as clearly defined as individuals as I would have liked. Reading did require paying close attention to who was talking to avoid confusion. The characters are portrayed more like caricatures rather than complex unique individuals. The plot, however, and seeking out the truth about that night is what will keep you glued to the pages.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Thomas & Mercer.

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