The Favor by Nora Murphy
5/31/22; 288 pages
The Favor by Nora Murphy is a highly recommended psychological thriller.
Leah and McKenna both have abusive spouses and are leading the
same horrific existence, although they don't know each other. Leah
is the one who first notices McKenna and recognizes someone who is
in an abusive relationship. She begins to secretly spy on McKenna
and her husband Zach. When she sees an act of violence perpetrated
by Zach toward McKenna, Leah intervenes, altering the fate of both
women's lives. Which is good because Leah could use someone who is
watching her husband, Liam, and his violence toward her.
Leah and McKenna are fully realized characters who will elicit a
lot of sympathy. Their situations are clearly very similar, where
their husbands are controlling their every move, leaving them
basically prisoners in their homes and marriages. they are both
well educated professional women who have found themselves not
working and living a life of leisure that they don't necessarily
want. The husbands, Zach and Liam are less developed as
characters, but this works in the situation that Murphy has set up
for her heroines. Later in the novel, Detective Jordan Harrison,
of the Clarkstown Police, is investigating and in contact with
The Favor has been compared to a feminist retake on Strangers
on a Train, so this might be something to keep in mind when
choosing to read it. It does provide a portrait of domestic abuse
as seen through the lives of two similar women although the
comparison could be stretched to encompass more women in different
situations. The voices of Leah and McKenna are shared in
alternating chapters so the readers will know their thoughts, struggles,
and the truth about what has been going on in their marriages. For
those who love procedurals, there are elements of
one in the narrative as Detective Harrison conducts his
Once it starts, The Favor never lets up. It is a totally
engrossing compelling novel that should hold your attention
throughout. There is a plethora of helpful information regarding
domestic abuse after the narrative ends in the
notes/ acknowledgements. Murphy also makes the point that a woman's
success and education doesn't protect her from domestic violence.
This is a debut novel, which is an accomplishment in itself.
Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Macmillian Publishers.