Friday, June 2, 2023

She Started It

She Started It by Sian Gilbert
6/13/23; 352 pages

She Started It by Sian Gilbert is a highly recommended debut revenge thriller.

Annabel, Esther, Tanya, and Chloe were best friends when they left secondary school ten years ago. Now all 28, Annabel is currently a housewife married to a wealthy man; Chloe is a social media influencer; Esther is in investment banking; and Tanya is an event planner. They were all surprised but couldn't say no to an invitation from another girl they knew way back when, Poppy Greer.

Poppy has shockingly invited them all to a hen party, a bachelorette party, on a luxurious private Bahamian island and is asking them to all be her bridesmaids. She has sent them first-class plane tickets to the all expenses paid luxury vacation. How could they possibly say no, even when they all know how horribly they treated Poppy years earlier.

Readers will know from the opening that everything is not going to go well. These are all shallow self-centered annoying characters and their first shocking surprise is that Poppy is no longer the insecure social misfit they teased and tormented years earlier. It is clear that this event is going to go awry in a big way. The narrative unfolds through alternating chapters through the point-of-view of different characters.

You do have to set disbelief aside right at the start. Even if they were feeling remorse for their earlier actions, why on earth would anyone go to any luxury resort with the tacit agreement that you are going to be a bridesmaid for someone who you bullied and abused? The whole set up for the plot is improbable and unbelievable. But once you accept the premise of the plot, it is addictively compelling, especially because any astute reader will know that things are going to go terribly wrong and secrets will be exposed.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of HarperCollins via Edelweiss.

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