After her husband’s big promotion, Cece Solarin arrives in Brighton with their three children, ready to start afresh. But their new neighbourhood has a deadly secret.
Three weeks earlier, Yvonne, a very popular parent, was almost murdered in the grounds of the local school – the same school where Cece has unwittingly enrolled her children.
Already anxious about making friends when the parents seem so cliquey, Cece is now also worried about her children’s safety. By chance she meets Maxie, Anaya and Hazel, three very different school mothers who make her feel welcome and reassure her about her new life.
That is until Cece discovers the police believe one of her new friends tried to kill Yvonne. Reluctant to spy on her friends but determined to discover the truth, Cece must uncover the potential murderer before they strike again . . .
So anyone who knows me or for anyone who might have been reading my book blog for a little while now will know how much of a huge fan of Dorothy Koomson I am and that I have been for over ten years now! I met Dorothy last year at an event in Birmingham when she was promoting her then latest novel That Girl From Nowhere (also a fabulous and recommended read btw!) and my fan-girling only continued!
As you can imagine after reading the above, I was absolutely ecstatic to receive a copy of The Friend with a note from Dorothy on some beautiful seeded paper which will flower when put into a pot with some soil and watered regularly (watch this space!). I honestly felt so lucky to have received such an amazing parcel through the post from my favourite author – thank you so much to Dorothy and to her publisher for thinking of me!
Onto the novel itself, the blurb sounded absolutely brilliant and I can confirm the novel itself did not disappoint at all – it is epic! The thriller / psychological parts of the novel were a slightly unusual choice of genre for the author in comparison to her previous novels and storylines but I thought these elements of the novel were gripping, twisty and addictive – a real credit to the novel. In true Dorothy Koomson fashion, the novel slowly unravels page by page without giving too much away too soon and knowing what was going on became essential for me! As always, her characters felt thoroughly developed and really added and extra depth and even a kind of reality to the plot. The novel does feel quite saturated with different names and people but when you get into the flow of it, everything soon falls into place and you get the hang of who people are (or who the author wants you to think they are!). I really enjoyed the different storylines that come together throughout the novel to the main storyline of the novel. I loved reading about and discovering each character individually which I felt was quite an unusual thing for an author to do. This is when the plot really comes into its own. It flows beautifully and it becomes more and more impossible to put down as the reader becomes more and more invested in the characters and the situation within which they all find themselves.
The fine details that are included within the novel is what I’ve come to expect from this author and this is always very much appreciated and this also adds an extra layer of depth and authenticity to the plot and to its protagonists.
I really enjoyed the combination of Dorothy’s usual exploration of families and relationships with this newer inclusion of thriller and psychological elements. The pairing worked absolutely beautifully and I found this novel to be gripping and engaging from start to finish. I would definitely recommend this as a great summer read curled up in the garden or on holiday. Thank you once again to Dorothy and to her publisher for sending me an advanced copy of this novel. I LOVED it. Thank you, thank you, thank you!