Paula Daly's debut novel, Just What Kind of Mother Are You? last year. It was 2013's first summer hammock read for me - the done in a day, read in the sun ones. (My review)
When I saw Daly had a new book out, I jumped at the chance to read Keep Your Friends Close. Well, the warm weather is taking its time getting here, but Keep Your Friends Close was another done in a day book.
Natty and Sean married young, but have built a good life for themselves and their daughters Alice and Felicity. Life is busy and their business is thriving, so they don't always have the luxury of quality time together. But they love each other and their relationship is solid.
Or so Natty thought. Natty's old friend Eve unexpectedly appears on their doorstep for a visit one day. The day before Natty has to rush to France as Felicity has fallen ill on a school trip. And best friend Eve offers to stay with Sean and Alice at the house to help. When Natty returns home to England, she finds that Eve has helped alright. Apparently she and Sean have fallen in love. Eve has taken her husband, her home and her life. Natty is stunned and has no idea what to do next. Until she gets an anonymous note....."Eve has done this before, more than once. Don’t let her take what’s yours."
Oh, what a deliciously devious read this was! We know what a conniving so-and-so Eve is as Daly gives us chilling glimpses into her thoughts. We can only helplessly watch as Natty's life falls apart, piece by piece. Every act that Eve perpetrates can be explained away, leaving Natty looking like the crazy one. If it was a movie I'd be shouting at the screen. With a book, it's so very tempting to just peek ahead a few chapters....just to see. I managed to restrain myself - barely.
Detective Constable Joanne Aspinall and her aunt Mad Jackie (my favourite - I love her no nonsense attitude) from Daly's first book return. I'm quite taken with both and hope that they appear in future novels. It's impossible not to root for Natty and hope that Eve gets her just desserts. (although I'm not too sure I myself would want Sean back.)
Daly has concocted a twisting, turning psychological thriller that will have you up till the wee hours. (And tucks in a nice little gotcha in the final pages of the book as well) I love this kind of thriller - an ordinary person thrust into extraordinary circumstances. What will they do? What would you do?
Absolutely put Keep Your Friends Close on your summer reading thrills list! Read an excerpt of Keep Your Friends Close. You can keep up with Paula Daly on Twitter. I'll be waiting for Daly's third book - The Day Before You Came.