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  • Writer's pictureKindig


Updated: Mar 19, 2019




When Geo was 16 her best friend disappeared, 14 years later the past is coming back to haunt her – who will be next?

Jar of Hearts focuses on main character Geo who is a hard-edged, successful business woman with a secret who is well used to lying to get what she wants. Against the odds I actually quite liked Geo as a character, she had a lot of depth to her and kept a lot of details to herself, without giving everything away even to the reader. The mechanic of having an unreliable narrator worked really well to stop the plot from being too predictable. If we had known all of the details at the beginning the plot would have been quite easy to guess but drip-feeding us important information at key points in the plot made it impossible to jump ahead. The use of flash-backs and jumps in perspective between Geo and her friend/police officer Kaiser also help to keep the pacing of the book just right – it kept me hooked to read more!

Jar of Hearts is an interesting story exploring first love, obsession and abuse tied up in a murder mystery which is delicately painted. The chapters set in the women’s prison were well-researched, I felt that they were realistic and relatable and the characters we were introduced to inside were well developed.

My only criticism would be that the author was a bit too keen to come to the conclusion with quite a number of characters that committing sexual or emotional abuse was an entirely genetic trait. There is a whole nature vs nurture debate in science and psychology but Jennifer Hillier makes it very clear which side she is on! As someone who believes there is a combination of factors at work, I found a few of the points made a little unrealistic at times.

Overall Jar of Hearts is a well-paced and detailed ride led by an unreliable narrator to keep you intrigued and guessing at every turn. Thank you to Netgalley and Atlantic Books for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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