THE FRIEND ****
Updated: Mar 19, 2019
Sophie is on a train when she is informed her son and his friend have suffered a terrible accident. Whilst frantically waiting for the train to take her back home she relives the moments that have got her to where she is now. Should she have trusted her new friend with her child?
The Friend is a psychological thriller mainly told from the perspective of Sophie as she starts her new life in the small village of Tedbury, makes a new friend and raises her son, Ben. The plot is well thought out and there’s the perfect balance of flashback vs present narrative to keep you intrigued. It also occasionally skips to different character perspectives for a chapter or two to advance the story and the threads all pull together in a great crescendo at the end of the book. In the last few chapters especially the pace upswings dramatically and although it was getting late I couldn’t tear myself away from it to sleep – I had to know what was going to happen!
The book gives you just enough information throughout and then unexpectedly floors you with something new, whether that’s a large event, a sinister phrasing from a character or a new backstory – everything is handed to the reader in slow, methodical drips to keep you reading and wanting to find out more. Although this lends itself to a great pace and makes the ending more dramatic, I think it does become a bit too much at times which can be a little frustrating to the reader. There’s also a couple of really odd phrases used in this book that I personally hadn’t heard of (and as I could see the editor’s comments on the kindle version – neither had they!)
It’s a nicely written and complex story that includes a lot of details but it’s easy to read and keeps you guessing right until the very end. I would highly recommend The Friend and thank you to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for an ARC copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.