Title: A Simple Favor
Author: Darcey Bell
Genre/Audience: Fiction, thriller, adult
Publication: Harper, 2017
Source: For review, TLC Book Tours
A Simple Favor is a gripping psychological thriller full of crazy characters and twists and turns akin to one of my favorites, Gone Girl.
Stephanie is a single mother, widow, and mom blogger who befriends the cool and stylish Emily, mother of one of her son’s classmates. Often staying late at work with a husband out of town on business, Emily frequently calls on Stephanie to pick up her son after school and keep an eye on him until she gets home. Stephanie doesn’t mind these simple favors until one day… Emily doesn’t come back. Soon enough, Stephanie is teaming up with the usually absent husband, Sean, to try and find the missing Emily. Much to their surprise, her body is found a short while later. Though the news is heartbreaking, they can finally rest knowing what really happened… or can they?
This is a suspenseful novel with a unique concept. I was immediately drawn to it because of the blogging aspect as well as the disappearance. I’m always drawn to missing persons cases both in real life and in fiction, and one of my favorite shows ever is Disappeared. Something about not knowing what happened to someone intrigues the hell out of me, and this book was no exception.
From the start, you are immediately suspect of nearly everyone, as each one of the main players here seem a bit off and with possible motive. No one can be trusted and every last one of them is unreliable. Each one — Stephanie, Emily, and Sean — have secrets that the others are not privy to and you have no idea who is telling the truth and when. In fact, none of them are particularly easy to like, either.
Comparisons were drawn between this book and Gone Girl, and I can certainly see why. If you like the twists and turns present in Gone Girl, I think you’ll appreciate this one too. Secret after secret is revealed and shocking revelations about each character eventually come to the surface. Now, I can’t say this is as shocking or quite as well done as Gone Girl, but it satisfied my appreciation for the dark and twisty.
I will say, I have a small bone to pick with the blogging aspect, as someone who has been blogging for nearly a decade. The blog entries seemed highly unrealistic and corny to me — really long, drawn out, and over the top. However, they did help to move the story along, no matter how annoying Stephanie was with her “hi moms!” over and over again.
All in all, I enjoyed the story and found it equally compelling and hard to put down. I was shocked quite a bit and loved hating these crazy characters.
My Rating: 4/5