Keep Your Friends Close by Paula Daly

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Keep Your Friends Close by Paula Daly

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Category: Thrillers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A great psychological thriller which will keep you up late and not let you put the book down. Highly recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 400 Date: May 2015
Publisher: Corgi
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0552169349

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Natty and Sean seem to have a good marriage - to have everything, in fact. They didn't have a particularly propitious start: Natty's pregnancy precipitated the marriage and meant that Sean couldn't do the law degree he'd set his heart on, but they now own an upmarket hotel in the lake district, have a lovely home and drive the sort of cars more commonly associated with premier league footballers. Their daughters are in their teens now and it's when the younger, Felicity, is on a school trip to France that the problems start.

It's a long-standing marriage and romance has been replaced by the need to be in too many places at once and get everything perfect. As for passion, well, that's certainly evaporated for Natty. Things ought to be a little easier for her at the moment though as she has Eve Dalladay staying with her. They've been friends since university, but it's early in the stay when Natty hears that Felicity has been taken seriously ill in France. On balance it seems that the best thing to do is for Natty to fly to France whilst Sean looks after the hotel and Alice, Felicity's elder sister. Natty never considered that there might be any problem in leaving Eve in the house - but Eve lacks a conscience and where men are concerned she knows how to act the slut. When Natty eventually returns from France with a very weak Felicity, her marriage has fallen apart.

It's a couple of years since I first read Paula Daly but as soon as Keep Your Friends Close landed on my desk I remembered what a great read that had been. There are many of the same elements here: the lake district setting, the mix of the rich and affluent living cheek by jowl with those who only manage to scrape a living and the fact that you don't always know people you think of as friends as well as you think. It's also a brilliant page turner as Natty struggles to cope with what's happening to her - and it's made even more complicated by the fact that there are secrets which she's desperately trying to keep hidden. As in What Kind of Mother Are You? you won't know that you'd have made the same choices that Natty made - but you're not sure what you would do either.

The plotting is superb: everything knits together exquisitely and it's the sort of book which you'll read again simply to see how it was done. The delicious twist at the end might not carry the same weight the second time around but you'll be even more appreciative of the skill that's gone into crafting this book. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

I first came to Paula Daly because her first book had a recommendation from one of my favourite authors - Elizabeth Haynes. When Paula Daly has given you a taste for good thrillers you could start with Elizabeth Haynes Into The Darkest Corner and then continue reading.

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Buy Keep Your Friends Close by Paula Daly at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Keep Your Friends Close by Paula Daly at


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