Friends and Liars by Kaela Coble
Black Friday deals - an avalanche of bookish bargains, plus extra discounts and clearance items - live now at Foyles
|Friends and Liars by Kaela Coble|
|Reviewer: Holly Lewtas|
|Summary: Kaela Coble brings together mystery, romance and elements of a psychological thriller in this engrossing, suspenseful novel that shows you how secrets can never stay hidden. You will not be able to put this book down.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 304||Date: June 2017|
|External links: Author's website|
Kaela Coble's debut novel Friends and Liars is a gripping read which tells the tale of 'the crew', a group of friends who once made a pact to always be honest with each other. So what happens when none of them keep this pact? After not being together for over ten years the crew are reunited at the wake of one of their own, Danny Deuso, who has left a haunting suicide note along with an envelope for each crew member containing their darkest secret. They are now faced with two options: reveal their secrets or face the risk that Danny will reveal them from beyond the grave.
The story is written mainly in the perspective of Ruby St James, a 28 year old with an alcoholic mother who abandoned the crew 10 years ago without even a goodbye. From the very beginning the readers are left wondering why and Coble does not give this information up easily. Perhaps a risky move, Coble chose to incorporate into this story insightful perspectives from different crew members, constantly flitting between both the past and present. When I started reading this story I feared that it would be confusing yet the multiple perspectives immensely enhance the book and set it out from others of a similar genre. The times when Danny narrates parts of the book are undoubtedly chilling. Each chapter is so inkeeping with the others that the story flows incredibly well. As you learn about the secrets the characters are trying to hide from their friends in the present, you begin to unravel how these secrets came about in the past.
Although the book deals with the serious topics of suicide and grief, Coble is not one to beat around the bush as she uses her characters to explore the less obvious effects that a death can have on a person. This brutal honesty which Coble is not afraid to show, as she compares grieving to a competitive sport, is what makes this book clearly her own as she takes a situation like a funeral and looks at the ideas and emotions associated with it that people are often too afraid, or maybe more likely ashamed, to say out loud.
Coble fascinated me in the way that she was able to give each character their own personality straight away and within the first few chapters you had already chosen who you were rooting for. Mixed into this mystery is a love story between Ruby and Murphy, her first love. As the story progresses you find your heart breaking as you read about Ruby's past but within a few pages are so frustrated with her present self!
My only criticism for this book is that I simply couldn't put it down! Having read a few mysteries before I am a self proclaimed detective yet Coble put me completely to shame. You are constantly left guessing throughout the twists and turns of the book and what makes it even more annoying yet enthralling is the fact that you are not just faced with one envelope containing a secret to guess but five… There is so much you don't know as the reader but this is by no means a fault.
If you are looking for an invigorating read do not be put off by the fact that this a debut novel as Coble writes so ingeniously that it will quickly become one of your favourite books of the year, as it did for me. As soon as you finish this book you will restart it without haste to see what red herrings you fell for and which clues you missed.
If Friends and Liars doesn't satisfy your inner detective and you're looking for something with an even darker tone then I would definitely recommend Sweetpea by C J Skuse.
You can read more book reviews or buy Friends and Liars by Kaela Coble at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Friends and Liars by Kaela Coble at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.