One Perfect Morning by Pamela Crane

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One Perfect Morning by Pamela Crane

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Category: Thrillers
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Three friends from college are still close twenty years later and they tell each other everything except the truth. One husband is going to die: who will it be and who will be responsible?
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 384/10h40m Date: August 2020
Publisher: Avon
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0008378363

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A husband is about to have his throat cut in his own bed. To find out who - and why - we need to go back nine days and twenty years.

Mackenzie, Robin and Lily met when they all went to the same college in Monroeville, Pennsylvania and twenty years later they're still the best of friends. When they first met they called themselves the Spicier Girls as a nod to the famous girl band of the day. Lily would be Adventure Spice, Robin the Homemaker and Mackenzie - well, Mackenzie would be the supporting actress in her own life. She married Owen, her college sweetheart and they have a daughter, Aria, who's now fifteen-year-old.

Robin Thompson is married to Grant, a paediatrician and they have four children. Well, I say they have four children, but the eldest child, Ryan, was born three years before they met and was the result of Robin being raped when she inadvisedly accepted a lift home from a casual acquaintance one snowy night. Grant's always seen Ryan as his son and they've never actually felt the need to explain the details of his conception to Ryan, who's now eighteen. In fact, it doesn't seem important until Mackenzie walks in on Ryan and her daughter Aria. They're drunk and having sex.

Aria's father, Owen Fischer, is controlling and violent to his wife behind closed doors. Eventually, Mackenzie has no option but to tell her husband what she saw. Predictably, he loses control and Owen is a loose cannon in such situations. Will he go to the police? This could mean that Ryan has to do gaol time and will lose all chance of a decent life. Will he be violent towards Ryan? Mackenzie knows that there's history in this area and now she's frightened. She's a southern gal, brought up by a controlling father and now married to a controlling husband, only Owen is not as well-disposed to Mackenzie as Mr Kirkland used to be.

The third friend is Lily and she was the leader of the group. She was married to Tony, but her addictions drove a wedge between them and Tony left a year ago. She hasn't given up hoping that he'll come back, but in the meantime, there's other sport to be had. Grant's sex life with Robin has been non-existent since the birth of Collette, eight months ago. Something always seems to come between them - usually a child. Lily's charms are really quite appealing in these circumstances.

If you look at the cover of One Perfect Morning and think that you're buying a light-hearted romance, think again. It's dark, it's twisty and it's thought-provoking, particularly on the subject of when a woman can give consent to having sex. I was intrigued as to who was going to die - and who would be the killer. There's no shortage of candidates for both positions. I didn't work out the who or the why and this part of the book was particularly satisfying.

I did struggle with the three women, though. I didn't find any of them particularly likeable and there's a distinct lack of honesty between them. Morality seems to be a moveable feast which can be adjusted according to circumstance. That's me being very picky.

It was a good read and I finished it rather more quickly than I expected. I'd like to thank the publishers for making a review copy available to the Bookbag.

For another story which looks at rape and consent, we can recommend Truth Be Told by Kia Abdullah. You might also enjoy A Friend of the Family by Lauren Grodstein.

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