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Lizzie the Lawyer is hired to defend her previous law school pal after he’s accused of murdering his wife.
Another physical TBR book bites the dust. This was my first from the author and I was quite impressed by the prose. She definitely knows her way around a keyword. While the pace is on the slower side, the storytelling is quite robust. You get sucked into the drama and spit out at the end. This is your typical ‘did he or didn’t he?’ starring rich people behaving badly. I’m always a sucker for a lil court transcript, so I enjoyed the addition of these. Also the whole phishing school scandal added another layer of intrigue. Unfortunately I think because I read too many books, I found it pretty predictable, but there was one lil twist that definitely had me shook (see spoilers).
I think Amanda’s character was very well-constructed. Unlike most rich women in thrillers, you can easily empathize with Amanda’s identity crisis/impost syndrome struggle. And even better, the author demonstrates this through SHOWING not telling. For example, when Kerry comments on Amanda’s fancy diamond earrings and she immediately feels embarrassed because she ‘got it wrong again.’ There’s lots of a lil tidbits about Amanda trying to figure out the ‘code’ of Park Slope; how to dress in a way that shows you’ve got money but doesn’t scream it. What’s an appropriate gift to buy a friend that isn’t stingy, but isn’t OTT either? These scenarios show how Amanda feels at odd with her newfound wealth given the extreme poverty and trauma she experienced as a child.
I wanted to rate this higher than a 3, but the last 25% kinda goes west and there’s some plot holes/questionable moments that collectively cannot be ignored. Let’s get into it…
SPOILERS ALERT. SCROLL TO BOTTOM….
So the biggest plot hole is: who was calling Amanda in Cali? Let me back it up: We find out that for YEARS Amanda has been getting weird phone calls from her dad (or so she believes). But then PLOT TWIST, we find out that Amanda is lowkey but also highkey delusional and has been imagining that her dad and childhood bestie are still alive and in her life when in fact they died 10 years ago or so. So obviously it’s not her dead dad calling her from the beyond. Eventually its revealed that Kreepy Kerry is the mysterious caller/flower-sender in New York… but we never find out who was hot line blinging her line in Cali.
Also, I felt like the author missed an opportunity with Amanda’s twist. The fact she was straight up delusional created a slew of possible storylines, but unfortunately it was only contained to the mysterious phone calls.
The other issues aren’t as big but unfortunately it establishes a pattern of questionable moments. Here are the big three:
1) Lizzie goes to the florist to see who sent Amanda the lilies and card. The owner tells her that her son Matthew handwrites the cards. Matthew comes out to identify the sender and says: “…He came in and asked me to make out the card like it was from a secret admirer. He thought she would recognize his handwriting.” What?? LOL. If MATTHEW is writing the card, how would Amanda recognize his handwriting and her husband’s??????
2) Unrealiable narrator for funsies. Ya’ll know how much I hate these. Lizzie tells the reader that both her parents died when she was teen; she later reveals to a friend that she’s a big lying liar pants and her dad was actually in prison. Huh??? Why did she need to lie TO THE READER about this? Again, if you want to lie to a friend to save face while the reader still knows the truth, that’s fine. But lying to the reader about something so inconsequential in the grand scheme of things is annoying and unnecessary.
3) At the begging of the book, Lizzie goes to Zach’s home to looks for some clues. She comes across what she thinks is an ovulation stick on the floor of his office. We later find out that it’s actually a glucose testing strip that was dropped by Maude when she broke into their house the night of the big party. This is how we figure out that Maude was in da house. Kudos to the author by foreshadowing this reveal by stating that Maude had diabetes earlier in the book. However, my qualm is why tf would should be rocking a used glucose testing strip on her person like that??? Or are you saying during her lil escapade she stopped to test her glucose levels?? I mean???? Kinda strange and seemed like the author didn’t know how else to reveal Maude had been in the house at the time of the murders.
All in all, a nice book to pass the afternoon with a lil more depth than other domestic ‘thrillers’, but needed some edits.
Pros: interesting case, Amanda’s character nicely flushed out, some intrigue, enjoyed the phishing scandal, one of the twists shocked me
Cons: unreliable narrator for funsies, some questionable moments/plot holes, a lil predictable if you’ve read a lot of this genre
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