Darcey Bell – A Simple Favor

Not for a long time have I been so unsure about how a book would end. I don’t read too many thrillers as it’s not my usual genre, but Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick are two of my favourite actresses and I wanted to read this before I watched the film that’s coming out on DVD in a few weeks.

Warning: there will be spoilers below. If you’re planning on picking up this book, don’t read any further. Just know that while I’d recommend this book to thriller fans, it wasn’t 100% my cup of tea – I’d give it 3 stars out of 5.

Stephanie is a lonely widow with a young child, and she’s lonely. So when she’s befriended by Emily, another mum who seems to have it all, she feels so lucky. Miles and Nicky are friends and play together quite happily, and Stephanie becomes Emily’s confidant – she tells her all about the way her husband Sean is constantly putting her down.

Then one day, Emily asks her for a simple favour: “Can you look after Nicky for me this evening until I can pick him up”, and Stephanie doesn’t think twice. Then Emily doesn’t return to pick Nicky up. And what kind of mum wouldn’t at least call to say she was going to be late to pick up her child?

I spent the whole first half of the book convinced that Stephanie had something to do with Emily’s disappearance. The way she immediately wormed her way into Emily’s husband’s life just felt really creepy to me. Almost like it was premeditated. The fact that the whole first part of the book was narrated by Stephanie was I think designed to make you think this way.

So then when the book switches to part 2 and all of a sudden it’s Emily talking, I was blind-sided. I was convinced that Emily was actually dead, so to hear from her was a shock! And to find out that Stephanie is not so crazy after all was a BIG surprise.

And then part 3, where we start to get Sean’s perspective and the tables turn again. Just one surprise after the other, I was really glad that I couldn’t guess the end, that always makes a book feel intense.

The only disappointing thing to me was the ending. I was kinda hoping that we were going to get another surprise twist and Stephanie was going to have outsmarted them both, but I guess she is ‘the fish’ after all.

My rating: 3Average rating: 3.23
384 pages. Published in: 2017
Read in E-bookon 1st-3rd January 2019

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