“Lauren is flirting with my fiancé over the dinner I spent hours preparing. She gets this way when she’s had too much wine. I’m not far behind her; I’m already into my second glass of merlot. I’m not even sure why I’m drinking – I usually don’t. But tonight, Nathan and I are planning to announce our engagement.”
By A.J. Banner
Published: August 2018
Source: Advance review copy
The celebratory dinner should have been just that, a time to celebrate her upcoming wedding but Marissa’s enthusiasm is diminished by some of the actions of her guests and her own growing sense of unease at having brought her best friend back into her life.
The dinner is fraught with tension from all of the guests, snide remarks, unreadable looks and Marissa lays all fault with her friend after all Lauren has always been selfish and self-centered. The next morning on her walk to the beach she finds Lauren’s body, bruised and lifeless along the shore.
Marissa recalls details from the previous evening that make her question those around her and their intentions. Who could have wanted to hurt Lauren and who would have the most to gain by her death? In addition Marissa is now unsure of her own feelings towards her fiancé but when she questions him she doesn’t know if she is wanting to hear the truth.
I thought this novel started out with a lot of great tension, and I could clearly envision a dinner gone awry. As the novel progresses everyone is a suspect and the author provides the reader just enough background to go from believing it is one suspect to doubting yourself and moving on to the next. I found this to be a good thriller and will look for more by this author.