Author: Paula Treick DeBoard
Narrator: David Atlas, Amy McFadden
Published: April 2016, Brilliance Audio
Length: 10 hours 45 minutes
Critically acclaimed author of The Mourning Hours and The Fragile World, Paula Treick DeBoard returns with a tale of dark secrets, shocking lies and a dangerous obsession that will change one neighborhood forever.
Liz McGinnis never imagined herself living in a luxurious gated community like The Palms. Ever since she and her family moved in, she's felt like an outsider amongst the Stepford-like wives and their obnoxiously spoiled children. Still, she's determined to make it work—if not for herself, then for her husband, Phil, who landed them this lavish home in the first place, and for her daughter, Danielle, who's about to enter high school.
Yet underneath the glossy veneer of The Palms, life is far from idyllic. In a place where reputation is everything, Liz soon discovers that even the friendliest residents can't be trusted—and almost everyone has secrets they'd do anything to protect. So when the gorgeous girl next door befriends Danielle, Liz can't help but find sophisticated Kelsey's interest in her shy and slightly nerdy daughter a bit suspicious.
But while Kelsey quickly becomes a fixture in the McGinnis home, Liz's relationships with both Danielle and Phil grow strained. Now even her own family seems to be hiding things, and it's not long before their dream of living the high life quickly spirals out of control…
My thoughts: This is the first book I've picked up by Paula Treick DeBoard but it certainly will not be the last! From the very first chapter I was hooked and found I couldn't walk away from the book...the twists and surprises that are intertwined in this story just didn't stop coming, and you never knew what would happen next.
What I really loved about this book is how the tension builds so slowly...you aren't really sure what is going on, but you know it's going to get bad. And the back and forth in time just adds to this. It was such a great way to tell this particular story. And while these types of stories have been done before, I think this one stands up well!
I also loved the characters - they were fleshed out and well-developed, even the unlikeable ones. And that's important. You don't have to like a character to love them, if that makes sense. There are secrets and lies and at times you don't know what or who to believe.
This book is crazy...and will have you realizing just how easy it is to find yourself caught in the middle of a nightmare that you had no intention of being in. What started as a simple interaction on one person's side turned into something completely out of control because the other person took it that far.
Be forewarned...once you start this book, you are not going to want to put it down until you finish it...it's that addicting and you are going to want to find out how it all ends! I cannot wait to pick up Paula Treick DeBoard's other books and will definitely be keeping an eye out for future releases from this talented author!
Audio thoughts: The audio of this book was done very well and I thought both Amy McFadden and David Atlas, both of whom I've listened to before, did great jobs with the voices. The accents they uses, especially David's accent for Phil's character were spot on, and made the listening experience quite enjoyable.