Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Review: For the Best by Vanessa Lillie

Title: For the Best
Author: Vanessa Lillie
Published: September 2020, Thomas & Mercer
Format: ARC Paperback, 320 pages
Source: Publicist

Suspected of a murder she can’t remember, a troubled woman takes an unusual approach to proving her innocence in this gripping thriller from the bestselling author of Little Voices.

When Jules Worthington-Smith’s wallet is found next to a dead man, she becomes the prime suspect in his murder. After struggling for years to build the perfect family and career, she’s dangerously close to losing everything.

Sure of her innocence, Jules is desperate to clear her name. But there’s one big problem: she was blackout drunk when the murder took place and can’t remember what happened.

Unsatisfied with the police’s handling of the case, Jules embarks on her own gin-fueled murder investigation. As she uncovers fresh clues, she starts a true-crime vlog that becomes a viral sensation, pushing her into the public eye. It’s not long before the ordeal forces Jules to confront her demons, including her turbulent childhood and excessive drinking.

The deeper Jules digs, the more dirt she uncovers about the murder and herself. Unexpected truths pile up until she’s buried so deep even finding the killer might not be enough to set her free.

My thoughts: Last year I read Vanessa Lillie's debut novel, Little Voices, and absolutely loved it. I knew without a doubt I would be reading anything she wrote and could not wait to get my hands on her next book. Well, let me just say...she once again delivers a strong, completely binge-worthy thriller that keeps you guessing until the very end.

Right from the very start, I was captivated by the story. I felt Jules was such a complex character and while she wasn't always the most likeable of characters, I found her to be deeply flawed and honest and that kept me going. I needed to know what was going on with her - what would cause to to get so black-out drunk that she could not remember anything from the night in question.

I loved how determined she was to clear her name, yet even though she was black-out drunk, she never once decides that maybe she should stop drinking. And as we dig deeper into her family, a family that is riddled with dysfunction, we find Jules isn't the only one that uses drinking as a crutch.

I also loved the mystery within a mystery concept. This was so unique and really kept me hooked as we dig not only into what happened that fateful night that Jules is trying to uncover, but also about other secrets that have such huge repercussions. The use of the vlog kept the story fresh and was a great way to break up the story, including the actual transcripts. I felt that there were always mini cliffhangers that we were left with, whether from a discovery during the vlog taping or preparation for one.

This book kept me glued to the pages and I loved all the twists that came along. I did not see any of them coming. I loved how Vanessa incorporated so many issues into this book - never did it seem forced, but rather it all works together so seamlessly that by the time that end rolls around you are left breathless. I loved this book and it absolutely shows that Vanessa Lillie has staying power. I cannot wait to see what this very talented author comes up with next!


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