Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Review: A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell (audio)

Title: A Simple Favor 
Author: Darcey Bell 
Narrator: Andi Arndt, Xe Sands, Matthew Waterson 
Published: March 2017, HarperAudio 
Length: 8 hours 55 minutes 
Source: Library

She’s your best friend.
She knows all your secrets.
That’s why she’s so dangerous.
A single mother's life is turned upside down when her best friend vanishes in this chilling debut thriller in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.

It starts with a simple favor—an ordinary kindness mothers do for one another. When her best friend, Emily, asks Stephanie to pick up her son Nicky after school, she happily says yes. Nicky and her son, Miles, are classmates and best friends, and the five-year-olds love being together—just like she and Emily. A widow and stay-at-home mommy blogger living in woodsy suburban Connecticut, Stephanie was lonely until she met Emily, a sophisticated PR executive whose job in Manhattan demands so much of her time.

But Emily doesn’t come back. She doesn’t answer calls or return texts. Stephanie knows something is terribly wrong—Emily would never leave Nicky, no matter what the police say. Terrified, she reaches out to her blog readers for help. She also reaches out to Emily’s husband, the handsome, reticent Sean, offering emotional support. It’s the least she can do for her best friend. Then, she and Sean receive shocking news. Emily is dead. The nightmare of her disappearance is over.

Or is it? Because soon, Stephanie will begin to see that nothing—not friendship, love, or even an ordinary favor—is as simple as it seems.

A SIMPLE FAVOR is a remarkable tale of psychological suspense—a clever and twisting free-fall of a ride filled with betrayals and reversals, twists and turns, secrets and revelations, love and loyalty, murder and revenge. Darcey Bell masterfully ratchets up the tension in a taut, unsettling, and completely absorbing story that holds you in its grip until the final page.

My thoughts: Sometimes you pick up a book and you aren't quite sure what to think of it...even after sitting on it for a while. That is how I feel about this one - what the heck did I just read? 

Domestic thrillers seem to be picking up steam and I would certainly classify this book as just that. It's intense for sure, it's full of unreliable characters and boy oh boy do these characters have secrets. I think that's what kept me going - I needed to find out what was going on and where it would all end up! I have to admit, I was hooked.  

The story is told from three points of view - Stephanie, Emily and Sean. We start off hearing from Stephanie, both from her and through her blog. Then we hear from Emily and Sean, but believe me when I say - nothing is as it seems. Each of these characters have more secrets than you can possibly imagine. 

I will say that the book starts off a little slow - while I found the use of the blog to tell parts of the story interesting, at times its quite cloying and annoying. Though, I I did think it was quite interesting how the blog posts Stephanie writes were very different than reality...hmmm! But, once it gets into the real life of the characters - then the story picks up. Fair warning though...these characters really have no redeeming qualities...these are the kinds of characters you love to hate! But I think that's what makes this book all the more addictive...you want to see them get what's coming to them. And trust me, you definitely won't see how this all plays out!

All in all, this was a rather uniquely enjoyable thriller that kept me engaged. I would definitely check out what comes next from Darcey Bell, especially if she wrote another book in this genre! 

Audio thoughts: Listening to this book was quite a treat. I am a big fan of Xe Sands, but the other two narrators were new to me. That being said, I thought they all did a great job with this audio production. I really enjoyed it and will certainly be looking to see what else they have narrated. 



  1. Domestic thriller full of suspense sounds about right for this one. Thanks for the review.

  2. The synopsis triggers me and I'm very curious right now! I love characters in books where you're not sure if you like them.... Will add to TBR :) Thanks.


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