Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Review—Just Between Us by Rebecca Drake

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Published: January 9, 2017
Genre: Suspense 
Source: Finished copy 
Rating: 4 Stars

Four suburban mothers and friends conspire to cover up a deadly crime in this heart-stopping novel of suspense in the tradition of Lisa Scottoline and Lisa Unger.
Alison, Julie, Sarah, Heather. Four friends living the suburban ideal. Their jobs are steady, their kids are healthy. They’re as beautiful as their houses. But each of them has a dirty little secret, and hidden behind the veneer of their perfect lives is a crime and a mystery that will consume them all.
Everything starts to unravel when Alison spots a nasty bruise on Heather’s wrist. She shares her suspicions with Julie and Sarah, compelling all three to investigate what looks like an increasingly violent marriage. As mysterious injuries and erratic behavior mount, Heather can no longer deny the abuse, but she refuses to leave her husband. Desperate to save her, Alison and the others dread the phone call telling them that she’s been killed. But when that call finally comes, it’s not Heather who’s dead. In a moment they’ll come to regret, the women must decide what lengths they’ll go to in order to help a friend.

Just Between Us is a thrilling glimpse into the underbelly of suburbia, where not all neighbors can be trusted, and even the closest friends keep dangerous secrets. You never really know what goes on in another person’s mind, or in their marriage.


This is the way of fate—all of these pieces that must slot into place, one leading to the other, a progression toward a conclusion that seems inevitable only after the fact.

O. M. G. That was seriously messed up—but in a good way! I knew once I’d been contacted to read and review the book, that I would enjoy it. ‘Just Between Us’ tells the story of four friends that are tested when they notice one of their friends is in need of saving. What happens when said friend doesn’t want any help being saved? More importantly, the question begs to be answered—what would you do as a human being if you noticed someone you love was being hurt? Things are not always what they seem.

You never know what happens behind closed doors.

This quote in the story is very true, I’ve come to find. Do we ever really know someone? Like truly know everything? In this particular thriller, we follow Allison, Sarah, Julie, and Heather. These four became friends and bonded over their love of coffee and having children around the same age. One day, Allison, being the observant one, notices bruises that look very much like finger marks on Heather’s wrist. Which could only mean one thing—she’s being abused. It’s confirmed when Heather makes up a bogus excuse as to why it’s there. Cue Allison, Julie, and Sarah all becoming deeply suspicious.

There’s even more proof as the weeks go by. The three friends want nothing more to help their damsel in distress. But again, you can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. Then one night changes absolutely everything. Who can the women trust? Are they being watched? So many questions that I just had to get to the bottom of! I felt like I was reading the adult version to Pretty Little Liars, except with a better story line. (This is not a knock on PPL, I love those books too!)

I stayed up all night to read. It was one of those instances where I knew I would love the book from the very first page. Overall, I think readers will love this fast-paced thriller that keeps you on your toes. The novel touches heavily on friendship. I liked that a lot. It showed us all the high and lows that come when people are faced with tragedy. While a bit predictable at times, I was still surprised with the ending revelations. I now feel like I need a new suspense novel to tide me over until I get my fix!

We are all the damned and we are all the saved.

*Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy for an honest and unbiased review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Buy the Book:

About the Author:
Rebecca Drake moves to hardcover with her breakout psychological thriller ONLY EVER YOU. She is the author of three other suspense novels, DON’T BE AFRAID, THE NEXT KILLING, and THE DEAD PLACE, as well as the short story, Loaded, which was featured in PITTSBURGH NOIR. She is a Penn State grad and an instructor in Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction M.F.A. program. A native New Yorker, Rebecca has also lived in Indiana, Ohio, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and Qatar and currently lives in Pittsburgh, PA with her husband and two children.

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