Monday, 2 September 2019

Blog Tour: Best Friends Forever by Dawn Goodwin (Thriller, 10E/10E)

Check out the rest of the stops on the tour!

No, never.
August 2019, Aria Fiction, 364 pages, Ebook, Review copy

Book summary from press release
 Have you ever wanted to kill your best friend?Anna was the perfect wife. Perfect mother. Perfect woman. And now she's dead. Leaving behind her husband, David, and two young children their lives will never be the same. But Vicky will make sure life goes on...

These two women have been best friends forever, a lifetime of secrets lies between them and now Vicky is ready to step up into Anna's perfect shoes. But not everything is as it seems and as David begins to question Vicky's motives for walking into his life things might just get a little murderous.

The question on everyone's lips is, who killed Anna? And what actually happened on the night she died?

Nayu's thoughts
I'm fond of a good thriller (this one is a great one), and I love any story which heavily involves children, maybe because I have none and am eternally fascinated with how children think and act, in a non-weirdo kind of way. What you don't know is interesting, and while Vicky knew a little about Harper and Lewis, like me she fell in love with them. They are adorable! They are not perfect children, no child is perfect (or adult for that matter), but they do help cut through the grief of losing Anna. They are a big fat reminder that Anna is gone, which Vicky is painfully aware of, but they are one of the good things about Anna, which is a joy to read about, because Anna wasn't as nice as she seemed. 

A lot of times nice people are fully nice, but Anna is a case where nice was an external persona she wrapped herself in. She was downright awful to Vicky a lot of the time. Vicky obviously remembers those times as she struggles with the issues that her so-called best friend gave her. I liked how Dawn wove different timelines into the tale, because it shines a light on a past we only have Vicky's account of, it unlocks some mysteries that Vicky has in the present, and also gives a deeper understanding of who Vicky is. Vicky isn't entirely innocent just like Anna isn't. Dun dun DUN!!!!!! (I think you all know the music for that part.) 

Vicky both has and doesn't have an ulterior motive throughout the story. I think she had a vague idea of what she wanted to happen, but, understandably, she got used to living with David and the children, as seen when David's family come and disturb the nice routine Vicky has which makes her flustered and causes her to make decisions that aren't always wise. Did she kill Anna? Did David? Dun dun DUN!!!! 

Sorry, couldn't resist! Of course I am not going to tell you the answer - it would obviously spoil the plot more than alittle, and you really do need to read both timelines to understand the truth, which is a shocker. This is firmly on my reread shelf because of how much I like Vicky, despite her faults, and dislike Anna, because of how mean she is, and feel sorry for David too. So go read it! You won't regret it. 

Find out more from Dawn on her social media: 
Twitter: @DGoodwinAuthor
Facebook: @DGoodwinAuthor

Suggested read
For another single father tale check out  Fatal Option by Chris Beaky (Thriller, 10E/10E)

Novel Extract: Best Friends Forever Chapter 2

Vicky felt nervous as she rang the doorbell, which was silly because this house had been her second home for so long. But that was when Anna still lived in it. Vicky had known David a long time, but you could count on one hand the occasions they’d spent time alone.

She’d seen him at the funeral, of course. Not that she could remember much about it. She’d self-medicated with vodka in order to get through it. But she had been struck by how broken David had looked and she hadn’t known what to do with that. She wasn’t entirely sure what she had expected. He’d always been such a physical presence before, so to see him decimated, like an empty husk, had been a shock. Then her focus had shifted to Lewis and Harper, wide-eyed in their sombre, stiff outfits chosen specially for the occasion, and he had fallen out of her consciousness.

After that, it became harder to call him, ask him how he was, take that first step of reconnecting, especially as she was quietly battling with the gaping hole left in her own life. Anna had been her constant companion since they were thirteen years old, their only time apart being the university years when Anna had gone off to make something of herself (and meet David) while Vicky stayed behind and watched, an eyewitness to Anna’s much more exciting and privileged life. In those days, she had hoped that Anna would return to her; this time she knew without a doubt that she wouldn’t.

The only reason she had texted David last week was because the gnawing ache inside her couldn’t be ignored any more. She needed to maintain a connection to Anna somehow because without that, she felt like she was falling into a hole that she couldn’t claw her way out of, so she’d sent a tentative text. He hadn’t replied straightaway and she had tried not to read too much into it. But of course, she had analysed it endlessly, kicked herself for being too forward. The usual.

His reply came the next day. A simple message:

We’re okay. Kids would love to see you. David

She’d replied suggesting the following weekend when she didn’t have the dirt of a workday on her skin and they didn’t have the weight of school hanging over them.

And here she stood, her shaky knees clad in clean jeans that hung a little looser thanks to the most effective diet there is: grief. Anna would be pleased at that at least. Vicky’s hand hesitated over the doorbell, then she squared her shoulders, adjusted the heavy bag in her hand and pressed the buzzer.

The house next door had a Team GB flag attached to the aerial of their car. It flapped and twisted with the rise and fall in the breeze. Olympics fever was starting to grow, even though the opening ceremony was still weeks away. Vicky wasn’t all that interested and figured the excitement would peter out before long.

The door was flung open almost immediately by Harper, who rushed at her legs with force.

‘Hey, Bug! Wow, I’ve missed you! You okay?’ Vicky dropped the bag to the floor and knelt down to hug her back. As she released her, she felt a smaller body climb onto her back. ‘Lou-Lou! There you are!’ Lewis hugged her tightly around the neck, threatening to cut off her air supply, but she didn’t mind at all. She felt her heart lift a notch for the first time in a month as pure love flooded through her for her godchildren.

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