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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Keep Your Friends Close

Publisher: Grove/Atlantic
Publication Date: 09/02/2014
Format: e-book
My Rating: 5 Stars +
Natty and Sean Wainwright are happily married. Rock solid in fact. So when Natty's oldest friend, Eve Dalladay, appears - just as their daughter collapses on a school trip in France - Natty has no qualms about leaving Eve with Sean to help out at home.
Two weeks later and Natty finds Eve has slotted into family life too well. Natty's husband has fallen in love with Eve. He's sorry, he tells her, but their marriage is over.
With no option but to put a brave face on things for the sake of the children, Natty embarks on building a new life for herself. And then she receives the note. Eve has done this before, more than once, and with fatal consequences...

My Review

A special thank you to Goodreads First Reads for a complimentary ARC in exchange for an honest review. (purchased, as well)
Paula Daly’s KEEP YOUR FRIENDS CLOSE is an addictive, intense, and riveting suspense of marriage, family, obsession, betrayal, lies, and dark secrets . . . keeping you glued to the pages of this psychological thriller. Set in England’s Lake District, Natasha (Natty) Wainwright is married to Sean, with two teenage daughters, (16 yr. old Alice, and 14 yr. old Felicity). They live a good life, owning and managing a busy hotel, with busy lives. However, Natty finds herself focused on making sure the hotel is running properly. A type A personality, perfectionist, overseeing everything at the hotel, (which is all consuming, as have been involved in the hospitality business for years), to ensure the best guest experience, and of course the perfect and loving mother, and employer. She has little time life over for her husband’s needs. Her mom died at an early age and she helps take care of her dad. Her mother-in-law is not one of her biggest fans. Enter, Eve her best friend from college, glamorous, sophisticated, now newly divorced, visiting from the US, a successful psychologist. The day she arrives for a visit, Natty receives the frantic phone call, her daughter has a ruptured appendix in France. (She is there studying for school). Being the good mother, she sets off to tend to her daughter, leaving behind her husband and daughter. What she does not consider is Eve. Does she really know Eve? By the time she returns home with her daughter, manipulative and evil Eve, her supposedly best friend, has taken over her life, her husband, and her home. What follows is a series of events which lead down a dangerous path. Natty wants revenge; however, one act of car ramming, spirals out of control. When Eve turns the tables on Natty, turning her family against her, as Natty is arrested, and Eve continues to spin her a web of deceit and slowly takes everything from Natty. Natty seeks desperately to find information about the real Eve, and comes up empty handed, with no identity for Eve. This is when all paths lead to a woman who has done this before and has many secrets in her past. Who is this crazy woman? Has anything she has said in the past been true? Natty is racing against time to save herself, her family, and her life from the clutches of this evil dark woman, who appears to be poised and calm on the exterior. In the meantime, Natty has a secret and Eve knows the secret and will use it against her.No spoilers here. Yummy, you have to read it! Note: never tell a friend a secret, as you never know when it will come back to haunt you-found this out the hard way. Having read Daly’s debut novel, Just What Kind of Mother Are You, could not wait to read her follow up novel, which does not disappoint! It was even better (if that is possible). Told in alternating voices, Natty (1st person), Joanne (3rd), for an absorbing novel, masterfully crafted, femme fatale Eve, with a mixture of humor, intrigue, drama, psychological aspects, and suspense - coming at you with twists and turns, keeping you turning into the wee hours of the morning to learn the fate of these well-developed characters. If you read Just What Kind of Mother Am I, (highly recommend) then you will enjoy hearing from a familiar character, Joanne Aspinall, the female cop with the big boobs, and boy, oh boy, are you in for a treat with her aunt, Mad Jackie. She is a total riot, as hoping Natty would sick Mad Jackie on wacko, Eve. Loved Natty, and totally disliked Sean, as he definitely is not thinking with his head, but other body parts. I was dying when I got to the last page, even though a brilliant ending, I kept hitting the page, wishing it could go on. If you love family dramas, suspense, mysteries, and psychological crime thrillers, this book is for you! Keep them coming Daly, as would love a sequel here, as want to see Natty getting revenge, and more from Mad Jackie, and Joanne! What I missed was the British accent from the audiobook from last book, as was not available yet on audio, as could envision her performance. On a side note: I won Keep Your Friends Close in a first to read Goodreads’ giveaway; however, still have not received it, as normally takes 4-6 weeks for shipping, so decided to purchase Kindle e-book. If anyone knows me, I am impatient, as why I read so many ARCs and my blog is focused on new releases. It was definitely worth it, as one satisfying read. Fans of Gone Girl will devour (saw the movie yesterday and read the book) beats it, hands down. Daly is a powerhouse writer to follow. She knows psychological, family dynamics, and strong mother characters-grabbing you from page one and never lets go!

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