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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

A Friend In The Dark

Narrators: Alex Picard, Libby McKnight Brilliance Audio

ISBN: 978-1662513541

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publication Date: 03/01/2024

Format: Other

My Rating: 4 Stars (ARC)

A digital romance turns deadly in this sensual domestic thriller from USA Today bestselling author Samantha M. Bailey.

Eden Miller’s world is crumbling. Her husband blindsided her with divorce, and her daughter barely speaks to her. In an impulsive decision to escape her present and revisit the past, she sends a friend request to her college crush, Justin Ward.

One night twenty-three years ago changed the course of her life. It closed the door on Justin and opened the door to her husband, Dave. But what if Eden could have a do-over?

Eden begins an online relationship with Justin that awakens her in ways she never thought possible, and his voice and words make her take bold risks. But something’s off. He knows too much about her and her family…he’s been following her.

Eden is forced to awaken from her fantasy and look for answers—who really is the man on the other line? The truth about Justin—and about what happened that fateful night two decades ago—puts her and her family in a fight for their lives.

My Review

Samantha M. Bailey returns following Watch Out For Her and Woman On the Edge with her latest domestic thriller, A FRIEND IN THE DARK —a complex marriage and dark secrets of the past create a sizzling twisty thriller leaving you quickly turning the pages.

Eden Miller is a 45-year-old realtor, and her husband, Dave, has ended their marriage and wants a divorce without a logical explanation. Her daughter, Ava, is leaving for college, so now she is an empty-nester— alone.

Drowning her sorrows in a bottle and drunk one night, her best friend sends her a birthday message with a photo of them in college.

Eden starts thinking about her college days and her crush, Justin Ward. Twenty-three years ago, she was in love/lust with the bad boy drummer. Everything changed one night at a party, and she married Dave, who rescued her.

Still, in a haze blinded by booze, she sends a friend request to Justin, and he accepts, starting a banter of messages back and forth. She thinks she needs this to make her feel alive again— starting an online relationship and more.

But then things seem off, and Justin seems to know more than he should about her. Is something sinister going on?

What happened all those years ago? When the past collides with the present, it is explosive!

A FRIEND IN THE DARK is a dark, gritty, sizzling, dark domestic thriller with twists that will have your head spinning with compelling characters!

With an intriguing dual timeline, you will be second-guessing and waiting for the next ball to drop in this action-packed psychological suspense—from marriage, betrayal, past dark secrets, trauma, and lies.

A big fan of the author, have read all her books, and always look forward to the next.

A FRIEND IN THE DARK is for fans of authors Robyn Harding, Wendy Walker, and Michele Campbell.

Thanks to Thriller Book Lovers Promotions, NetGalley, and Thomas & Mercer for providing a digital reviewer copy in exchange for my candid thoughts.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

My Rating: 4 Stars

Pub Date: Mar 1, 2024

Check out my #AuthorElevatorSeries

Q&A Interviews with Samantha


“Suspenseful, twisty, and addictive. A Friend in the Dark is smartly written and deliciously chilling. I couldn’t put it down. This is Bailey at her best! I paused an episode of Below Deck: Down Under to finish this book. That’s how invested I was.”

—Jeneva Rose, New York Times bestselling author of The Perfect Marriage

“Wow! Chilling, riveting…and page-turningly edgy. The oh-so-talented Samantha M. Bailey has created a twisted (and steamy!) world of power, passion, and vulnerability. This seductive thriller with its deep understanding of psychological trauma and the heavy secrets of the past is brave, original, and haunting. Fans of Gillian Flynn and Lisa Unger will cheer this must-read author.”

—Hank Phillippi Ryan, USA Today bestselling author of The House Guest

“Samantha M. Bailey never disappoints! A Friend in the Dark is one of the most intriguing and surprising books I’ve read in a while. You think you know where it’s headed…but you don’t. This thriller shocked me to the very end.”

—Samantha Downing, internationally bestselling author of My Lovely Wife

“With A Friend in the Dark, Samantha M. Bailey has crafted what’s destined to be one of the most binge-worthy, buzzed about thrillers of the year. Wholly propulsive with twist after mind-blowing twist, richly layered characters, and an intricate plot, Bailey is at the top of her game and delivers not only a spine-tingling thriller but also a potent examination of the complexity of female desire and the terrifying, dark side of online relationships. A Friend in the Dark will have you glued from its first page to its explosive conclusion. An absolute masterpiece from the master of suspense!” —May Cobb, award-winning author of A Likeable Woman and The Hunting Wives

“A tautly written story of twists, deception, and long-simmering desire, A Friend in the Dark is a thriller that consumed me from start to end. Samantha M. Bailey is a master of surprise endings and complex antagonists, and each chapter of this story flew by. Do not miss this one!”

—Elle Marr, Amazon Charts bestselling author of The Family Bones

“A sexy treat of a thriller loaded with twists and hairpin turns! Fans of Colleen Hoover should love A Friend in the Dark. It will keep you guessing and up way too late.”

—Daniel Kalla, bestselling author of Fit to Die

“When you sit down with a Samantha M. Bailey novel, you expect to be nailed to your seat for the duration. A Friend in the Dark does that and so much more: this electrifying, layered, and psychologically acute thriller examines female desire, marriage, and motherhood while sweeping you off on a twisty ride all the way to its visceral, explosive finale. Bailey expertly crafts dark history and human foibles into an addictive narrative cocktail. Welcome to your next book hangover.”

—Damyanti Biswas, bestselling author of the Blue Mumbai series

“A Friend in the Dark, by Samantha M. Bailey, is a knockout punch of a thriller. This wild ride starts with a marriage in freefall, then twists through a series of escalating and creepy turns before careening to a stunning conclusion. I read this one in a day and so will you.”

—Darby Kane, internationally bestselling author of Pretty Little Wife and The Engagement Party

“Several lives burdened with tangled histories of desire, fear, cruelty, revenge, and murder are on a collision course until they intersect brilliantly in Samantha M. Bailey’s A Friend in the Dark. Eden Miller finds herself suddenly without her husband, at war with her daughter, at a crossroads she never anticipated when, vulnerable and eager for attention, a long-ago flame reenters her life, igniting a forgotten passion. This is a sexy, dark, and twisty tale from a master of the genre. Highly recommended!”

—Jon Lindstrom, author of Hollywood Hustle, and four-time Emmy-nominated actor and award-winning filmmaker

“Clever, sexy, and compulsively readable, A Friend in the Dark is a pulse-pounding thriller with one jaw-dropping twist after another. Samantha M. Bailey has created a compelling cast of characters, a dark and layered mystery, and an insightful look at marriage, motherhood, and female identity.”

—Robyn Harding, bestselling author of The Drowning Woman

“Savage secrets and desires collide in Samantha M. Bailey’s A Friend in the Dark. Bailey is a master of misdirection, spinning twists and building tension until there’s nothing to do but race to the knockout finish. A Friend in the Dark is a fierce, gutsy thriller, and Bailey is unstoppable.”

—Tessa Wegert, author of The Kind to Kill

“Samantha M. Bailey’s A Friend in the Dark simmers with palpable desire and twists that’ll have readers gasping. Just when you think you know the direction of her story, you get knocked sideways with twist after jaw-dropping twist. This is a must-read for any thriller lover!”

—Heather Levy, Anthony-nominated author of Walking Through Needles

“Sexy, fast-paced, and deliciously twisty, A Friend in the Dark is Samantha M. Bailey at her suspenseful best. An unpredictable thrill ride that packs an emotional wallop, readers will be hard pressed to stop turning pages until they reach the spine-tingling conclusion. A compelling, addictive must-read.”

—Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, bestselling author of The Girls Are All So Nice Here

“This sexy, heart-pounding thriller is everything a reader craves. Brilliant plotting and misdirection and mind games will have you flipping pages at warp speed. With twists and turns galore throughout, this is a one-sit read that will leave you shocked. A compelling look at fantasy versus reality, A Friend in the Dark is sure to stand out as a fan favorite of 2024.”

—Jaime Lynn Hendricks, bestselling author of I Didn’t Do It

About the Author

Samantha M. Bailey is the USA TODAY and #1 nationally bestselling author of WOMAN ON THE EDGE and the instant #1 national bestseller, WATCH OUT FOR HER, one of the top ten bestselling Canadian Fiction books of 2022 and also one of the Globe & Mail’s top 100 books of 2022. Her novels have sold in eleven countries to date. She lives in Toronto, where she can usually be found tapping away at her computer or curled up on her couch with a book. Her next domestic suspense, A FRIEND IN THE DARK, will be published in March 2024.

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