Life is funny sometimes. This is what I wrote almost exactly a year ago:
I will admit to being a fickle reader these days. My life has been rather crazy at the last four months or so, more anon on that perhaps, and so my mood seems to change regularly. Sometimes I am reading serious nonfiction, sometimes literary fiction but at other times what I really need is something to entertain and distract me from the chaos seemingly surrounding me. The search for intelligent books that still manage to do this, is always going on.
To say the last four months has been crazy is something of an understatement. What with my basement flooding the first day I started working from home due to a global pandemic which meant my kids engaging in digital learning at home with nearly half the house unusable and my daughter sleeping in the living room. Somehow 2020 topped 2019.
Ryan Francis has it all–great job, wonderful wife, beautiful child–and he loves posting photos of his perfect life on social media. Until the night his friend Blake asks him to break into a woman’s home to retrieve incriminating items that implicate Blake in an affair. Ryan refuses to help, but when Blake threatens to reveal Ryan’s darkest secret–which could jeopardize everything in Ryan’s life–Ryan has no choice but to honor Blake’s request.
When he arrives at the woman’s home, Ryan is shocked to find her dead–and just as shocked to realize he knows her. Then his phone chimes, revealing a Facebook friend request from the woman. With police sirens rapidly approaching, Ryan flees, wondering why his friend was setting him up for murder.
Determined to keep his life intact and to clear his name, Ryan must find the real murderer–but solving the crime may lead him closer to home than he ever could have imagined.
This is basically a fast paced summer/beach read which is perfect for when you are seeking entertainment and distraction rather than art/deep thought. As is often the case with these sort of novels, you have to kind of suspend belief a bit as the characters are not always fully developed, believable or likable. But it has a fast pace and a good sense of suspense which is also what you are looking for when you just want an escapists type read.
As with The Layover, the hook (in this case, “sorta estranged college best friend asks for a favor which opens Pandora’s box of secrets and problems”) is what gets you interested and the pacing keeps you reading even as you start to think that most of the characters are annoying and/or stupid.
Much to my chagrin, last year I said “Layover served its purpose in giving me an entertaining distraction but it wasn’t good enough to make me want to seek out more of David Bell’s writing.” So what did I do when offered a review copy? Decided to read more David Bell.Continue reading →