A Simple Favour is a twisting free-fall ride filled with betrayal, reversal, secrets and revelations, love and loyalty. Darcey Bell ratchets up the tension in a taut, unsettling, and completely absorbing thriller that holds you in its grip until the final page.
It starts with a simple favour - an ordinary kindness mothers do for one another.
When her best friend, Emily, asks Stephanie to pick up her son from school she happily says yes.
Their children are classmates and best friends. And five-year-olds love being together - just like she and Emily. As a widow and stay-at-home blogger mum living in suburban Connecticut, Stephanie was lonely until she met Emily, a glamorous and successful PR executive.
The trouble is that Emily doesn't come back. No matter what the police say, Stephanie knows that she would never leave her son. Terrified, she reaches out to her fellow mummy bloggers.
And she also reaches out to Emily's husband - just to offer her support.
What Stephanie hasn't shared are the secrets buried in a murky past.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
With echoes of film noir and Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley, this spine-tingling psychological thriller is chock-full of surprises. Emily Nelson is a chic suburban mum who suddenly goes missing. When her best friend, mummy blogger Stephanie, tries to uncover the mystery, she finds out that Emily isn’t at all the person she thought she knew so well. A Simple Favor is a deviously fun and twisted story…and we’re really excited it’s been adapted into a film starring Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively.
In Bell's convoluted debut, widowed mommy-blogger Stephanie Ward receives a call from her best friend, Emily Nelson, asking her to pick up Emily's five-year-old son, Nicky, from school. There's an emergency at work, Emily explains, but she'll be by to get Nicky no later than 9 p.m. Nicky is best friends with Stephanie's son, Miles, and the boys attend the same suburban Connecticut kindergarten, so Stephanie agrees. Days pass and Emily never appears, leading Stephanie to fear the worst. Emily's husband, Sean, returns home from his European business trip and calls the police, who assume that Emily has simply run away until her body washes up at her family's lake house in Michigan. Stephanie initially seeks to comfort Sean, but when questions arise surrounding Emily's death, she's left wondering what is true and whom to trust. While Stephanie, Emily, and Sean share the narrative, Stephanie is the primary point-of-view character, and her vacuity and na vet undercut the story's tension and heft. Bell further squanders an intriguing setup with ill-defined stakes and tired, telegraphed plot twists.)
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