Just Between Us by Rebecca Drake, 3.5 Stars

It’s been super balmy and nice here in the midwest the last couple of weeks. Yesterday it was 65! Today, it was 30 and crazy windy. And I think yesterday was the last nice day. Of course, it’s much cozier curled up by the Christmas tree when it’s cold outside and you can hear the wind blowing just outside the window.

It’s kind of funny because I feel like winter is book reading season. But then again, there’s a huge allure to reading a book in the sun by the pool. So summer is reading season? But in the spring and fall I can ready on my patio wearing slippers and a lightweight sweater. So really, I guess they are all book reading seasons. Maybe I’m just the common denominator.

I requested Just Between Us from Netgalley because I’m always interested in stories about suburban housewives. Sure, it’s a cliche. But I’m living it. And it’s always a little fun to imagine that perhaps my life or the lives of those in my community might be more interesting or dangerous. But then again, I like to just read about it. You move to the suburbs to avoid a lot of that.

From the Publisher:

Four suburban mothers and friends conspire to cover up a deadly crime in this heart-stopping novel of suspense in the tradition of Lisa Scottoline and Lisa Unger.

Alison, Julie, Sarah, Heather. Four friends living the suburban ideal. Their jobs are steady, their kids are healthy. They’re as beautiful as their houses. But each of them has a dirty little secret, and hidden behind the veneer of their perfect lives is a crime and a mystery that will consume them all.

Everything starts to unravel when Alison spots a nasty bruise on Heather’s wrist. She shares her suspicions with Julie and Sarah, compelling all three to investigate what looks like an increasingly violent marriage. As mysterious injuries and erratic behavior mount, Heather can no longer deny the abuse, but she refuses to leave her husband. Desperate to save her, Alison and the others dread the phone call telling them that she’s been killed. But when that call finally comes, it’s not Heather who’s dead. In a moment they’ll come to regret, the women must decide what lengths they’ll go to in order to help a friend.

Just Between Us is a thrilling glimpse into the underbelly of suburbia, where not all neighbors can be trusted, and even the closest friends keep dangerous secrets. You never really know what goes on in another person’s mind, or in their marriage.

My Review

Just Between Us is Desperate Housewives-esque. Probably before the series completely jumped the shark, but slightly after the wives were sane people. I do think that living in the suburbs, we all appear vanilla to a certain degree. But many of us probably do have pasts we keep hidden out of embarrassment or fear or just because the past is so long ago it’s not worth re-visiting.

I liked the world that Rebecca Drake created in the book. Each of the four main characters were well-developed and believable as real people. On the flip side, I didn’t completely find their relationships with each other to be so close that they would take the chances for each other that they do in the book. Also, I wasn’t a huge fan of the book jumping around from perspective to perspective. I kept confusing a few of the characters which distracted from the plot.

But what Drake did very well was to keep surprising the reader. You know those books where you read the whole book and at the end it turns out to be totally different from what you were thinking? This book isn’t like that. Only because the isn’t just one, but several twists and turns like that. I really appreciate a book that keeps me guessing.

So if you loved Desperate Housewives (okay, maybe I watched until the bitter end), or Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner, you should pick up a copy of Just Between Us. It releases next month on January 9, 2018.

I think I might check out her last book, Only Ever You.

Special thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for an e-galley in exchange for my honest review.

Preorder:

 

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