Jar of Hearts – Book Review

Hey all!!! I just finished this book, Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier and can’t wait to share the review with you all!

Jar of Hearts

This is the story of three best friends: one who was murdered, one who went to prison, and one who’s been searching for the truth all these years . . .

When she was sixteen years old, Angela Wong—one of the most popular girls in school—disappeared without a trace. Nobody ever suspected that her best friend, Georgina Shaw, now an executive and rising star at her Seattle pharmaceutical company, was involved in any way. Certainly not Kaiser Brody, who was close with both girls back in high school.

But fourteen years later, Angela Wong’s remains are discovered in the woods near Geo’s childhood home. And Kaiser—now a detective with Seattle PD—finally learns the truth: Angela was a victim of Calvin James. The same Calvin James who murdered at least three other women.

To the authorities, Calvin is a serial killer. But to Geo, he’s something else entirely. Back in high school, Calvin was Geo’s first love. Turbulent and often volatile, their relationship bordered on obsession from the moment they met right up until the night Angela was killed.

For fourteen years, Geo knew what happened to Angela and told no one. For fourteen years, she carried the secret of Angela’s death until Geo was arrested and sent to prison.

While everyone thinks they finally know the truth, there are dark secrets buried deep. And what happened that fateful night is more complex and more chilling than anyone really knows. Now the obsessive past catches up with the deadly present when new bodies begin to turn up, killed in the exact same manner as Angela Wong.

How far will someone go to bury her secrets and hide her grief? How long can you get away with a lie? How long can you live with it?

Hardcover, 311 pages

Published June 12th 2018 by Minotaur Books

Genre:- Thriller

Jennifer Hillier

Jennifer Hillier writes about dark, twisted people who do dark, twisted things. Born and raised in Toronto and a proud Canadian, she spent eight years in the Seattle area, which is where all her books are set.

She loves her son, her husband, the Seahawks, and Stephen King. Not equally, but close. She’s the author of six novels, including JAR OF HEARTS, which won the Thriller Award, and was shortlisted for the Anthony and Macavity Awards.

Her newest psychological thriller, LITTLE SECRETS, will be out on April 21, 2020 from Minotaur Books.

Learn more about her at jenniferhillierbooks.com

This book talks about the friendship between three teenagers–Angela, Geo and Kaiser. One of them ended up being murdered, one ended up going to prison and the other is looking for the answers.

The story starts with Georgina “Geo” Shaw, a successful executive who was on trial for the murder of her best friend, Angela Wong. Her remains were discovered at the backyard of Geo’s childhood home. Along with Geo facing the trial was her ex-boyfriend, Calvin James, known in media as “Sweetbay Strangler” who had killed Angela. While Calvin gets life sentence, Geo gets five years in prison. However, Calvin escapes from the prison.

Five years later, Geo was released from the prison. After her release, a series of murders start taking place, that resemble to Angela’s murder and Kaiser, who is now a detective suspects that Calvin is at work again…

So as usual, let’s start with the ones I like about the book.

  • The book was actually well written, the author has managed to keep the reader hooked into the story. I was so hooked into the story that I did’t even realize that I have finished the book!
  • The ending, to me was a bit emotional and sad (don’t want to spoil too much details)
  • The book was realistic in someways. This is true, particularly the life in prison (how Geo faces) and the abusive relationship Geo had with Calvin. The author seemed to have done some research about the prison life that to the reader, it felt real.
  • All the characters in this book are complicated and complex and seemed to be having complicated relationship with each other. Geo is one complex character and her friendship with Kaiser seemed to be complicated as well. Also her twisted relationship with Calvin was also interesting.
  • This book was dark and twisted in many ways. It is too explicit in some ways (particularly about the murders of children and the dismemberment of the bodies). It might be disturbing at times to read but I think despite it’s disturbance, the author does a good job of creeping the reader out. That actually made it a good thriller.
  • The book was fast paced, engaging and interesting to reader. There were lot of twists and turns, particularly at the end of the book, it is a shocking twist. In other words, it was quiet a page turner.
  • The book was told from the perspectives of Geo and Kaiser so we get to know about about what each of them thinks and what type of secrets each are struggling. We also see Geo regretting of hiding too many secrets, particularly about the murder of her best friend, Angela.
  • I really like the cinnamon heart candies stored in the jar scenes in the book.

Now the things I didn’t like in the book

  • The ending to me was a bit rush and I really wish the ending was a bit long! I didn’t mind reading it longer!

Overall, this is a page turner, twisty, dark and emotive thriller, a good read for those who are into thrillers. Worth five stars!

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