Best Friends Forever – ARC Book Review

Title:- Best Friends Forever

Author:- Shannon Hollinger

Date published:- will be published on 18th January 2023

Publisher:- Bookouture

No. of pages:- 341 pages

Genre:- Psychological thriller


Plot:- 4/5

Writing:- 5/5

Overall rating:- 4.5/5

I emerge from the trees, drenched in sweat, my voice lost as I take in the scene in front of me. The blood. The body. Emma’s eyes meet mine for a second. “It was an accident,” she whispers.

Emma and I were childhood best friends. We did everything together. Until that terrible night in the woods.

I couldn’t tell anyone what I’d seen. We never discussed it, but our bond was too strong; I could never betray my best friend. Even if she had killed someone.

But I also couldn’t stay in town and watch her live a normal life, knowing what she’d done. So I left.

Now, ten years later, I’m back. The guilt and the fear have stayed with me. And I have realized I need to reveal the truth if I’m ever going to move on.

But I never get the chance. Because the day I turn up, Emma is found dead, and the way she died means I start to doubt everything I thought I knew about that night all those years ago.

As my grief turns to anger at all those lost years of friendship, I realise with horror that Emma might not have been the only killer. Someone else is out there. Someone who was close to us both, someone who knew the smallest details of what had happened back then. Who from our small town could have murdered not once, but twice? And who’s next…?

The story starts with Kate returning back to her childhood home after running away from a traumatic event that happened. When she returns back, she finds out that her best friend Emma had died…or murdered. The story goes back and forth with Kate reminiscing the events on what happened on that fateful night and trying to find the reason as why Emma was dead. In the past, Kate witnessed an event, leaving her younger sister Lily traumatized and witnessing Emma murderding someone.

Initially, to me this started a bit slow burn but in the middle of the book, it got interesting with the twists and turns and soon hard to put down the book. The story is mainly told from Kate’s POV and the past event is described in the third person’s narrative. I simply couldn’t put the book afterwards, wanting to know what is going to happen next. The ending…now that was what made me rate this book higher. The ending was completely highly unexpected and twisted that I literally was like OMG. Nevertheless, I cannot believe that this was the author’s debut book and is looking forward to read more of her books in future.

If you are looking for a twisted and unputdownable thriller that will keep you at the edge, then this book is one for you, worth four and a half stars!

Many thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for the ARC. The review is based om my honest opinion only.

With degrees in Crime Scene Technology & Physical Anthropology, Florida author Shannon Hollinger hasn’t just seen the dark side of humanity – she’s been elbow deep inside of it! She finds writing to be a much cleaner way to spend her time than the autopsy suite. Most days it smells better, too.

Her debut novel, the psychological thriller Best Friends Forever, will be released in January 2023 and is the first of a five-book deal with publisher Bookouture.

Her short fiction has appeared in Suspense Magazine, Mystery Weekly, and The Saturday Evening Post, among a number of other magazines and anthologies, and her story Lady Killer was a finalist for the 2021 Al Blanchard Award sponsored by the New England Crime Bake.

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