Review: The Best of Friends by Lucinda Berry

Lindsey, Kendra, and Dani have shared multiple big life events over the year of their friendship. Their friendship has rubbed off on their teenage sons, who have grown up together and are very close.

Then one tragic night, everything is ripped apart, leaving one of their sons dead, the other in a coma, and the other unable or unwilling to provide any details of how, why, or what happened.

Lucinda Berry’s The Best of Friends has a great premise, a solid first chapter, and a great hook. It’s just too bad that the novel never really delivers on the promise of its initial chapter.

Part of this stems from Berry’s utilizing alternating first-person narration by all Lindsey, Kendra, and Dani. What should have been a great way to put us inside the emotions and thoughts of these three best friend as they try to make sense of what happened and why instead gives us three narrators who all come across as so similar that it’s hard to recall who is narrating each chapter were each one not identified at the top.

About a third of the way through the novel, I found myself earning for Berry to make one of the voices more distinctive, but it never happens. And while curiosity about what happened and who did what to whom kept me going, I never felt a connection with the characters enough to be truly shocked or rocked by any of the secrets each is hiding from her other friends.

We do get answers to the central mystery, but it ends of not feeling quite like enough. Maybe I’m spoiled by the likes of Laura Lippman or Elizabeth George who give us mysteries that not only work as puzzles to be solved but also attempt to give us some insight into the implications of the mystery on its characters and the larger world. I have a feeling this will be one of those books that I see crop up on my feed again in the near future and I’ll quickly forget most of the details.

I received a digital ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Filed under ARC, book review, digital arc, netgalley, review

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