Scrappymags 3 word review: devilishly delightful (2 words! Booom!)
Facts about your reviewer: I’ve only read one other Lescroart book (The Second Chair) so I don’t have a “relationship” with the author. It seems those who invested in Lescroart are more disappointed in the book. Me? I dug it.
Shortest summary. Ever.: beautiful wife has affair with a friend of a friend’s husband. Uh oh dead body! Who did it?
What’s good under the hood: I massively (and perversely) enjoy flawed characters and Fatal proved an abundance. Give me shiny happy people who truly suck behind the veneer and I’m in. There’s Kate who engages in the affair (not a spoiler) and there’s her college bestie Beth, devoted to her job as a homicide detective (guess who gets this case?), and there’s Peter, the other side of the affair who might not be the “nice guy” everyone thinks he is. Another case introduces Laurie, a young anorexic who befriends Beth’s daughter. Shady partners, frienemies everywhere… the plethora of suspects is far-reaching and each has something you’ll dislike (mostly). It’s like navigating a minefield of suspects. Personally I love that as I am in a reading phase of shirking virginal BORING characters. I was wrong about who-dun-it and that rarely happens.
What’s bad or made me mad: Beth would never nab the case because of her relationship with potential suspects. Readers must suspend disbelief there. Also I didn’t really understand the purpose of the whole attack/shooting (not a spoiler… first 50 pgs). It didn’t mesh nor seem important to the plot. The anorexic friend Laurie seemed like an odd addition too, but I suppose necessary to advance the story.
Recommend to: if you’re a Lescroart fan throw everything out the window. This doesn’t seem to be his usual work! Those who enjoy sexy thrillers (Gone Girl, Girl on the Train), book clubs, fans of the flawed, looking for a nice compact mystery.
Thanks to Atria Books and NetGalley for an advanced copy in exchange for my bitchin ‘ review.