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Monday, July 27, 2020

The End of Her by Shari Lapena

This is the second Shari Lapena novel I've read, and wow! she can really spin a heck of a domestic thriller. 

The End of Her is about Patrick and Stephanie, a happily married couple and new parents to twin girls. Patrick is a partner in an architectural company, and Stephanie has left her job to stay home with the girls. Both are struggling with having two colicky babies that don't sleep and cry all the time. Stephanie is so sleep deprived she forgets to shut off the stove, and sometimes leaves the front door wide open. She just can't remember doing those things. There's not enough coffee in the world for her to stay functioning normally. Visits to a pediatrician for help don't really go as planned; the girls' doctor simply says they will stop being colicky sometime, and it will end abruptly. Meanwhile, Stephanie, and Patrick, too, are having major sleep deprivation. 

One day, a woman from Patrick's past appears, and threatens to blackmail Patrick if he doesn't pay her off. Erica knows Stephanie has inherited a few million dollars, and she wants money. Who is Erica? She's a woman who had an affair with Patrick years before, in Colorado. She was Patrick's first wife's best friend. And that first wife? Lindsey? She died, along with their unborn child, in a freakish accident. But Erica says she knows Patrick deliberately killed her. WHAT?!

Patrick tells Stephanie about Erica, and Stephanie refuses to give her money. Things are going to get sticky for everyone...and Erica is determined to get her way. She's not afraid to make some noise, and make a whole lot of trouble for Patrick. Erica makes enemies wherever she goes. 

This was such a good thriller! I raced through it. So many twists and turns. Shari writes about seemingly average couples; however they're really hiding a lot of secrets, and capable of doing terrible things. Things they may never have imagined doing just a few short weeks before--it's amazing what people will do to protect themselves. Look a little closer at domestic bliss and you'll find it's usually pretty dark, and not so blissful. 

It's only taken me two novels to become a firm fan of Shari Lapena. Thanks to NetGalley and Viking/Penguin for the advanced ebook. This novel is out in hardcover on Tuesday, July 28th in the U.S. Shari has plenty of novels, and they are all stand alones, so you don't have to read them in order. You'll be hooked in no time!

Rating: 4/6 for a twisty-turny domestic thriller that will keep you guessing who to believe--and an ending that will leave you with just one more surprise!

Available Tuesday, July 28th in the U.S. in hardcover audio, and ebook. 

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