THE LOYAL FRIEND By A.A.Chaudhuri @AAChaudhuri @HeraBooks @_DanielleLouis_ #TheLoyalFriend #WatchYourBack

Available now / paperback / ebook / audiobook /

Thank you for my invite onto this blogtour, it has been a pleasure.

SYNOPSIS

She has your back.

And may stab you in it.

Wealthy, pampered Susan is living the perfect life in leafy Kingston. She’ll never let anyone see the darkness she’s concealing behind the diamonds and rosé.

Grace is new to the group, seemingly the perfect wife and mum. Yet no one knows the truth of what’s happening behind closed doors.

Loner Natalie hides the pain of her childhood behind a carefully ordered life. But how long can the past stay hidden?

Three unlikely friends, brought together for a weekly class run by beautiful, friendly, instructor, Jade.

But when Jade goes missing in mysterious circumstances, the group starts to unravel. And as their darkest secrets come to light, it seems that no one can be trusted. Even their closest friends…

MY REVIEW

I thought the author’s last book She’s Mine was good, but this one just blows that one out of the water with one huge splash. I have no idea how each of the four main characters parts were kept in line when writing this but they definitely were. You spend all your time trying to work out what has happened, just when you think you have it sussed another layer is revealed, like peeling an onion. At one stage about three quarters of the way through I was convinced I had worked it out, but no another red herring thrown in to keep you guessing. So what was the story about?

Four women Jade a fitness instructor, Natalie a library assistant, Susan a woman who spends her life spending money that her husband has earned. And Grace the perfect wife and mother. The story is told through each of these characters points of view, with chapters by each, as their secrets and lies come to the surface. The timeline is mostly in the present but occasionally jumps back a year, to when Jade started working at the fitness centre which is when the women all met. With one chapter going back ten years.

Natalie, hides a lot of childhood pain, until she met Jade she had no life, no confidence, and has been bullied all her life even at work, she is 29 and very unfit, but Jade changes that, when she goes to the library with some flyers for her classes at the fitness centre, she encourages Natalie to give her classes a go, which she runs three evenings a week. Natalie latches on to Jade and begins to gradually change a little. But Natalie has secrets that even her therapist doesn’t know about. It’s also the fitness classes that bring Grace and Susan into the picture. Susan is a bitter, twisted woman, married to Lance but the marriage is not a good one, they have three grown children. Susan has a big secret that she never wants to come to light. Grace is new to the group, but why does she travel so far to this fitness centre when there are other’s nearer to her home?

Natalie, Susan and Grace arrive at the Fitness centre for their Friday night Yoga session with Jade. But Jade doesn’t turn up, where is she? Susan isn’t that bothered she persuades the others to have a drink at the bar, although Natalie only has a soft drink she is worried about Jade. She decides to go to Jade’s flat to check to see if her friend is alright, she has a set of keys so can let herself in. But when she gets there, no Jade, her car is outside, Natalie checks each room, the bedroom drawers are open which is not like Jade, and when she reaches the bathroom there are clothes on the floor, her phone is on the side, and what looks like blood. Natalie calls the police to report Jade missing.

DI Donovan Bailey and DS Javid Singh are assigned to look into the case. As they question each of the women, what is each of them not telling the police. When the women learn that Jade was keeping a diary they all seem to be worried as to what she may have written about them in it. But whatever you do watch your back as it’s hard to trust any of these women. Where is Jade? Is she dead or alive? Who has the most to lose?

This story will keep you gripped from start to finish, there are so many secrets and lies that are gradually unravelled, Nothing is as it seems with these women, my head was spinning as I tried to keep up with it. Then the big reveal at the end just completely threw me, I was completely blindsided. I challenge anyone to see if they guess the ending of this before they get there. I’ve read a lot of psychological thrillers but I don’t think I have read one quite as complex as this. Another fantastic read by A.A.Chaudhuri. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ this author just gets better and better.

I would like to thank @HeraBooks for an eARC of this book, all thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A. A. Chaudhuri is a former City lawyer. After gaining a degree in History at University College London, she later trained as a solicitor and worked for several major London law firms before leaving law to pursue her passion for writing.

She is the author of The Scribe and The Abduction, books 1 and 2 of her Kramer & Carver legal thriller series featuring the feisty Maddy Kramer, also published in audio. 

Her first highly acclaimed psychological thriller with Hera Books, She’s Mine, was published on kindle, paperback and audio in August 2021 and in April 2022 was named the LJ Ross Book Club pick of the month. The Loyal Friend will be published on 23rd June 2022 and has already received widespread praise. 

Represented by Annette Crossland of A for Authors Literary Agency, she lives in Surrey with her family, and loves films, all things Italian and a good margarita!

#1 Amazon Australia Amateur Sleuth Mysteries (Aug ’19); #1 Amazon Canada Women Sleuth Mysteries; (Aug ’19) top 10 Amazon UK Legal crime thrillers (Aug ’19); #1 Amazon Australia Legal Thrillers (November ’19)

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