Her Best Friend
Two girls. A murder. And a secret that binds them forever. As a teenager, Sylvie Armstrong’s life was shattered when her best friend, Victoria Bland, was murdered. The killer has never been caught – and Sylvie has never spoken about what happened that day. Now, two decades have gone by and after the death of her mother, Sylvie is forced to return to her home town, along with her newborn daughter – only to be confronted by the secrets that she has been running from for twenty years. But then Sylvie receives the locket Victoria was wearing on the night she died – and it becomes clear that somebody knows what really happened to Victoria. As Sylvie struggles to discover the truth behind the lies, she finds herself in increasing danger from those who will stop at nothing to keep their secrets. Someone who threatens not only Sylvie, but everything she loves... Praise for Sarah Wray: ‘Absolutely brilliant. By far one of the best books of this year.’ Goodreads Reviewer ‘A chilling, page turning thriller that will have you racing through the pages till the shocking end. A taut, unputdownable thriller.’ Goodreads Reviewer ‘A book that had me on tenterhooks. Packed with tension and twists, this is an amazing, unputdownable page turner. Loved it.’ Renita D’Silva  ‘A super tense ride…a really well written and thought-provoking story.’ Novel Deelights ‘A well written thriller with some intense danger moments.’ Nicki’s Life of Crime ‘A fascinating debut novel.’ Book Garden ‘Excellent writing and a real page turner. Loved the story and the twists and turns and never expected the ending.’ Consumer reviewer

Her Best Friend Details

TitleHer Best Friend
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseNov 28th, 2017
PublisherBookouture
Rating
GenreMystery, Crime, Thriller, Psychological Thriller

Her Best Friend Review

  • Louise Wilson
    January 1, 1970
    When Sylvie Armstrong was a teenager her life was shattered when her best friend, Victoria Bland, was murdered. The killer was never caught and Sylvie has never spoken about what happened. Twenty years have passed and Sylvie has to return to her hometown after the death of her mother. Sylvie receives the locket Victoria was wearing on the night she died - somebody knows what really happened to Victoria the night she died.The pace of this book is really slow. It seemed to take an age for the stor When Sylvie Armstrong was a teenager her life was shattered when her best friend, Victoria Bland, was murdered. The killer was never caught and Sylvie has never spoken about what happened. Twenty years have passed and Sylvie has to return to her hometown after the death of her mother. Sylvie receives the locket Victoria was wearing on the night she died - somebody knows what really happened to Victoria the night she died.The pace of this book is really slow. It seemed to take an age for the story to unfold. The main characters i did not like at all. There was not very much suspense but there was something that made me want to keep turning the pages. Whether it was to see if my predictions were right (which they were), I'm not sure as this is not a bad read it's just not a great read. I'm sure there will be lots of readers who will really enjoy this book.I would like to thank NetGalley, Bookouture and the author Sarah Wray for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Carrie
    January 1, 1970
    When Sylvie Armstrong was a teenager her best friend, Victoria Bland, was found murdered and things have not been the same for Sylvie since that day. After Victoria's body was found and her funeral took place Sylvie's parents sent Sylvie away to school thinking that it would be too hard on their daughter. Shortly after Sylvie's father also died and Sylvie relationship with her mother became non-existent leaving her to not return to her hometown. Now, twenty years after Victoria's death Sylvie fi When Sylvie Armstrong was a teenager her best friend, Victoria Bland, was found murdered and things have not been the same for Sylvie since that day. After Victoria's body was found and her funeral took place Sylvie's parents sent Sylvie away to school thinking that it would be too hard on their daughter. Shortly after Sylvie's father also died and Sylvie relationship with her mother became non-existent leaving her to not return to her hometown. Now, twenty years after Victoria's death Sylvie finds herself returning to her childhood home after her mother's passing when her home is left to Sylvie in the will. Returning with her baby Sylvie finds all those memories of her best friend returning to the surface and now with the killer never being found there is a reporter looking into the long buried secrets of the past. Her Best Friend by Sarah Wray to me was an extremely slow build mystery/thriller read. While I'd like to say I loved this one the pacing really had it a struggle to become engaged as it slowly unfolded. There was a decent story within the pages but not one that truly gripped me to rate this one any higher. I think also that for myself with as many books that I read this one was also a tad predictable. It seemed to lack the twists and red herrings that I normally love and in my mind seemed to be taking me on a journey to a certain outcome which in the end was pretty spot on. So while the writing is nice enough and the story will be one that engages a lot of readers in the end this one turned out to just be one of those OK reads in my opinion. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.wordpress....
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  • Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
    January 1, 1970
    EXCERPT: As I step back inside, I see it on the mat and acidic saliva forces itself up my throat. Another brown envelope. This time I don't wait. I rip the envelope straight open and shove my hand inside. It's cold, metal; a thin chain. When I pull it out and hold it up, the room feels as if it spins like a fun house. It's the gold chain with the heart shaped locket, the one they said Victoria was missing that night, that never turned up.My fingers are shaking but I am eventually able to turn it EXCERPT: As I step back inside, I see it on the mat and acidic saliva forces itself up my throat. Another brown envelope. This time I don't wait. I rip the envelope straight open and shove my hand inside. It's cold, metal; a thin chain. When I pull it out and hold it up, the room feels as if it spins like a fun house. It's the gold chain with the heart shaped locket, the one they said Victoria was missing that night, that never turned up.My fingers are shaking but I am eventually able to turn it over - the 'VP' engraving is there like I knew it would be. Before I wasn't sure. Now I am certain. Someone knows what happened to Victoria that night and this is a message. THE BLURB: Two girls. A murder. And a secret that binds them forever. As a teenager, Sylvie Armstrong’s life was shattered when her best friend, Victoria Bland, was murdered. The killer has never been caught – and Sylvie has never spoken about what happened that day. Now, two decades have gone by and after the death of her mother, Sylvie is forced to return to her home town, along with her newborn daughter – only to be confronted by the secrets that she has been running from for twenty years. But then Sylvie receives the locket Victoria was wearing on the night she died – and it becomes clear that somebody knows what really happened to Victoria. As Sylvie struggles to discover the truth behind the lies, she finds herself in increasing danger from those who will stop at nothing to keep their secrets. Someone who threatens not only Sylvie, but everything she loves... MY THOUGHTS: 'Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain't going away.' Her Best Friend by Sarah Wray is deceptive. For around the first third of the book, I thought it was okay, but nothing really special. But what it actually is, is a cleverly crafted, slow burning read. Like one of those fireworks that appears to be fizzing, gives a couple of experimental spurts, then bursts into a beautiful technicolor display of pyrotechnics. The second third of the book had me reading avidly, and the final third? You couldn't have paid me to put the book down. You may not like the characters, but they are well drawn and realistic. The story takes place over two timelines, now and twenty years previous. Sylvie, the pivotal character, is no more self assured now than she was then. She revolved in Victoria's orbit, followed her lead, was her acolyte. Relationships between the characters are more complex than they first appear. I had several suspects in mind for the death of Victoria. I changed my mind several times throughout the read. I settled on two, but couldn't make my mind up which of them it was, and was wrong. Completely and utterly way off base. Which pleases me greatly. 4.5 sparkling stars for Her Best Friend by Sarah Wray which came to me in the form of a digital ARC from Bookouture via Netgalley, for which I thank them. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the 'about' page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my blog sandysbookaday.wordpress.com https://sandysbookaday.wordpress.com/...
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  • Gary
    January 1, 1970
    Having not previously read any books by author Sarah Wray, I was drawn to this book by the description which left me wanting to know more. I found this book an excellent read and fully intend to read more of this author in the future.Two 15 year old girls Sylvie and Victoria were the very best of friends but when Victoria was murdered the killer was never found. Sylvie went to live at her aunt’s and never returned to her parents house. Now 20 years later she has returned following the death of h Having not previously read any books by author Sarah Wray, I was drawn to this book by the description which left me wanting to know more. I found this book an excellent read and fully intend to read more of this author in the future.Two 15 year old girls Sylvie and Victoria were the very best of friends but when Victoria was murdered the killer was never found. Sylvie went to live at her aunt’s and never returned to her parents house. Now 20 years later she has returned following the death of her mother and to the secrets she has hidden from surrounding Victoria”s death.As Sylvie struggles to discover the truth she finds herself in increasing danger from those who will stop at nothing to keep their secrets.I would like to thank Net Galley and Bookouture for supplying a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Mandy White
    January 1, 1970
    Her best friend died when they were 15. Sylvie returns to her childhood home when her mother passes away. A podcast is digging into the story.. will the truth finally come out? This is a great book.. jumping between current day and 1995 telling the story of 2 best friends. I read this in one day... it really sucked me in. Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for a copy of this book to read and review
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  • Linda Strong
    January 1, 1970
    Sylvie and Victoria were the very best of friends when they were 15 years old. But Victoria was murdered that year and the killer never found. Sylvie left her parents' house and went to live with an aunt. She never went back ... until now.Twenty years later, Sylvie has returned home ... and to the secrets she's been running from since her friend died. A necklace, once worn by her friend, is mailed to Sylvie. Someone knows exactly what happened that night. There are some who will keep their secre Sylvie and Victoria were the very best of friends when they were 15 years old. But Victoria was murdered that year and the killer never found. Sylvie left her parents' house and went to live with an aunt. She never went back ... until now.Twenty years later, Sylvie has returned home ... and to the secrets she's been running from since her friend died. A necklace, once worn by her friend, is mailed to Sylvie. Someone knows exactly what happened that night. There are some who will keep their secrets ... will she be one of them? Or will she be a victim?This is one of those books that grabbed me from the very first and didn't let go. Told in chapters of Sylvie today and Sylvie when she was a teenager, and a cleverly written 'witness' in the form of a TV program.. think Unsolved Mysteries. I think the author did a fine job in fully defining characters... especially when both girls were teenagers. I was one once and I lived through two teenagers of my own, so I didn't have to overuse my imagination when the girls did the things they did. The introduction of secondary characters ... Victoria's parents, Sylvie's mother's neighbors, the girl they knew in school that they weren't very nice to. The TV program introduced several others that knew the girls from their childhood.The story is very cleverly written and quite easy to follow. There were some twists and turns along the way with a surprise ending.Many thanks to the author / Bookouture / Netgalley for the advance digital copy of this Psychological Thriller. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
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  • Holly
    January 1, 1970
    This was a semi-decent read. Nothing that will blow your socks off but a good way to spend the afternoon with. We meet Sylvie, who when she was 15, her best friend was murdered. After Sylvie’s mom passes away, she goes back to her hometown of Conley and where the murder is getting back in the news. A podcast has reopened the case of Victoria and Sylvie wants nothing to do with it. You kind of get the feeling that Sylvie can’t be trusted as a character. Which is to throw us, as readers, off. Unfo This was a semi-decent read. Nothing that will blow your socks off but a good way to spend the afternoon with. We meet Sylvie, who when she was 15, her best friend was murdered. After Sylvie’s mom passes away, she goes back to her hometown of Conley and where the murder is getting back in the news. A podcast has reopened the case of Victoria and Sylvie wants nothing to do with it. You kind of get the feeling that Sylvie can’t be trusted as a character. Which is to throw us, as readers, off. Unfortunately, this thriller didn’t have the twists and turns I like but I did enjoy the ending. That was well done. An ok read for me but not great and most importantly, not horrible either.*Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Eva
    January 1, 1970
    Prepare to start reading, only to look up hours later and wonder where your afternoon has gone. This is one gripping and utterly unputdownable psychological thriller!Twenty years ago, Sylvie’s best friend Victoria was found murdered in a lake. Shortly after that, Sylvie moved away and hasn’t been back since. Until now. At the same time, Sam is interested in making a documentary about Victoria’s murder, which is still unsolved. Sylvie will be forced to face the memories of that faithful summer in Prepare to start reading, only to look up hours later and wonder where your afternoon has gone. This is one gripping and utterly unputdownable psychological thriller!Twenty years ago, Sylvie’s best friend Victoria was found murdered in a lake. Shortly after that, Sylvie moved away and hasn’t been back since. Until now. At the same time, Sam is interested in making a documentary about Victoria’s murder, which is still unsolved. Sylvie will be forced to face the memories of that faithful summer in 1995. Will Victoria’s murder finally be solved?Halfway through the book, I had to stop reading due to this pesky thing called sleep. But even while in bed, I couldn’t stop thinking about it as I tried to piece together what had happened. There were a few bits and bobs I figured out quite early on but I suspect that’s because a) I have a suspicious nature and b) I read too much. Be that as it may, it didn’t ruin the story for me at all and the ultimate reveal knocked me for six!I thoroughly enjoyed the way the author tackled this story. The chapters switch back and forth between Sylvie in the present and the past but there are also chapters from Sam’s point of view. So not only do we gain insight into Sylvie and Victoria’s friendship back in the day but we also have an opportunity to follow Sam as he interviews various people for his documentary. It made me see connections where there weren’t any, making me change my mind about who I thought the culprit was, only to ultimately reverse back to my original thought and still get it wrong.Her Best Friend is a truly compelling and engrossing read. It’s well-paced throughout, has some brilliant twists and turns, a fabulous cast of characters and builds up to quite the shocking ending. You will not be able to put this one down as it’s one fantastic page-turner!
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  • Shalini Gopal
    January 1, 1970
    Having read and reviewed Sarah Wray’s debut novel, I was hesitant to read this book. But I requested for this based purely on the blurb which said two best friends, Victoria and Sylvie, one dies and the other moves far away for twenty years till she comes back, a journalist trying to find the truth and make a documentary twenty years hence. I did start the book with great trepidation and I was pleasantly surprised. The book does rather stand as a mystery suspense novel. The author, Sarah Wray, h Having read and reviewed Sarah Wray’s debut novel, I was hesitant to read this book. But I requested for this based purely on the blurb which said two best friends, Victoria and Sylvie, one dies and the other moves far away for twenty years till she comes back, a journalist trying to find the truth and make a documentary twenty years hence. I did start the book with great trepidation and I was pleasantly surprised. The book does rather stand as a mystery suspense novel. The author, Sarah Wray, has done a far better job of writing this book as compared to her debut. Throughout the story, Sarah made my head pop with questions, they appeared like blinking light bulbs in my mind, as I turned the pages. Why was Victoria alone on the night the two girls were supposed to be together? Why didn’t the parents wait up for Victoria as they normally did? Who was Victoria’s boyfriend? Why do the parents pretend not knowing him even twenty years later? Why did Sylvie the best friend come back after twenty years? Why were Sylvie and her mother estranged? And the final question —What exactly did Sylvie know? Did she see the killer that night? Or did she kill Victoria? As I read through the chapters, there was a lot of added information, new information which comes to light after twenty years, which is kind of surprising. Though the book has a journalist trying to find the truth, but it is ultimately someone else who really does force out the truth into the open. Sarah Wray has well thought out the plot line, and she seemed focused in her writing this time round. The pace of the book is rather okay, sometimes fast, sometimes it does drag on. Her characters appear strong yet very flawed. But they are not whom I could root for. Victoria’s mother is the only one who appeared genuine, appear being the key word. She also knew things which she didn’t report to the police. Sylvie, the main character is rather odd, she is a new mother with sleep deprived issues, there is another girl on the sidelines, Michelle who calls herself their friend but is never really acknowledged. She appeared like a stalker in the book. Inspite of all these niggles, the book does work for a simple reason that once the brain is latched on to the question—who killed Victoria—it does not make sense to leave the book halfway. The fingers turn the pages automatically. I do not think any reader would be able to stop reading this book till the truth is revealed. P. S. Reading the last chapter directly does not help as the truth is unveiled somewhere in the last few chapters I received an ARC from NetGalley and publisher Bookouture and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.
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  • michelle
    January 1, 1970
    Sylvie Armstrong returns to Conley, her childhood town, with her daughter Victoria after her mother passing away. To sort out the house ready to sell. She left twenty years previously, after the murder of her best friend Victoria, to go and live with her aunty. Feelings are still raw in the town as they never found out who killed Victoria and Sylvie coming back stirs feelings for someone of the residents of Conley.The story is mostly written in Sylvie’s point of view. It goes back twenty years a Sylvie Armstrong returns to Conley, her childhood town, with her daughter Victoria after her mother passing away. To sort out the house ready to sell. She left twenty years previously, after the murder of her best friend Victoria, to go and live with her aunty. Feelings are still raw in the town as they never found out who killed Victoria and Sylvie coming back stirs feelings for someone of the residents of Conley.The story is mostly written in Sylvie’s point of view. It goes back twenty years and tells us of the relationship she had Victoria. The nights out, the drinking, the laughs they used to have and relationships they used to have with other people in the same age in the town, like Michelle that used to hang around with them, but not part of the group. Also the night of Victoria’s death, why was she all on her own if she was that popular and who was she seeing that night?The story also tells of present day. Sylvie is a nervous character, after leaving Nathan to come to Conley. She meets Victoria parents after all this time. But we also learn of Sam who is making a documentary of what happened to Victoria twenty years ago and he doesn’t leave any stone unturned to find the truth.My favourite genre is psychological thrillers and I really enjoyed this. This book was well written and it gripped me in parts. But, I didn’t like any of the characters and so I couldn’t relate to them as I normally would.Thank you Bookouture and Netgalley for and ARC of this book.
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  • Denise
    January 1, 1970
    Sylvie Armstrong (and her baby) returns to Conley - a medium-sized town in Yorkshire, close to Leeds -- after having left shortly after her best friend, Victoria Bland, was murdered when they were 15 years old. Sylvie's mother has recently died and Sylvie needs to get the house for sale. Her return brings back a lot of feelings about her best friend. No one has ever been charged in Victoria's murder.Twenty years is a long time...hence the interest of Karen Price on "Someone Must Know" for TrueCr Sylvie Armstrong (and her baby) returns to Conley - a medium-sized town in Yorkshire, close to Leeds -- after having left shortly after her best friend, Victoria Bland, was murdered when they were 15 years old. Sylvie's mother has recently died and Sylvie needs to get the house for sale. Her return brings back a lot of feelings about her best friend. No one has ever been charged in Victoria's murder.Twenty years is a long time...hence the interest of Karen Price on "Someone Must Know" for TrueCrime.com. It's hoped that the podcast episodes will jar memories and new details will come to light -- and find out what really happened the night that Victoria Bland ended up in the lake.This is an interesting mystery told in first person POV thru Sylvie both in 1995, when the murder happened, and present day. The podcasts are also scripted to give yet another layer to the narrative. As Sylvie cares for her daughter and starts the clean up at her mother's house, she also comes back into contact with other people she knew when growing up in Conley. The ancillary characters are a mixed bag and include an old high school friend who Victoria and Sylvie weren't very nice to, and some nosy neighbors. Victoria's parents even come around. It seems that most everyone is listening to the podcasts. Will the truth come out?The thing is, something seems a little "off" about Sylvie. She's easily spooked and there are only vague hints about why she has left her husband and brought her baby to Conley. I'm a longtime reader of this genre, naturally very curious/suspicious -- and can usually catch on fairly quickly to where a story is going, but NO SPOILERS. There are some tense scenes and some big questions with a nice wrap-up at the end. I enjoyed it.Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for the e-book ARC to read and review.
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  • Nicki
    January 1, 1970
    Although this isn't a fast paced story it is a gripping,intreguing thriller.The story is mainly told by Sylvie in the third person point of view.There is also chapters that cover a podcast series by journalist Karen Price who is conducting her own investigation into Victoria`s death.At times the story also slips back in time to 1995,these parts cover events leading up to the night that Victoria died.We learn about the girls lives,the people around them and the specifics of their friendship.Sylvi Although this isn't a fast paced story it is a gripping,intreguing thriller.The story is mainly told by Sylvie in the third person point of view.There is also chapters that cover a podcast series by journalist Karen Price who is conducting her own investigation into Victoria`s death.At times the story also slips back in time to 1995,these parts cover events leading up to the night that Victoria died.We learn about the girls lives,the people around them and the specifics of their friendship.Sylvie like many of the characters in this book was a multi layered,complex,well developed character,some of them were likeable,some not so.I especially liked Michelle,she reminded me so much of myself when I was a teenager.Like the wrapping paper on a pass the parcel game the layers are gradually removed until the truth of what happened on that hot summer night is revealed during a final shocking confrontation.I admit I did work out that one character wasn't all they appeared to be but the truth about Victoria`s death was totally unexpected.This is second book by this author that I have read and enjoyed this year and look forward to reading more of her books in the future.Highly recommended by little old me.Many thanks to Bookouture for a arc of this book via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review
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  • Claire
    January 1, 1970
    Sylvie is dragged back to her childhood home after her estranged mother dies leaving her the family home. Little does Sylvie know that the murder of her best friend Victoria 10 years previous is subject to a documentary in the making. Old wounds are being reopened but will Victoria’s murder finally be solved?The story packed with suspense jumps between the present day and 1995 when Victoria disappeared. The long chapters drip fed me tit bits of clues of what happened that fateful night right to Sylvie is dragged back to her childhood home after her estranged mother dies leaving her the family home. Little does Sylvie know that the murder of her best friend Victoria 10 years previous is subject to a documentary in the making. Old wounds are being reopened but will Victoria’s murder finally be solved?The story packed with suspense jumps between the present day and 1995 when Victoria disappeared. The long chapters drip fed me tit bits of clues of what happened that fateful night right to the end that gave me goosebumps! It possibly didn’t help I was sat against a cold window in November but I think I’d have felt them snuggled up in my bed with the electric blanket on full!!Despite this book being packed with tension, it’s a dark slow burner. Don’t expect to hit the ground running or to feel like you have been on a rollercoaster but I think that is the beauty of Sarah Wray’s writing. Both in this novel and her debut “Reported Missing” you are taken on a journey but you don’t have the map and the path isn’t lit. You don’t see what’s coming round that next dark corner.Many thanks to Bookouture for my ecopy of Her Best Friend.
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  • Mattie
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this book. The protagonist was holding a secret from years gone bye. Will you find out the secret before completing the book? Read it and find out! I love a good mystery and this one hit the spot. Thank you to Netgalley and Bookature for a digital copy in return for an honest opinion.
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  • Nicola Parkinson
    January 1, 1970
    Prepare to have your jaw hit the floor with Sarah Wray’s book, Her Best Friend!Sylvie heads home (if that’s what she can call it) after leaving 20 years ago. So much hurt and bad memories surround her home village and you can tell that these memories have scared her for life. Facing it alone and head on I was worried that she would fall apart over the pages but she shocked me. Reliving those memories showed me an inside peek into her teenage years and what led to the death of her best friend, Vi Prepare to have your jaw hit the floor with Sarah Wray’s book, Her Best Friend!Sylvie heads home (if that’s what she can call it) after leaving 20 years ago. So much hurt and bad memories surround her home village and you can tell that these memories have scared her for life. Facing it alone and head on I was worried that she would fall apart over the pages but she shocked me. Reliving those memories showed me an inside peek into her teenage years and what led to the death of her best friend, Victoria.Having ‘met’ Victoria I took an instant dislike to her, especially her attitude to poor Michelle who only wanted someone to latch on to, even though she gave me the stalker vibe I kind of liked her. I felt like Victoria had this ‘everyone owes me’ attitude, even sometimes with Sylvie. I really feel for Sylvie in this book, she’s never really let go of the past and to be honest who can blame her?!Now I’m usually one for fast paced books where all the action explodes from the get go but this book takes its time, setting scenes, introducing characters and adding detail and at times this annoyed me but I understand why Sarah did it this way, before I knew it I was sucked into the story and eager for the story to unfold….. which it does with a bang! That ending…. seriously?!! May jaw still hurts…. as I sat there chanting no….nooo…..nooooo…..really! I turned back a few pages to make sure I hadn’t misread what I had just read! Did I guess whodunit, yes and no, but it was still a GASP reaction all the same.All in all this was an enjoyable read, I wouldn’t say I consumed the book in one sitting but when it was put down i felt like the book was still with me, my mind ticking over about what I had just read and had me rethinking what I felt about certain people in the book.A massive thanks to Bookouture, Netgalley and Victoria Jenkins for my advanced review copy. Also thanks to Noelle for letting me join yet another fab book tour!
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  • Roxanne
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for a copy of the eARC in exchange for a fair review.Sylvie moved away not long after her best friend was found in the lake and her father died, but now her mother has died and she has to come home to sort things. Soon after she sees Judith, Victoria's mother and she is shocked to find out that Sylvie has had a baby and named her Victoria. Judith mentions that she is working with Sam to find out what happened to Victoria.Soon Sylvie finds things spiraling ou Thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for a copy of the eARC in exchange for a fair review.Sylvie moved away not long after her best friend was found in the lake and her father died, but now her mother has died and she has to come home to sort things. Soon after she sees Judith, Victoria's mother and she is shocked to find out that Sylvie has had a baby and named her Victoria. Judith mentions that she is working with Sam to find out what happened to Victoria.Soon Sylvie finds things spiraling out of control, and she feels like she is losing it. Her husband doesn't know where she is. She has run into another old mate Michelle, and is dodging Sam about the documentary. Sam is working to find out what happened to Victoria and soon finds out that she was walking alone that night. Plus she was supposed to meet up with her boyfriend. As he digs deeper, Sylvie tries harder to avoid the past, and stop her fall into madness. She finally decides that she needs to head home, and answers Nathan's calls, but before she can get on the train. Victoria disappears, will Sylvie be able to find her before it is too late? Will the truth finally be revealed? So much I want to say. Sylvie and Victoria were best friends, Victoria disappears one night and is found in the following days in the lake. No one has ever been able to find out who murdered Victoria and why. I devoured this book, but I will say I was little underwhelmed by the ending. Mostly the who done it, and how that played out. However, the cliffhanger drew me back in. Well it isn't quite a cliffhanger, you can mostly guess how that would all play out. It was odd though, I found myself rooting for the wrong person even after everything was revealed. I just felt bad for that person. I was quite a bit happier with the ending though. That was what I wanted once the truth came out.
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  • Anne
    January 1, 1970
    Love, love, love this book! I'm a sucker for murder mysteries, especially those that involve teens, long-buried secrets, and a return to the past that resolves things for the characters. When Sylvie returns to her hometown after the death of her mother, she must revisit the circumstances surrounding the horrific demise of her best friend, Victoria when they were just high-school students. Old friends, an investigative journalist, the parents of the dead girl, and the victim's old boyfriend all p Love, love, love this book! I'm a sucker for murder mysteries, especially those that involve teens, long-buried secrets, and a return to the past that resolves things for the characters. When Sylvie returns to her hometown after the death of her mother, she must revisit the circumstances surrounding the horrific demise of her best friend, Victoria when they were just high-school students. Old friends, an investigative journalist, the parents of the dead girl, and the victim's old boyfriend all play a part in the suspense. But I guarantee you won't figure it out and the truth took my breath away! Shockingly good!
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  • Sharon
    January 1, 1970
    Review to follow as part of the blog tour
  • kellie
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this book, it ticked all the boxes for a good mystery thriller in which i enjoy. It did lack in character likeness for me, I didn't really warm to any of them.The story is told from the character, Sylvie's, point of view, in the now and the past. At 15 Victoria is murdered and this still haunts Sylvie today. She moves back to the little town it happened now with her own child after the news of her mothers death. Secrets and lies are uncovered on her return. The plot is clever and keeps I enjoyed this book, it ticked all the boxes for a good mystery thriller in which i enjoy. It did lack in character likeness for me, I didn't really warm to any of them.The story is told from the character, Sylvie's, point of view, in the now and the past. At 15 Victoria is murdered and this still haunts Sylvie today. She moves back to the little town it happened now with her own child after the news of her mothers death. Secrets and lies are uncovered on her return. The plot is clever and keeps the reader engaged with the story. Some parts are narrated by Karen who is a journalist, who through her show likes to help solve unsolved mysteries.
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  • Abigail (Abbie) Osborne
    January 1, 1970
    To follow
  • Jen Lucas
    January 1, 1970
    From the very beginning of the book I found myself completely intrigued as to what was happening. The remnants of a party, a young girl clearly distressed, a body found in the water. What had happened to lead us to this point in time? Who was the young girl who had been found and how did she end up in the water? Well in order to find the answers to those questions, I had to keep reading. And keep reading I did.Sometimes emotional, often claustrophobic, there was an immediately oppressive atmosph From the very beginning of the book I found myself completely intrigued as to what was happening. The remnants of a party, a young girl clearly distressed, a body found in the water. What had happened to lead us to this point in time? Who was the young girl who had been found and how did she end up in the water? Well in order to find the answers to those questions, I had to keep reading. And keep reading I did.Sometimes emotional, often claustrophobic, there was an immediately oppressive atmosphere and tone about this novel, one which keeps you as a reader very much on the edge of your seat. Returning to her home town for the first time since that fateful day, Sylvie is very clear that she is only there to sort through her mother’s effects in readiness for the sale of the house. She is not remotely prepared for what she finds in her former home, or the emotional turmoil she will find herself in returning to a place which has such terrible memories for her.It is through Sylvie’s eyes that we experience the lion’s share of the story as she navigates her new situation, young daughter in tow, and tries to reconcile her past and her future. With a few segments told from the perspective of journalist and filmmaker Sam, a man who is trying to make a documentary about the still unexplained death Victoria, Sylvie’s best friend from childhood, and certain segments which take us back to events leading up to Victoria’s death, this is a carefully crafted and very effective psychological thriller. You can feel the past creeping in, taking over, sensing the danger as it begins to infect the present.There are so many twisted secrets, so many characters who are slightly off kilter, that it is hard to know which perspective to trust. Take Michelle for example. She forces her way back into the picture and there is something just a little … off … about her. And Victoria’s parents – one determined to draw Sylvie back in to the investigation, the other keeping her at bay. And while outwardly Sylvie seems to be as much a victim of the past as anyone else, there are aspects of her character which become clear as the story progresses, things which paint her in a less virtuous light. But was it all just teenage high jinx and did any of it have anything to do with what happened to Victoria.Sarah Wray introduces so much doubt that it’s hard to know who or what to trust, and there are many characters who act in creeping and unnerving ways, ones who would make you doubt their motives for being back in Sylvie’s life. It all adds to the tension and you are left to wonder whether Sylvie is likely to meet the same fate as Victoria. There are definitely elements of the story which keep you on a knife-edge and it is clear that too many people are keeping secrets. How many relate to what happened all those years ago you will have to read to find out.Despite all the misdirection, I did have a kind of gut instinct as to what may have happened, or at the very least what led to it. I wasn’t entirely correct, the author successfully and wisely holding back some vital information, and there are certain revelations which will take the reader by surprise towards the end. But I was still engrossed, still keen to find out the truth and to discover just who could possible have wanted to hurt Victoria.The setting is dark and foreboding, and, as I said earlier, somewhat claustrophobic. From the confines of a house which has seen no love in many a year, to the small community in which is it almost impossible to be invisible, right through to the lake which ultimately claimed Victoria’s life, you can feel it all clinging to and consuming Sylvie. And the pacing of the book compliments this perfectly.All in all a great psychological thriller which will keep you hooked from start to finish.
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  • Kaisha (The Writing Garnet)
    January 1, 1970
    All reviews can be found on my blog at https://thewritinggarnet.wordpress.comWhat an intriguing storyline! Sylvie is trying her hardest to forget her past, especially considering the fact that her past contains memories of her best friend, Victoria's, death. Buried emotions are brought back to the surface when Victoria's parents put their daughter's death back into the media, hoping someone would finally own up for Victoria's death. Seeing as twenty years has passed and nobody has come forward, All reviews can be found on my blog at https://thewritinggarnet.wordpress.comWhat an intriguing storyline! Sylvie is trying her hardest to forget her past, especially considering the fact that her past contains memories of her best friend, Victoria's, death. Buried emotions are brought back to the surface when Victoria's parents put their daughter's death back into the media, hoping someone would finally own up for Victoria's death. Seeing as twenty years has passed and nobody has come forward, the community aren't holding out much hope for the killer to randomly come forward after all of this time...The storyline of 'Her Best Friends' switches between the past and present. Whilst we do get to go back in time to the night of Victoria's death, we only really catch a glimpse of what happened that night. Predominantly the emotion, naturally. Reading those 'past' parts of the book, it probably sounds ignorant of me to say, but I didn't feel like there was anything untoward apart from the obvious. If you asked me to point a finger at one of the characters who I thought were responsible or knew something about Victoria's death, I honestly wouldn't have been able to. That said, when Victoria's parents brought in Sam to help put the murder back into the media, I only began to suspect a character because of other character's opinions and not because I managed to work it out. In all honesty, putting my faith into certain characters who decided to come out of the woodwork at the 'right' time, really was naive of me. However, due to the way in which the author had told the story, I was able to over think Victoria's death big time which meant that when the story concluded, the truth had my jaw dropping by at least 6 foot.As horrible as this probably sounds, when I was reading the parts where Victoria was alive, I found myself disliking her almost straight away. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I thought Victoria deserved to die - that would be nasty, but there was something about her character which really, really bugged me. Not that it matters, obviously, as she only appeared in the book for a short amount of time!'Her Best Friend' is such an addictive read. This isn't the sort of book where you can think 'just one more chapter then I'll go to bed'. Not at all. It's the type of book which is extremely likely to get under your skin, with an even higher chance of removing any sign of logical thinking when it comes to pausing the book. It would not surprise me if most of the readers who picked up Sarah Wray's novel, turned round and said that they finished it in one sitting. Even though most of my thoughts of this book are extremely positive, there were a couple of chapters where I felt like the storyline had slowed down far too much, which meant that I was left waiting for everything to pick back up again. Personally I feel that the storyline would have flowed a bit better if the pace was a bit faster. However, I still enjoyed the book nonetheless.I began this book with no expectations, but I ended the book with my jaw on the floor and the words, 'what the f.....' spilling out of my mouth before I could even stop them. What a fantastic, unexpected conclusion which, in my eyes, was the star of the show tenfold.Thanks Bookouture.
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  • Diane Hogg
    January 1, 1970
    Gawd you could have blew me down with a feather, an intense thrill ride, produced from a slow burn, a purely explosive psychological thriller, sometimes a secret can’t stay hidden, can you uncover the secret before Sarah Wray calls time on Her Best Friend.I was captivated by the whole premise of the plotline, but I can say I was a little nervous to begin with wondering can I really get my teeth in this book, but once I started turning the pages, I had nothing to fear but the end itself.Well wher Gawd you could have blew me down with a feather, an intense thrill ride, produced from a slow burn, a purely explosive psychological thriller, sometimes a secret can’t stay hidden, can you uncover the secret before Sarah Wray calls time on Her Best Friend.I was captivated by the whole premise of the plotline, but I can say I was a little nervous to begin with wondering can I really get my teeth in this book, but once I started turning the pages, I had nothing to fear but the end itself.Well where to begin, Sylvie Armstrong has been in hiding, trying to escape her past, her best friend was murdered twenty years previously, now Sylvie has to return home, confront her past, the secrets and settle her mothers estate. Terror grips Sylvie when a locket Victoria wore on the night she died appears as a gift on her doorstep, who knows what happened, the secrets unravel as the truth becomes known.Her Best friend fluctuates back and forth between 1995 when Victoria died and the present day, the insight into the friendship between Sylvie and Victoria helps set the scene but also starts to reveal the lies which hampered the original investigation. Following through to present day, Sam a journalist, uses his podcast to document the investigation, he interviewed various people uncovering more lies, it drove me batty thinking I knew who was the killer, only for my theory to blown out of the water.I’m not completely sure if I connected with any of the characters but even so it didn’t do any damage to the plotline for me. They were all in my opinion unreliable, I mistrusted all of them, I never felt any of the characters were able speak the truth. The characters were carefully thought out and planned fitting well with the book but I didn’t really want to side with any of them, I think that’s part of the reason I was unsure about them. Overall the characterisation was spot on but not what I anticipated.I thoroughly enjoyed Her Best Friend, the thrill of the ride, the slow building pace, creeping up to the rollercoaster high and throwing you deep into the secrets hoping to unravel the lies and find the killer. Wow what a psychological thriller!Thank you to Bookouture and Noelle for allowing me the opportunity to be part of the Blog Blitz for Her Best Friend, thanks also to Sarah Wray for an advanced readers copy to read in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    It is very unusual for me to get so far through a book and then abandon it, but at 60% of 'Her Best Friend' I simply could not read anymore. The book started off a little confusingly what with the characters and switching perspectives between chapters, but I soon got to grips with it. What I couldn't get on board with is that the whole plot seemed to move SO slowly, and even by 60% I felt that nothing had really happened. I just didn't get any enjoyment out of it. Part of me wanted to persevere It is very unusual for me to get so far through a book and then abandon it, but at 60% of 'Her Best Friend' I simply could not read anymore. The book started off a little confusingly what with the characters and switching perspectives between chapters, but I soon got to grips with it. What I couldn't get on board with is that the whole plot seemed to move SO slowly, and even by 60% I felt that nothing had really happened. I just didn't get any enjoyment out of it. Part of me wanted to persevere given that I was only halfway through, but at the same time I don't see the point in wasting time on books I am not enjoying.
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  • Melissa Borsey
    January 1, 1970
    Two decades after a 15 year old girl was murdered a journalist has taken up this unsolved mystery to see if any new leads can offer justice. I thought this book was just painstakingly slow and boring. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Joan
    January 1, 1970
    This is a dual time frame narrative told entirely from one point of view. It is about best friends Victoria Preston and Sylvie Armstrong and focuses mainly upon the mystery of what happened one night when both girls were 15 years old. It’s a particularly painful memory for Sylvie because it is not only the night Victoria died, but then very soon after her father also passed away, leading to a rift between Sylvie and her mother; a rift never repaired. It was the night her parents threw a party; a This is a dual time frame narrative told entirely from one point of view. It is about best friends Victoria Preston and Sylvie Armstrong and focuses mainly upon the mystery of what happened one night when both girls were 15 years old. It’s a particularly painful memory for Sylvie because it is not only the night Victoria died, but then very soon after her father also passed away, leading to a rift between Sylvie and her mother; a rift never repaired. It was the night her parents threw a party; a night that always haunted Sylvie, but that she had tried her very best to put out of her mind. Victoria’s murder was never solved.Twenty years later Sylvie’s mother is discovered dead, at the bottom of her stairs. Sylvie returns to her childhood home to get the house tidied up and ready to sell. She has her baby daughter with her who she had named Victoria. It is close to the twentieth anniversary of the party night and fresh investigations are being undergone by an investigative reporter with speculation and innuendo readily available for all to read online. Sylvie is grieving and baby Victoria is unsettled, leaving her mother exhausted. Then a package is posted through the letterbox. Inside is Victoria’s heart shaped locket, the very locket she wore at the party. When other messages arrive on the doormat, Sylvie begins to believe she is being watched and that her life may be in danger. Every new day is a challenge for her as she doesn’t know what will happen next.‘Her Best Friend’ relives the last days of Victoria’s life through flashbacks, untold memories and interviews with potential witnesses broadcast online. The suspense racks up as piece by piece the bits of the jigsaw are put into their right place. The information gathered together accumulates, layered with menace and shocks. I found the story slow moving to begin with, but as the story gathered momentum I was gripped, never once predicting how it would end. Secrets, lies, cover-ups and startling revelations finally tease out the shocking truth as it is laid bare for us all. I don’t have a favourite character. In some ways they were all self-serving with agendas of their own and I didn’t like any of them. I felt sympathy for Victoria’s parents, losing a daughter so young, and for Sylvie, whose life was turned up-side-down, damaging her forever, but I still did not like these two women at all. I thought the actual plot was complicated, clever and original.I would like to thank NetGalley and publisher Bookouture for my copy of this novel, sent in return for an honest review. It’s a 7/10 from me and the recommendation that this is well worth a read.
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  • Claire Reeder
    January 1, 1970
    Two girls, one murder and a secret that binds them together. Sylvie and Victoria were best friends but tragically Victoria is murdered and the killer has never been caught. Sylvie hasn’t spoken about that night in over two decades but then her mother dies. After returning to her mum’s house along with her baby daughter, Sylvie must start to confront the secrets of her past.This book is a brilliant thriller with a shocking end. It’s set between the past leading up to Victoria’s death and present Two girls, one murder and a secret that binds them together. Sylvie and Victoria were best friends but tragically Victoria is murdered and the killer has never been caught. Sylvie hasn’t spoken about that night in over two decades but then her mother dies. After returning to her mum’s house along with her baby daughter, Sylvie must start to confront the secrets of her past.This book is a brilliant thriller with a shocking end. It’s set between the past leading up to Victoria’s death and present day and will bleep you gripped to the end.Thank you to NetGalley, Bookouture and the author for the chance to review.
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  • Mark
    January 1, 1970
    ..‘Her Best Friend’ by Sarah Wary out on Nov 27th and published by BookoutureA well written and satisfying read....2 15 year olds go home from a party, but do they????....one is found dead in ‘the lake’, the place that dodgy people meet and no good happens....The murder remains unsolvedYears later Sylvie returns to the town, reluctantly, to sell her Mum’s house and all manner of secrets are unleashed, the past is back and of course the past is never as it seems....who did kill Victoria and why.. ..‘Her Best Friend’ by Sarah Wary out on Nov 27th and published by BookoutureA well written and satisfying read....2 15 year olds go home from a party, but do they????....one is found dead in ‘the lake’, the place that dodgy people meet and no good happens....The murder remains unsolvedYears later Sylvie returns to the town, reluctantly, to sell her Mum’s house and all manner of secrets are unleashed, the past is back and of course the past is never as it seems....who did kill Victoria and why....The book is written from various perspectives and from the present and the past but unlike can happen this does not confuse the story and it flows really well, also it is partly told via Karen a journalist who is trying to re open the case, but her narrative is as she is broadcasting her radio show which looks into unsolved murders, very different and very well doneAll the characters are instantly imagined and you get comfortable with them quickly, some great descriptive writing and scene settingThe book doesn’t go off on a tangent but keeps you focused on the story and keen to know what will happenThe twist and turns keep coming, I thought I had solved it but was wrong, then when it has been solved and you think its ‘game over’ there is a fab ending which left me thinking ‘oooooooooo now what will happen’A gripping, suspenseful but enjoyable read and one that will thrill, shock and make you smile in equal measure, loved it and would highly reccomend10/10 5 stars
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  • Jennifer O.
    January 1, 1970
    2 girls, one murdered, 20 years later.... Sylvie returns to her childhood home, the town where her best friend was murdered and the killer never identified. Her mother was found dead in her home and Sylvie needs to return to take care of the house. A blank envelope is pushed through her letterbox, a heart shaped locket inside, the very locket her friend Victoria was wearing when she was killed! Who is doing this to her and why?! Sylvie is the main narrator and scenes go back in time to 20 years 2 girls, one murdered, 20 years later.... Sylvie returns to her childhood home, the town where her best friend was murdered and the killer never identified. Her mother was found dead in her home and Sylvie needs to return to take care of the house. A blank envelope is pushed through her letterbox, a heart shaped locket inside, the very locket her friend Victoria was wearing when she was killed! Who is doing this to her and why?! Sylvie is the main narrator and scenes go back in time to 20 years before when her and Victoria were best friends. The 20 year anniversary is approaching and Karen Price, a journalist, is doing a podcast called "Someone Must Know". Will they ever discover who killed Victoria and why? Only vague details are given about Sylvie and you are left wondering where her husband is and why she has been estranged from her mother for all of these years. She doesn't let you completely in and give you all of her secrets! I wanted answers! This is my first book by this author and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I will be looking for all of her future work! Well written and suspenseful! 4.5/5 stars! I would like to thank Bookouture and NetGaley for an advanced copy of this book!
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  • Marj Ward
    January 1, 1970
    WOW! What an incredible book. This is the story of two 15 year old girls told twenty years later. They were best friends. One is murdered and the other is faced with the events from twenty years in the past. A fast paced page turner. You will not see the ending coming. A superb read! Thank you NetGalley, Bookoutre and the Author for allowing me to read and review this book.
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