The Best of Friends
An unthinkable tragedy forever changes a group of teens and turns family against family in this edge-of-your-seat thriller that begs to be read in one sitting. Best friends Lindsey, Kendra, and Dani endure every parent’s nightmare when a tragic accident befalls their teenage boys, leaving one dead, another in a coma, and a third too traumatized to speak.Reeling from the worst night of their lives, the three mothers plunge into a desperate investigation of the bizarre incident. How could something so horrible happen in their wealthy Southern California suburb?They soon discover that the accident was just the beginning, and troubling discoveries lead to chilling questions: Do they really know their children? Do they even know each other? As more secrets surface, a fog of doubt and suspicion threatens to poison their families, their friendships, and the whole community.With the illusion of happiness and safety long gone, these women must now confront the hazards of heartbreak, the consequences of jealousy, and the dangers of living double lives.

The Best of Friends Details

TitleThe Best of Friends
Author
ReleaseAug 18th, 2020
PublisherThomas & Mercer
Rating
GenreThriller, Fiction, Mystery, Mystery Thriller

The Best of Friends Review

  • Nilufer Ozmekik
    January 1, 1970
    Five tragic, emotionally suffocating, heart ripping, soul shattering, tear jerking, extremely poignant stars! This is book is about testing your friendships, being a mother and dealing with the grief and terrible loss. How far a mother goes to learn the ugly truth behind the loss of her child? Should she deny the facts to move on or should she still dig more till the terrifying truth comes out and destroy everything she has: including family, friendship and her reputation. I have to repeat famou Five tragic, emotionally suffocating, heart ripping, soul shattering, tear jerking, extremely poignant stars! This is book is about testing your friendships, being a mother and dealing with the grief and terrible loss. How far a mother goes to learn the ugly truth behind the loss of her child? Should she deny the facts to move on or should she still dig more till the terrifying truth comes out and destroy everything she has: including family, friendship and her reputation. I have to repeat famous quote of Jack Nicholson’s character at “A Few Good Men” movie screams at Tom Cruise at the court scene: “You cannot handle the truth!” But it eventually comes out!An unthinkable tragedy hits hard the suburban lives and destroys everything the families build forever. They were divine members of sisterhood: Lindsey, Kendra, Dani who grew up together, aged together, became mothers and confidantes of each other. Their kids also befriended each other like their mothers did. But one eerie night, the gun blasts tear the silent night apart and too many terrible things happened at the same time. A big tragedy changed the lives of three kids of those close friends: One of them is dead, one of them is in coma and one of them is too traumatized to talk about what happened. Kendra’s son Sawyer is dead and she cannot deal the fact tells them it is a simple accident. She knows this is so easy to accept. There is something more sinister about the night and as the investigation continues she becomes more frustrated. And Lindsey’s son Jacob is still in coma. Only Dani’s son Caleb may tell them what happened but Dani’s abusive, control freak husband prevents Kendra to talk with his son. So what happened that night? Did one of them try to kill the others or is the truth more complicated they can deal with.Take a seat and flip the pages to get ready for heart wrenching, devastating and shocking ending. Minor spoiler alert: after truth comes out, three women’s lives will never be the same. They will be haunted with that ominous night’s events forever.This is fast pacing, intriguing, well-developed, thought provoking, argumentative story is told by three women. They are both flawed and broken characters but it is easy to resonate with each of them separately. The story hooks you up and captivates your attention till the end. I was dying to binge watch new season La Casa Da Papel (Money Height)s new season but this book occupied me so I couldn’t put it down. My fingers were already glued and my mind was already addicted! I haven’t read the Perfect Child which I read so many great reviews about it and after reading this amazing book, I’ll go back to my frightening Mount TBR and choose it ASAP! I’m so happy to be introduced with a talented author.So many thanks to NetGalley and Thomas&Mercer for sharing this gripping ARC in exchange my honest review and true feelings.bloginstagramfacebooktwitter
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  • Melissa Buehner
    January 1, 1970
    Coming soon to a bookstore near you. Or wherever it is, you buy books.Expected Publication Date: August 18, 2020Secrets abound in Lucinda Berry's upcoming thriller, The Best of Friends.So many secrets, in fact, that my head is spiraling a bit -- and not in a good way. Aye, aye, aye . . . Kendra, Dani, and Lindsey, best friends since childhood and mothers to three teenage boys, experience a tragedy that is every parent's worst nightmare. After a hard night of partying, a terrible accident involvi Coming soon to a bookstore near you. Or wherever it is, you buy books.Expected Publication Date: August 18, 2020Secrets abound in Lucinda Berry's upcoming thriller, The Best of Friends.So many secrets, in fact, that my head is spiraling a bit -- and not in a good way. Aye, aye, aye . . . Kendra, Dani, and Lindsey, best friends since childhood and mothers to three teenage boys, experience a tragedy that is every parent's worst nightmare. After a hard night of partying, a terrible accident involving the young boys occurs. In a matter of moments, one boy is dead, another is in a coma, and the third is unable to communicate, having withdrawn inside himself. It's a horrible nightmare -- one that I, personally, cannot contemplate too deeply as a mother of two young boys. And I would be remiss if I did not forewarn readers that the subject matter of this novel is very disturbing at times and may make for a difficult read, particularly for those who are parents.So, what happened that night? Well . . . you will have to read the novel to find out.The Best of Friends opens with a prologue that is dramatic and intense. The reader is immediately inserted into the panic that Kendra experiences the night of the accident, feels her fear. One is very quickly absorbed into the narrative ---- and then it all, unfortunately, turns into one big mess.And all the messiness, my friends, is a result of the writing. First off, Berry’s writing is simple and pedestrian. The novel does not require much thought from the reader, as Berry's writing style lacks any sort of real nuance or complexity. Secondly, the novel is in serious need of character development and voice distinction. The story is told from the points of view of the three mothers, through alternating chapters, and in all honesty, I struggled to keep the characters' names straight and to remember whose viewpoint I was reading. Juggling three viewpoints and voices should not be this tough to do. But in this case, it is tricky because Kendra, Dani, and Lindsey are basically the same woman, just in triplicate.Thirdly, -- and related to the above-mentioned problem -- in what I believe is a misguided attempt by Berry to write the novel in a fashion similar to Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies, she initially withholds too much information about the women and their lives from the reader. Berry takes her time . . . WAY too much time . . . and s-l-o-w-l-y unfurls the defining details of the characters, their lives, their hidden scandals and secrets. But she doesn’t reveal enough to the reader in the very beginning so that a clear mental image of the three women can be formed in one’s mind. It is extremely difficult to fully connect to the story and the characters because of this.And lastly, I feel like Berry throws random, out-of-the blue, jarring facts about the characters into the narrative . . . only to then, very oddly, never mention them again. It's as if she wanted to desperately up the shock factor and the scandal, and then forgot to fully weave all of the dangling loose ends into the story. For example, almost 3/4 of the way into the book, Berry slips in the fact that one of the women has an eating disorder -- but then that's it. The reader never learns anything else about said eating disorder. AT ALL. Umm . . . really?!?! An eating disorder is not something that should be haphazardly tossed into a narrative, only to then be instantly forgotten.There is also an allusion to a character maybe, possibly, having a drinking problem . . . but I have no clue as to whether it was ever fully clarified in the story. And at the very end of the novel, a reference is made regarding an event that happened during the women's junior year of high school. But for the life of me, I don't believe we ever find out what actually transpired. I've even skimmed back through the novel and searched, in an attempt to find an earlier reference to that particular night that I may have read and then misplaced in my mind. I have found nothing and am still left scratching my head about it. (If anyone finds another reference or an explanation of the event, will you please let me know?)And after all that . . . after wading through the novel’s extremely messy and disorganized narrative . . . the big reveal of the who and the how and the why of the tragic accident involving the three teenage boys is a bit of a letdown. It is so anti-climactic, in fact, that I was even taken aback while reading it, not having realized and being surprised that I had, indeed, arrived at the grand finale.Sigh. ‘Tis disappointing, I know.Oh! I must also mention the epilogue -- so unbelievable and utterly ridiculous. Even now, I am shaking my head in disbelief.The Best of Friends earns two stars from me, as my interest was held well enough that I was inclined to at least see it through to the end. But unfortunately, I am unable to recommend it.I received an Advanced Readers Copy from #NetGalley and #ThomasandMercer in exchange for an honest review. All opinions included herein are my own.
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    This is a heartbreaking story of friendship and motherhood and I would be lying if I said that it didn't bring me to tears. As a mother of a teenage boy, well, this just really hit close to home. Lindsey, Dani, and Kendra have been life long best friends. They used to fantasize at sleepovers about how they would all live nearby one another, get married, and have children. They would have family vacations, backyard barbecues, holidays, and basically all the milestones that life brings you they wo This is a heartbreaking story of friendship and motherhood and I would be lying if I said that it didn't bring me to tears. As a mother of a teenage boy, well, this just really hit close to home. Lindsey, Dani, and Kendra have been life long best friends. They used to fantasize at sleepovers about how they would all live nearby one another, get married, and have children. They would have family vacations, backyard barbecues, holidays, and basically all the milestones that life brings you they would share together. As luck would have it their dreams came true. Sawyer (Kendra's son), Jacob (Lindsey's son), and Caleb (Dani's son) have grown just as close as their mothers. They are your typical teenage boys that enjoy playing soccer, video games, and partying however one night proves fatal: Sawyer lays dead, Jacob is in a coma, and Caleb won't speak. Questions and blame threaten everything these women hold dear including their friendship. For the first 30% of this book I was so confused. The mothers and sons were interchangeable and I had a hard time keeping up with who was who but I did eventually settle in okay and once I was in I couldn't stop turning the pages. The ending I began to see coming and it is just heartbreaking. I had to tissue up for those last few chapters. I do have a small gripe with the epilogue - it seemed a bit too contrived of a twist. Tragedy can strike anyone in an instant so all I can say after reading this is go home, hug your kids, and tell them how much you love them. 4 stars! Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer fro providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Donna
    January 1, 1970
    The Best of Friends wasted no time in grabbing my attention. The action starts in the very first sentence and doesn’t let up from there. I was captivated, wanting to know what happened, to whom, and why. Kendra, Lindsey and Dani have been best friends since they were children. They grew up, married, moved close to each other, and had children. Their sons, Sawyer, Jacob and Caleb also became best friends, and life was pretty good for everyone. Except that it really wasn’t. There were secrets in e The Best of Friends wasted no time in grabbing my attention. The action starts in the very first sentence and doesn’t let up from there. I was captivated, wanting to know what happened, to whom, and why. Kendra, Lindsey and Dani have been best friends since they were children. They grew up, married, moved close to each other, and had children. Their sons, Sawyer, Jacob and Caleb also became best friends, and life was pretty good for everyone. Except that it really wasn’t. There were secrets in each family that just didn’t seem that important, until one of the boys dies from a gunshot wound, one is left on life-support, and one is intensely traumatized. What happened? The parents, grief-stricken and looking for answers, find their worlds spinning out of control. As they work with the detective to get to the bottom of that horrible night of the shootings, other problems in their lives start to become important, and their eyes are opened to things kept buried or never known until now. I was intrigued with this story from beginning to end, as the author, Lucinda Berry, releases only small tidbits throughout to let you know what might or might not be the answer to the what, who, and why of everything. I was never able to figure out exactly what happened until she made it clear, and even when I finally learned the truth, there was one more surprise at the end that I never saw coming. There were so many pieces to this story, and the author tied them together skillfully, never losing my attention. What a gripping tale! My thanks to NetGalley and Thomas and Mercer for an ARC in exchange for my honest review. 4 stars
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  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    A tragedy involving three teenage sons of lifelong friends remains an open ended mystery. We know the end result, but we don’t know what happened or who, if anyone, is at fault. The sole survivor is so traumatized he can’t speak about it.As each family attempts to grasp the shocking turn of their lives, at the heart is a story of relationships - between friends, family members, husbands and wives, sons and daughters.I thought this may be too sorrowful to read during these stressful times, but an A tragedy involving three teenage sons of lifelong friends remains an open ended mystery. We know the end result, but we don’t know what happened or who, if anyone, is at fault. The sole survivor is so traumatized he can’t speak about it.As each family attempts to grasp the shocking turn of their lives, at the heart is a story of relationships - between friends, family members, husbands and wives, sons and daughters.I thought this may be too sorrowful to read during these stressful times, but an underlying lifting sentiment was surprisingly affected by the author. That’s talent! This was a fast read and flowed easily. My first novel by Lucinda Berry, but it won’t be the last as I’ve happened upon an impressive “New to me” author.Thank you to Netgalley, Thomas & Mercer, and Lucinda Berry for my advance copy.
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  • Kimberly Belle
    January 1, 1970
    Review to come, but here's a spoiler: this book made me a Berry fan!! 😍
  • Lisa-Books Smiles
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars!
  • CYIReadBooks
    January 1, 1970
    Unbelievably stirring and compelling straight out of the gates! Such a page turner of a read.The lives of three best friends -- Kendra, Lindsey, and Dani are disrupted when a tragedy strikes. What takes place is the unraveling of each of their marriages, and the revealing of secrets that were kept hidden for years.As each woman struggles with their own loss, you are swept up in all the emotion, trauma, and psychological dilemmas that each of them faces.Difficult to put down. An excellent novel a Unbelievably stirring and compelling straight out of the gates! Such a page turner of a read.The lives of three best friends -- Kendra, Lindsey, and Dani are disrupted when a tragedy strikes. What takes place is the unraveling of each of their marriages, and the revealing of secrets that were kept hidden for years.As each woman struggles with their own loss, you are swept up in all the emotion, trauma, and psychological dilemmas that each of them faces.Difficult to put down. An excellent novel and will be sure to keep the author, Lucinda Berry on my radar. Five star read!Thank you NetGalley and the publisher Thomas & Mercer for the opportunity to read this book in exchange from my honest review.
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  • Michael David
    January 1, 1970
    I have no doubt that this will be on my top 10, maybe even top 5 list of BEST BOOKS OF 2020. I was gripped by this story of Kendra, Dani and Lindsey, who have been best friends forever! Now they have children of their own, and each of their teens are best friends to each other. One night, a horrific event takes place while the teens are hanging out. One ends up dead from a shotgun wound, another is in coma due to a shot to the head, and the other is alive but seemingly unable to talk and explain I have no doubt that this will be on my top 10, maybe even top 5 list of BEST BOOKS OF 2020. I was gripped by this story of Kendra, Dani and Lindsey, who have been best friends forever! Now they have children of their own, and each of their teens are best friends to each other. One night, a horrific event takes place while the teens are hanging out. One ends up dead from a shotgun wound, another is in coma due to a shot to the head, and the other is alive but seemingly unable to talk and explain what happened. This creates a domino effect in the lives of the three women and their families. This is an unputdownable drama that doesn't stop pulling you until the very last page, which has a surprising little twist. The beautifully smooth and descriptive writing by Lucinda Perry makes a great reading experience and very difficult to set the book down. I absolutely loved THE BEST OF FRIENDS, and can't wait to read more from this author. Thank you to Thomas & Mercer, author Lucinda Berry, and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 Stars - First, a thank you to @netgalley and Thomas & Mercer for this ARC! A little bit of a heavy read, especially for a parent. The book centres around 3 women who have been friends since childhood. Their 3 sons have been friends since birth. One night a shooting happens and 1 son is left dead, 1 son is left in a coma, and 1 son is left non-verbal. The incident opens up a huge investigation with the police and a messy situation with the 3 women and their families. Nothing is as it seems on 3.5 Stars - First, a thank you to @netgalley and Thomas & Mercer for this ARC! A little bit of a heavy read, especially for a parent. The book centres around 3 women who have been friends since childhood. Their 3 sons have been friends since birth. One night a shooting happens and 1 son is left dead, 1 son is left in a coma, and 1 son is left non-verbal. The incident opens up a huge investigation with the police and a messy situation with the 3 women and their families. Nothing is as it seems on the surface and secrets are revealed.I found the story to be the kind that kept me wanting more as I turned the pages, but by the end, I realized it fell flat and I expected more.... I kind of predicted it BUT there was 1 small surprise at the end that I did not expect which is why I gave the extra .5 stars. I could not keep up with which son belonged to which family - I had to write down the parents names and which son belonged to them as I was reading so I could reference from it. I know this is my issue, but I found it took away from the enjoyment of reading the book.
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  • David
    January 1, 1970
    The Best of Friends by Lucinda Berry is a great book, but very sad as well. It talks about three friends (Lindsey, Kendra and Dani) from childhood until today. It is told from their viewpoints. Their sons are also best friends. A terrible "accident" happens and one son is killed, one is in a coma, and one is alive, but isn't talking. The book discusses the women's efforts to find out what happened. In the course of the book, old jealousies , rivalries and insecurities bubble to the top. Not all The Best of Friends by Lucinda Berry is a great book, but very sad as well. It talks about three friends (Lindsey, Kendra and Dani) from childhood until today. It is told from their viewpoints. Their sons are also best friends. A terrible "accident" happens and one son is killed, one is in a coma, and one is alive, but isn't talking. The book discusses the women's efforts to find out what happened. In the course of the book, old jealousies , rivalries and insecurities bubble to the top. Not all of the marriages are as "perfect" as they seem. There are a lot of twists and turns along the way, but as a reader, you are riveted to the book. It isn't until near the very end, that you find out what happened. It is a shocking ending, and the lives of these lifelong friends and their families will never be the same. And then, the story ends with one more surprise. You have to read it to find out. This book makes me want to read more by Lucinda Berry. Her training as a childhood trauma psychologist comes through loud and clear in this book. I highly, highly recommend this book.My thanks to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for giving me an ARC and providing me with the opportunity to read this book.
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  • Tessa
    January 1, 1970
    *My thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for gifting me with a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.*Publish Date: August 18, 2020⭐⭐⭐⭐ - This was a rough one, folks, but not in the way you'd think.The Best of Friends is a harrowing tale of family, secrets, and the circumstances surrounding the death of two teenage boys and the silence of one. Jacob, Caleb, and Sawyer have been friends since birth, and their mothers before them. From the outside, they all had perfect lives. But when Sawyer *My thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for gifting me with a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.*Publish Date: August 18, 2020⭐⭐⭐⭐ - This was a rough one, folks, but not in the way you'd think.The Best of Friends is a harrowing tale of family, secrets, and the circumstances surrounding the death of two teenage boys and the silence of one. Jacob, Caleb, and Sawyer have been friends since birth, and their mothers before them. From the outside, they all had perfect lives. But when Sawyer is shot dead, Jacob into brain death, and Caleb terrified into absolute silence, their mothers desperately try to piece together what could have happened while the illusion of perfection falls down around them. Secrets are dragged kicking and screaming to the light and one thing becomes clear: They did not know their children as well as they thought, and that they weren't the only ones keeping secrets. First I must attest to Lucida Berry's ability to move a story along quickly. I started this at about 9:30pm and finished at 12:30AM. That's fast even for me, but it wasn't for lack of information. The story is told from the inter-changing POVs of the boys' grieving mothers, who had also grown up together since little kids. Their families were always very close, but now with one child dead and another on the way they start quickly pointing fingers at each others children while trying to navigate the horror of the case to find out what really happened that night. Each family held an entire cache of secrets, some worse than others, and that most definitely sent the pace of the book into breakneck speed as you attempt to figure out how that secret could have affected the boys actions in a way that led to their careless use of a gun. When the seeds were dropped about certain motives pertaining to Jacob and Sawyer in particular, there was no way I could stop until I found out for sure, and of course, by then, my heart was shattered. This book will definitely make you feel things. It is not lacking in emotion in any respect. I'm not sure if this was intentional, but I did not enjoy the parents. At all. I found them each to be cruel in their own ways, whether to their remaining children, each other, or their husbands(when they didn't deserve it), and it reminded me of why I stopped reading adult fiction. There is a pervasive attitude that adult relationships are nothing but bitter. Full of cheating or divorce or violence or flat out mistrust and that message ripples into our perception of the world and what it is like to be in relationship.( TLDR: Are the straights okay??? I mean honestly? Can we stop this? ) Now, I understand that the particular disfunction in these relationships were absolutely plot necessary, so I find no fault in that. But it definitely speaks to the fact that I was not as surprised by any of it as I probably should have been. This book isn't for the faint of heart. It delves deeply into the grief of losing a child and the complicated emotions surrounding it. It speaks about abuse in marriage and in the home. There is some concerning language triggers (though they are not used against anyone as much as they are repeated for information's sake). It will throw you for a loop or two, but it was not entirely hard to find out a lot of the twists. Really, what kept me going was the absolute visceral need shared by the three mothers to find out exactly what happened that night. And it was. A lot to process. I cried my eyes out. So, if you are looking for that kind of twisty, fast-paced read centered around family, you'll wanna pick this up.
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  • Elvina Zafril
    January 1, 1970
    The Best of Friends was brilliant. It is a heavy book to me. Lucinda Berry wrote a beautiful story about love and hate, loss and heartbreak and friendship.This book tells a story about 3 teenage boys Sawyer, Jacob and Caleb grown up and become best friends and their mothers who also grown up as childhood best friends. The Best of Friends talked about many things and the focus is more on to test the friendship between 3 mothers Kendra, Dani and Lindsey after the incident that happened to their ch The Best of Friends was brilliant. It is a heavy book to me. Lucinda Berry wrote a beautiful story about love and hate, loss and heartbreak and friendship.This book tells a story about 3 teenage boys Sawyer, Jacob and Caleb grown up and become best friends and their mothers who also grown up as childhood best friends. The Best of Friends talked about many things and the focus is more on to test the friendship between 3 mothers Kendra, Dani and Lindsey after the incident that happened to their children.As the story started with the tragedy happened which gun shots have been fired at a sleepover and left one of the boys dead, one of them is in coma and the other was in trauma and he's so traumatized to even speak up about what had actually happened that night. Detective Locke tried to investigate and solved the case and piece by piece they learned new things about their children and husbands but they are hiding about it with their best friends. What are they hiding? Why would they hide? They started questioning their marriages as well as their friendship. All the characters felt real to me and it was like watching a good thriller film and it really was amazing I couldn’t put the book down. The surprises will shock you and you couldn’t expect what’s coming. This book contains a strong message and it really was an amazing read for me. Such a powerful book.Thank you NetGalley and Thomas&Mercer for sharing this ARC in exchange for an honest review. This book will be available on August 18th, 2020.
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    THE BEST OF FRIENDSBY LUCINDA BERRYLucinda Berry is a trauma specialist psychologist. She is a leading researcher in childhood trauma. She openly admits that she uses her clinical experience to create disturbing psychological thrillers, blurring the line between fiction and non-fiction. I am not going to lie and say that this was an easy book to read because it most definitely was not. In fact, while I began reading this my stomach was churning and it felt sick and like it was churning. So much THE BEST OF FRIENDSBY LUCINDA BERRYLucinda Berry is a trauma specialist psychologist. She is a leading researcher in childhood trauma. She openly admits that she uses her clinical experience to create disturbing psychological thrillers, blurring the line between fiction and non-fiction. I am not going to lie and say that this was an easy book to read because it most definitely was not. In fact, while I began reading this my stomach was churning and it felt sick and like it was churning. So much so, that I had to keep drinking coke to settle my stomach. Once I was reading I knew this was definitely not my kind of book. Still I pushed through it and forced myself to finish it. I did not enjoy it.What I liked about the book was that it was short chapters. Did I mention I love short chapters? Each chapter is told from the three different mother's of these high school senior's points of view. Kendra, Lindsey and Dani have been life long friends whom live close by in an affluent neighborhood, They and their husband's are jolted from their sleep to every parent's worse nightmare. Kendra and Paul's son Sawyer is dead. Lindsey and Andrew's son is in a coma and Dani and Bryan's son is not talking. Each set of parent's lives are irrecoverably changed forever.Each set of parent's have their issues. All three wives and mother's try to put the pieces of the puzzle together to try and figure out exactly what happened. Their friendships are tested and they are on the brink of so much suffering that their pain jumped off the pages to me. This is such an excellent character study into how well do we really know our children. As I was reading I thought back to when a good friend of mine said to me that I probably never realized what my two son's did. They are 21 and 18 and after reading this I tend to agree with that cryptic warning. They are both out of the house and I don't have any idea what they are doing. I hope and pray that I never experience what these three families did.Publication Date: August 18, 2020Thank you to Net Galley, Lucinda Berry and Thomas & Mercer Publishing for providing me with my ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinion's are my own.#TheBestofFriends #Lucinda Berry #Thomas&MercerPublishing #NetGalley
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  • Nancy Hudson
    January 1, 1970
    This book started off really well with an interesting premise and the writing was decent if somewhat simplistic. At about the half way point though I felt the story was starting to unravel a bit. It was losing some of its cohesiveness and wasn’t as tight as it should have been. There were several surprises and the extra little bit at the end was quite unexpected, almost a cliffhanger, but it seemed unrealistic and really wasn’t necessary. Other things bugged me as well including the doctor husba This book started off really well with an interesting premise and the writing was decent if somewhat simplistic. At about the half way point though I felt the story was starting to unravel a bit. It was losing some of its cohesiveness and wasn’t as tight as it should have been. There were several surprises and the extra little bit at the end was quite unexpected, almost a cliffhanger, but it seemed unrealistic and really wasn’t necessary. Other things bugged me as well including the doctor husband ( couple #2) who suddenly seems to lose all his medical knowledge or the author forgot she made him a doctor. That really bugged me to no end. The relationship between the three women friends was not well fleshed out and the switching of POV made the reading experience clumsy. The book could have been much better with tighter editing and a little more character development and nuanced writing. Otherwise it was a good enough story and really quite sobering. Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Di
    January 1, 1970
    This book centres around 3 women who have been close friends since childhood and their sons who have been close friends since birth. A shooting occurs leaving one son dead, one son on life support and the remaining son non verbal. The ensuing investigation opens all sorts of issues.Many twists and turns and secrets right up until the very end. The secrets just kept getting deeper and deeper. Nothing is never as it seems. This book has tons of promise but for me it fell a little flat for the simp This book centres around 3 women who have been close friends since childhood and their sons who have been close friends since birth. A shooting occurs leaving one son dead, one son on life support and the remaining son non verbal. The ensuing investigation opens all sorts of issues.Many twists and turns and secrets right up until the very end. The secrets just kept getting deeper and deeper. Nothing is never as it seems. This book has tons of promise but for me it fell a little flat for the simple reason that it was hard the keep the families separate. Which son belonged to which mother. Whose son was dead or whose son was on life support. I had to go back to previous chapters to check who was who. The names were not similar, I’m not sure why this happened. I will assume that it is my problem, not a problem with the book. But, it took away some of the enjoyment of the book.
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  • Melissa In The City
    January 1, 1970
    This was my first book by Lucinda Berry and now I want to read more!I felt bad liking this story so much because of its content, if you know what I mean. But I really liked it because it was so well written and so deep. The characters had such depth and I could feel their emotions.As a parent of a son, this was heartbreaking to read and pulled on all my heartstrings, but it was also unputtdownable. It touched on so many different subjects, behaviors and emotions from the viewpoints of teenagers, This was my first book by Lucinda Berry and now I want to read more!I felt bad liking this story so much because of its content, if you know what I mean. But I really liked it because it was so well written and so deep. The characters had such depth and I could feel their emotions.As a parent of a son, this was heartbreaking to read and pulled on all my heartstrings, but it was also unputtdownable. It touched on so many different subjects, behaviors and emotions from the viewpoints of teenagers, parents and long time best of friends.Thank you to Netgalley, the author and the publisher for my ARC in exchange for me honest review.
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  • Andrea Pole
    January 1, 1970
    The Best of Friends by Lucinda Berry is another pulse-pounding domestic drama from an author who has cemented her place on my must read list. I have thoroughly enjoyed all of Ms Berry's work, and this latest is no exception.On a tragic night in Southern California, three teenage boys are involved in an unfathomable tragedy. Left to deal with the fallout are their mothers, who also happen to be lifelong friends. Told from the alternating perspectives of each of the women, Lindsey, Kendra, and Dan The Best of Friends by Lucinda Berry is another pulse-pounding domestic drama from an author who has cemented her place on my must read list. I have thoroughly enjoyed all of Ms Berry's work, and this latest is no exception.On a tragic night in Southern California, three teenage boys are involved in an unfathomable tragedy. Left to deal with the fallout are their mothers, who also happen to be lifelong friends. Told from the alternating perspectives of each of the women, Lindsey, Kendra, and Dani, secrets begin to emerge from behind the closed doors of each devastated family. How well do we ever really know our closest friends or, in many cases, those who share our homes?This is a heart-wrenching read that I tore through over the course of a single afternoon. Its weighty, gripping subject matter will linger long after the final page has been turned.Many thanks to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for this ARC.
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  • Bri
    January 1, 1970
    This book was A RIDE, let me tell you. It centers around 2 generations of friends: Lindsey, Dani, and Kendra and their respective sons Jacob, Caleb, and Sawyer. The novel opens with a tragic drunken incident that leaves Sawyer dead, Jacob on life support, and Caleb catatonic with frequent emotional outbursts. Berry manages a striking portrayal of the chaos and deluge of grief. Nastiness, lies, secrets are revealed as the 3 women desperately try to unveil what happened between their sons on that This book was A RIDE, let me tell you. It centers around 2 generations of friends: Lindsey, Dani, and Kendra and their respective sons Jacob, Caleb, and Sawyer. The novel opens with a tragic drunken incident that leaves Sawyer dead, Jacob on life support, and Caleb catatonic with frequent emotional outbursts. Berry manages a striking portrayal of the chaos and deluge of grief. Nastiness, lies, secrets are revealed as the 3 women desperately try to unveil what happened between their sons on that fateful night. The changing POVs in this book reminded me of BIG LITTLE LIES, but with a more confusing character narrative, as each woman has multiple children which makes it somewhat hard to keep up. Dani, Lindsey, and Kendra’s relationships are complex but I don’t feel there was enough time spent on why one minute they’re best friends, and the next they’re siloing and hurling around accusations about something that happened years ago. Speaking of, allegedly something happened on their junior prom night that is directly referenced several times, but we never find out what it is!!! Besides too many characters, the extraneous plotline that never actually gets revealed is my biggest complaint about this book.Overall I enjoyed THE BEST OF FRIENDS. I found the plot compelling, I found it unputdownable. This is one of those books you stay up into the night reading to figure out what the heck is happening. And in most cases, you find out! I’d recommend this one for sure.Thanks to NetGalley for providing an ARC of this book for an honest review.
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  • Sandy
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Net Galley and Thomas & Mercer for this eARC in exchange for an honest review!**I devoured this book!! Lucinda Berry could not have grasped my attention more if she tried. *Every girls grows up with their best friend talking about how they will marry men who will be friends; how their kids will grow up to be best friends. I know I've had this dream with many of my childhood friends growing up.For Kendra, Dani, and Lindsey those childhood dreams were made reality. Each of their husbands Thank you Net Galley and Thomas & Mercer for this eARC in exchange for an honest review!**I devoured this book!! Lucinda Berry could not have grasped my attention more if she tried. *Every girls grows up with their best friend talking about how they will marry men who will be friends; how their kids will grow up to be best friends. I know I've had this dream with many of my childhood friends growing up.For Kendra, Dani, and Lindsey those childhood dreams were made reality. Each of their husbands were great friends; and even better their three oldest children : Sawyer, Caleb, and Jacob were each other's best friends. Everyone's life was picture perfect it seemed until one night left 1 boy dead, another in a coma, and the third so traumatized he stopped speaking.Lucinda takes her readers on a journey of the three mothers trying to figure out what's happened. If they thought their lives couldn't get any more twisted they were wrong. Secrets come out and truths are told.This is one book you don't want to skip on reading!
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  • Stacey Camp
    January 1, 1970
    **5 Stars**Three close friends who go way back to primary school in Southern California suffer an unthinkable tragedy. Their three high-school-aged sons who all play on the soccer team are involved in a gun-related incident, one that has claimed one of the boy's lives, put one in a coma, and left one traumatized to the point they cannot speak about what happened that night. Lucinda Berry's The Best of Friends is a twisty who-done-it thriller that looks at what caused one, possibly two, and ma **5 Stars**Three close friends who go way back to primary school in Southern California suffer an unthinkable tragedy. Their three high-school-aged sons who all play on the soccer team are involved in a gun-related incident, one that has claimed one of the boy's lives, put one in a coma, and left one traumatized to the point they cannot speak about what happened that night. Lucinda Berry's The Best of Friends is a twisty who-done-it thriller that looks at what caused one, possibly two, and maybe even three best of friends to harm each other.This was my first Berry thriller and I was very impressed with her ability to build and sustain suspense. The book is told from the perspectives of the three women whose lives have been irrevocably altered. Each mother is in search of answers as to what happened that terrible night. The three women - Dani, Kendra, and Lindsey - are well off and assumed that their boys, were the best of friends. But the bonds between mothers slowly unravel as they discover the truths about themselves, their husbands, their other children, and their sons. One mother has developed close friendships with the teenage boys that the other two mothers don't know about. Another mother has been secretly slipping Adderall to her son without telling her husband and friends. And the third mother is in an abusive relationship with her husband that she hides well, one that may have contributed to what happened that dreadful night. What caused two boys to be shot? Are the parents somehow involved or responsible for this horrific incident? Could it have been prevented? I found the parts about the mothers' extraordinary grief really gripping and heartbreaking - it is exactly how I imagine feeling if, God forbid, something happened to one of my children. This was a solid thriller that kept me turning the pages. It was one of those books I looked forward to reading and had a hard time putting down. Thank you to NetGalley, the author, Lucinda Berry, and Thomas & Mercer for an advance reader copy of The Best of Friends! For more of my book reviews visit me here: Book Review Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
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  • Alleah
    January 1, 1970
    Riveting. Heartbreaking. Intense.This was a beautiful read. I was hooked from the very beginning and quite literally could not put it down, and not to mention I sobbed multiple times. I genuinely got irrationally upset at my family members when they would ask me to do something, because all I wanted to do was finish devouring this book!The writing was simple but got the job done. The plot was riveting and kept me on my toes. I admit there were aspects that were predictable, but strangely that di Riveting. Heartbreaking. Intense.This was a beautiful read. I was hooked from the very beginning and quite literally could not put it down, and not to mention I sobbed multiple times. I genuinely got irrationally upset at my family members when they would ask me to do something, because all I wanted to do was finish devouring this book!The writing was simple but got the job done. The plot was riveting and kept me on my toes. I admit there were aspects that were predictable, but strangely that didn't take away from the story at all. The sub plots in this were so intricate and complex I'm honestly amazed at how there were practically no loose ends or plot holes by the end. The talent is clear in Lucinda Berry, and I'm very interested to read what she puts out next.The characters in this were incredible. They were real and raw and you could physically feel their pain while reading. I was rooting for everyone even though I trusted no one, and I was constantly throwing guesses and accusations around in my head. My one main complaint with this book was that the names and families were very hard for me to keep track of and I often had to stop reading and trace back in time to remember who was who's kid and so on. I feel like that confusion could have easily been cleared up if the chapter/POV headers were a little more informative.I absolutely adored how this novel dove into human psychology and how everything felt so real and genuine. The themes of grief and domestic abuse and trauma were expertly dealt with, and although I found the discussion of sexuality lacking, I found little to complain about in the thematic department.I adored all of the character development that took place in this novel, and for a mystery thriller, there was a lot of depth to everyone, and it was refreshing how each character had their own unique voice. None of them blended together for me at all.I would highly recommend this book, and I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy as soon as it comes out. All in all, a solid 4.5 star read.Also, thank you NetGalley for this arc! It was a real treat.
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  • Misty Williams
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! What a thriller and edge of seat this book is! I wanted to hurry and read it, but I also wanted to savor it. This kind of book has suspense, but it also has sadness. Three boys. One dies. Three Mom's who are also best friends with secrets. I really loved this book. It was heartbreaking, but with suspense. I'm really at a loss on how to really describe this book. Amazing, well written, and truly a wonderful book. This book is now my number 1 book!!! Read it.....NOW! If I could, it would be a Wow! What a thriller and edge of seat this book is! I wanted to hurry and read it, but I also wanted to savor it. This kind of book has suspense, but it also has sadness. Three boys. One dies. Three Mom's who are also best friends with secrets. I really loved this book. It was heartbreaking, but with suspense. I'm really at a loss on how to really describe this book. Amazing, well written, and truly a wonderful book. This book is now my number 1 book!!! Read it.....NOW! If I could, it would be a THOUSAND stars!!
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  • Regina
    January 1, 1970
    Rating: 5 page-turning starsFormat: Ebook*, pub. 8/18/20Synopsis: A trio of grownup childhood best friends try to figure out what happened the tragic night that left one of their teenage sons dead, one in a coma, and another too traumatized to speak. POV: This is the first Lucinda Berry novel I’ve read, and it won’t be my last. It’s been a long time since I got sucked into a story that made me want to stay up late to finish it. There was something about the structure that reminded me of a Liane Rating: 5 page-turning starsFormat: Ebook*, pub. 8/18/20Synopsis: A trio of grownup childhood best friends try to figure out what happened the tragic night that left one of their teenage sons dead, one in a coma, and another too traumatized to speak. POV: This is the first Lucinda Berry novel I’ve read, and it won’t be my last. It’s been a long time since I got sucked into a story that made me want to stay up late to finish it. There was something about the structure that reminded me of a Liane Moriarty book. The chapters jump between the three well-drawn female characters, and it’s compelling to be the insider getting to know the secrets they don’t even share with their friends. The subject matter could be very difficult for some, with teenage children suffering major trauma (including death), but people who love the type of books where a central “what really happened???” question drives the plot will get more than their money’s worth. Oh, and that epilogue!Recommended for: Thriller readers looking for a page turner who aren’t triggered by stories about children (teenagers) suffering through a tragic event. *I received an Advanced Readers Copy from #NetGalley & #ThomasandMercer in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Michael
    January 1, 1970
    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 t 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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  • Christina
    January 1, 1970
    I really liked the premise of this book - domestic suspense meets We Need To Talk About Kevin.The characters were well-written. I particularly liked and empathized with Dani. While I liked reading the mothers’ perspectives, I felt that for a long time in the beginning, in seeing the boys through their mothers eyes, I did not get enough hints about who each boy really was. I understand that was intended (because a theme of the book is how well we really know out children) but I would have liked s I really liked the premise of this book - domestic suspense meets We Need To Talk About Kevin.The characters were well-written. I particularly liked and empathized with Dani. While I liked reading the mothers’ perspectives, I felt that for a long time in the beginning, in seeing the boys through their mothers eyes, I did not get enough hints about who each boy really was. I understand that was intended (because a theme of the book is how well we really know out children) but I would have liked some hints of the boys true selves earlier on because that’s when the book started to really engage me.The book is very sad and somewhat scary in terms of the things the moms did not know about their kids (and in some cases, their husbands). I had an idea who did it and thought the ending of the book, as well as the psychology of the characters and the reason it all happened, was very good.Though the book was interesting I felt it lacked some suspense at the start and tried to do too many things at once in the first half. Once it hit its stride in the second half I liked it very much. 3.5 stars rounded up to four.Thanks to NetGalley, the author and Thomas and Mercer for this advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Regina
    January 1, 1970
    This is domestic women's fiction done right; Lucinda Berry expertly weaves in an out of the lives of 3 different families, tied together by history and an inexplicable tragedy.We find the families after the 'incident' that left one of their teenage sons dead; one in a coma; and one unable to speak. The perspectives come from each of the 3 mothers and although I could see their flaws, I found myself pulling for all of them. Berry made them human through the grief process.I was so wrapped up in fi This is domestic women's fiction done right; Lucinda Berry expertly weaves in an out of the lives of 3 different families, tied together by history and an inexplicable tragedy.We find the families after the 'incident' that left one of their teenage sons dead; one in a coma; and one unable to speak. The perspectives come from each of the 3 mothers and although I could see their flaws, I found myself pulling for all of them. Berry made them human through the grief process.I was so wrapped up in finding out what happened that night; it was not until after the mystery unraveled did I realize the deep sadness that would continue to follow the lives of the characters. I wished for some resolution that would absolve or give some relief to at least one family.There was a final twist at the end that I thought was a little too unrealistic and unnecessary, but overall I would highly recommend this story of an extraordinary incident that touched the lives of 3 ordinary families.Thank you to Netgalley for this preview!
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  • The Book Review Café
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 ⭐️ Lucinda Berry is fast becoming one of my favourite authors to turn to when I’m looking for a quick read. She writes the most amazing stories about everyday people thrust into the most awful situations. Her career as a leading researcher in childhood trauma allows her to create disturbing psychological thrillers that blur the line between fiction and non-fiction. The author’s latest offering The Best Of Friends is heart wrenching, poignant, and tragic read that will have you reaching for a 4.5 ⭐️ Lucinda Berry is fast becoming one of my favourite authors to turn to when I’m looking for a quick read. She writes the most amazing stories about everyday people thrust into the most awful situations. Her career as a leading researcher in childhood trauma allows her to create disturbing psychological thrillers that blur the line between fiction and non-fiction. The author’s latest offering The Best Of Friends is heart wrenching, poignant, and tragic read that will have you reaching for a box of tissues. Three childhood best friends Lindsey, Kendra, and Dani endure every parent’s worse nightmare when a tragic accident shatters their life’s into a million pieces. Three teenage boys, one dead, another in a coma, and a third too traumatised to speak. As each woman struggles with their own loss, they face a whirlpool of emotions, guilt, anger, and heartbreak, which make for an intense and disquieting read. The realistic and sometimes upsetting portrayal of three women in crisis make this book such an emotional roller coaster of a read, I felt overwhelmed by the tragic circumstances and the emotions that radiate from the pages. As the story progresses old jealousies, rivalries and insecurities bubble away below the surface, which threaten to shatter their families, and their friendships. The story is told from the POV of Lindsey, Kendra, and Dani, and to begin with I found I had a hard time keeping up with whom was who, even though the chapters are clearly labelled, but that’s the only slightly negative thing I have to say about this book. One thing I loved about this book is the way the author presents each of the three women with moral dilemmas. You may not agree with their choices, you may end up disliking some or all of the characters, but ultimately it makes you think “what would I do?” if faced with a similar situation. There were so many threads to this story, but the author tied them together perfectly, holding my attention throughout. What a gripping tale!
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  • Anne
    January 1, 1970
    This is one of the most heart-wrenching books I've read in a while. I loved The Perfect Child and knew this one would be good as well. It's a Recipe For Disaster: start with three drunk teens, add alcohol, adderall, love and jealousy, a gun, and a fraternity party! You see where this is going? So now we have three best friend moms--one of whom has a dead son, one has a son in a coma, and the other a terrified wreck who is too damaged to speak. We watch as their marriages splinter and crack, thei This is one of the most heart-wrenching books I've read in a while. I loved The Perfect Child and knew this one would be good as well. It's a Recipe For Disaster: start with three drunk teens, add alcohol, adderall, love and jealousy, a gun, and a fraternity party! You see where this is going? So now we have three best friend moms--one of whom has a dead son, one has a son in a coma, and the other a terrified wreck who is too damaged to speak. We watch as their marriages splinter and crack, their friendships teeter on the edge, and their remaining children lost and afraid. Secrets kept soon come to light and nothing in their lives will ever be the same. Be prepared to do some ugly crying and witness some domestic abuse, but Berry surely knows how to keep us on the edge of our seats! Crazy good!Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!
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  • Taulara Tipps
    January 1, 1970
    It’s no secret how much I love all of her books. I love how she walks that line between education and entertainment so well. This one focuses on trauma, grief, suicide, loss, guilt, betrayal, and so many other things all rolled into one story. Which is hardest- losing a child completely and suddenly, having a child hang in life/ death limbo, or your child possibly murdering others? Is it easier to think your child was murdered by a best friend or shot by their own hand?This story navigates gener It’s no secret how much I love all of her books. I love how she walks that line between education and entertainment so well. This one focuses on trauma, grief, suicide, loss, guilt, betrayal, and so many other things all rolled into one story. Which is hardest- losing a child completely and suddenly, having a child hang in life/ death limbo, or your child possibly murdering others? Is it easier to think your child was murdered by a best friend or shot by their own hand?This story navigates generational friendships and secrets and doubts and fears. It really was a heart breaking story (as most of hers are) that sucks you in and keeps you hooked from the first page to the last.
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