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Publisher's Summary

She's your best friend. She knows all your secrets. That's why she's so dangerous.

A single mother's life is turned upside down when her best friend vanishes in this chilling debut thriller in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.

It starts with a simple favor - an ordinary kindness mothers do for one another. When her best friend, Emily, asks Stephanie to pick up her son, Nicky, after school, she happily says yes. Nicky and her son, Miles, are classmates and best friends, and the five-year-olds love being together - just like she and Emily. A widow and stay-at-home mommy blogger living in woodsy suburban Connecticut, Stephanie was lonely until she met Emily, a sophisticated PR executive whose job in Manhattan demands so much of her time.

But Emily doesn't come back. She doesn't answer calls or return texts. Stephanie knows something is terribly wrong - Emily would never leave Nicky, no matter what the police say. Terrified, she reaches out to her blog's readers for help. She also reaches out to Emily's husband, the handsome, reticent Sean, offering emotional support. It's the least she can do for her best friend. Then, she and Sean receive shocking news. Emily is dead. The nightmare of her disappearance is over.

Or is it? Because soon Stephanie will begin to see that nothing - not friendship, love, or even an ordinary favor - is as simple as it seems.

A Simple Favor is a remarkable tale of psychological suspense - a clever and twisting freefall of a ride filled with betrayals and reversals, twists and turns, secrets and revelations, love and loyalty, murder and revenge. Darcey Bell masterfully ratchets up the tension in a taut, unsettling, and completely absorbing story that holds you in its grip until the final minute.

©2017 Seven Acres, LLC (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    56
  • 4 Stars
    48
  • 3 Stars
    44
  • 2 Stars
    24
  • 1 Stars
    9

Performance

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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    74
  • 4 Stars
    45
  • 3 Stars
    35
  • 2 Stars
    10
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    4

Story

  • 3.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    44
  • 4 Stars
    42
  • 3 Stars
    43
  • 2 Stars
    24
  • 1 Stars
    15
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  • Overall
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  • Story

Simply average......

What I liked best about the book was that there were three narrators and all of them were excellent. I also thought that the book really moved. The reason why I only gave the book three stars overall was because I felt that the ending was very abrupt. I also felt that there were many aspects of the storyline that were bizarre and a bit contrived. I am unable to give specific examples because these examples would be spoilers for those who have not read the book. All in all, when the book ended, I was really not satisfied because there were too many loose ends.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Stick with it, it is worth it

If you could sum up A Simple Favor in three words, what would they be?

The blog style that the book starts out with is initially annoying, however, if you stick with it, the medium becomes multi-dimensional and complex and the story is clever and interesting. The narrative does latch onto sexist stereotypes (the stupid "super mom" and the intelligent, evil beautiful women), but the story line is strong enough so you can simultaneously be critical of the book while enjoying it.

What did you like best about this story?

The juxtaposition of different narrative mediums (blog versus personal thoughts) and points of view.

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

Emily.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Read this if you root for the bad guy

I didn't give it 2 stars because if you just need a story on your way to work or as you're doing other things...background noise, then it's fine. But if you want to invest in characters and need a great plot twist then don't bother. Everything is predictable and for the first time I'm going to criticize these characters. I might have liked them, I wanted to but they ended up being just unforgivable, dumb and dumb...that is my judgement of all three. Narration is fine, story is fine, twists are predictable, plot is fine, ending is weird.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Too many old plot devices

A few years from now, when asked about this book, I'll start to describe it and think I'm confusing "Gone Girl" with "Pretty Little Liars" and 3 other novels. Nothing really new or exciting. I kept wanting something more to come out of some aspects of the story, but nothing did. The characters were gullible, or maybe just plain stupid. None very likable, except perhaps the poor insurance investigator. At first I thought narration was the issue, then realized that the narrators were great and really brought to life the 3 idiots who deserved each other. Did pass the time on a long driving trip, though.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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A Simple Favor

Really good story. I took a star for the abrupt ending. I would love for there to be a part 2.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Solid characters but unfolds at an odd pace

This story was a decent listen & worth the credit as it held my interest until the very last word. It had all the elements to unfold into an intriguing mystery/thriller; however, events that would've made the most sense toward the end, occurred very early. This resulted in a few far fetched circumstances, but the author did a great job of making the antagonist somehow likable & leaves the reader somewhat satisfied.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Potential Spoilers Below

The story here is one most readers (or movie watchers) are fairly familiar with...the story is essentially the same plot as Gone Girl, but in addition to a confused husband, the author adds a clueless friend into the mix. Decent story I guess, but not really anything new.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Crazee Good!

Interesting twists a d turns made this a great read. To think someone could bee so crazy! Love the narration, especially Emily.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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I'm not sure who or what I liked least...

Very interesting concept for a story... but that's where it ends for me. I didn't care at all for the characters , not even the ones we were meant to like. I didn't like the narration and I didn't like the ending.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Worth the boring first half

A large portion of the story consists of mommy blogging by an insecure, stay at home mom, which did not draw me in in the least. On and on and on about raising the best little people, thanking a fictitious mommy readership for love and support, and lots of superficial theorizing. Ugh. I almost stopped listening a dozen times.

Very happy I persevered, though. After some major plot twists, the story became a dark psychological thriller with additional characters narrating. The narration was done well, and the annoying, insecure, artificially upbeat Pollyanna was accurate for the character, especially when later contrasted by much different sounding, infinitely more interesting characters.

Definitely worth the listen.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful