THE FRIEND by Teresa Driscoll is a twisty psychological thriller with heart that’ll keep those pages turning wickedly and compulsively.
Sophie is a full-time stay-at-home mom with a four-year-old son, Ben, who lives in a small, quaint town in the Devon countryside, where everyone knows everyone else’s business. Her husband Mark lives in London where he runs his own very successful ad agency, commuting home on weekends to be with his wife and son. Formerly a rising star herself in the advertising biz in London, Sophie often finds her current quiet, circumscribed life lonely, depressing, and unfulfilling – although she deeply loves her husband and son and desperately longs for another child to complete their family.
Then Emma arrives in town. An unconventional, artistic, free-spirited single mom with a four-year-old son of her own.
Sophie and Emma quickly become the best of friends, practically inseparable, taking frequent day trips, and watching their sons play happily together. As an offshoot of their close friendship, they even talk about starting a business together – a deli/gallery combo where Sophie will prepare the food and Emma will provide the artwork.
But when tragedy strikes the small village of Tedbury Cross in the form of a domestic dispute ending in murder, local police suspect Emma may have played a sinister role in the crime. Gossip and rumor swirl, and more questions arise… Did Emma kill her mother in France? Is she abusing her defenseless son, who has now gone mute? Who is the mysterious father of her child?
Then a horrifying accident occurs. And suddenly three more lives are at risk…
Sophie’s an appealing character whose struggles with the challenges of motherhood and her own search for identity, fulfillment and connection feel compelling and real. Emma is mysterious and intriguing, and over time inspires a suitably creeping sense of dread. Village life, marriage, motherhood, and the viewpoints and actions of the four-year-old boys have a natural feel and flow.
Plenty of unforeseen twists and turns. Ending with a resolution that deeply satisfies the heart. Highly recommended.
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