At school’s trivia night, somebody dies. Police are questioning everyone present: the staff, the parents and the guests.
Going back in the past towards the start of the school year.
Madeline, an outgoing person, and always ready to fight. She twists her ankle while driving her little girl to her first day at school. In appears the single mother Jane, who helps Madeline and offers them lift till school.
After dropping children at school, they settle in a nearby cafe where steps in the gorgeous Celeste, mother to twins and friend to Madeline. The trio chats and waits for the end of school day.
When they come back to pick up their kids, a circumstance presents itself. A girl complains of being bullied. And points finger towards Jane’s boy, Ziggy. When Jane asks him, he denies the accusation. Jane stands by her son’s word and resists the demand for his son to apologize. The school administration butts in and promises to investigate the matter to find the real bully. The matter shuts down for the moment. Or does it?
Who is killed? Who is the killer? Is Ziggy the real bully? If not, then who is the bully? With so many questions, I am hooked from the start. And I must say, the suspense kept on till the end.
This is my second novel from the author. I read “The Husband’s Secret” first.
The novel has all the elements that I enjoy: humor, mystery, and suspense.
I will reiterate the author excels in drawing out the inner dialogue (actual thoughts) of people admirably. The first time Celeste enters, Madeline thinks, “Celeste has everything, money, good looks, a mansion and a doting husband. She will never have to worry about make-up or weight like her.” Just the thought I might think but never say on meeting a gorgeous woman.
Another point that the author describes effectively is the obsession we women have with other women. We compare ourselves with others and fixate on what we lack. We forget that there will always be somebody who is more fashionable, intelligent, fair, smart, rich, slim, etc. The above example of Madeline’s jealousy is enough to show this. All this excessive comparison reduces our self-esteem. Rather we should be focussing upon the best within us. So that no words or comments from others can lower our self-confidence. Jane would have fared better if she had confidence in herself.
The author also tackles abuse that many people suffer silently. The fear and confusion Celeste experiences every day is maddening.
Overall I totally enjoyed reading this one start to finish. And will rate it 5/5. A must read for readers who like women’s fiction and mystery.