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Tuesday, 27 June 2017

The Friend by Dorothy Koomson

What secrets would you kill to keep?

After her husband’s big promotion, Cece Solarin arrives in Brighton with their three children, ready to start afresh. But their new neighbourhood has a deadly secret.

Three weeks earlier, Yvonne, a very popular parent, was almost murdered in the grounds of the local school – the same school where Cece has unwittingly enrolled her children.

Already anxious about making friends when the parents seem so cliquey, Cece is now also worried about her children’s safety. By chance she meets Maxie, Anaya and Hazel, three very different school mothers who make her feel welcome and reassure her about her new life.

That is until Cece discovers the police believe one of her new friends tried to kill Yvonne. Reluctant to spy on her friends but determined to discover the truth, Cece must uncover the potential murderer before they strike again .

Title:    The Friend
Author: Dorothy Koomson
Published By: Century
Publication Date: 1st June 2017
Links: UK: Amazon   US: Amazon

My Review

With friends like this who needs enemies?
When Cece reluctantly moves from London to Brighton to be with her husband she enrols her twins into the local private school. As soon as she enters it she can sense something is not right and discovers that one of the mums had been found on the grounds after being attacked and was now lying in a coma.
Through the children Cece makes friends with three other women Hazel, Maxie and Anaya who were all friends with Yvonne.

At the beginning of the book I found I really had to concentrate because the story was split into each of the women's point of view but each story went from present to recent past and then more distant past. I soon got used to it and was able to learn more about the characters this way.

Each of the women are hiding secrets about what happened to Yvonne and refuse to speak to her husband about it. They even make a pact to refuse to speak to each other.

Partway through we meet a blast from Cece's past who further adds to the intrigue. We also discover that she has problems of her own.
Cece liked her new friends and as they got to know her more they confided in her so we were able to discover whether they had any reason to attack Yvonne.

Cece was my favourite character by far closely followed by Anaya. I think I would have felt a bit intimidated by the other two.

At first I felt sorry for Yvonne but the more I found out the more I began to dislike her and even hate her for the way she was however I did eventually feel some pity but still disliked her. Though to give her her due she was actually right about one of the things she had said, however her motives were not good.

As we discovered more about Anaya I felt so angry about what had happened to her. I would have shaken Hazel to try and get her to see sense and could completely sympathise with Maxie's situation.

As the drama unfolded I found I was racing through the book and enjoyed every minute of being on Cece's journey with her

This reminded me in some ways of Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty with the school setting and that Yvonne was the alpha female of the school mums but the story was completely different to that.  I would love to know what happens next.

This is not a book to be rushed but is to be savoured. Dorothy Koomson has captured the essence of how some mums feel at the school gates and weaves these individual stories together skilfully so you are dying to find out what happens next.

I will now be chomping at the bit for the next book as Dorothy is one of my all time favourite authors.

Huge thanks to Century publishing for the arc which I have reviewed voluntarily.

Book Angel x

About the Author

I wrote my first (unpublished) novel when I was 13 - and I've been making up stories ever since.

After finishing my masters degree, I had several temping jobs before getting my big break in journalism working on small newspaper. In the evenings I continued to write fiction and in 2001 I had the idea for The Cupid Effect. Two years later it hit the shelves and my career as a published novelist began.

In 2006 my third novel, My Best Friend's Girl, was published and was selected for the Richard & Judy Summer Reads Book Club - going on to sell over 750,000 copies. My novel Marshmallows for Breakfast has sold over 250,000 copies in paperback. To date I've written six bestseller list books, and they have been translated into 28 languages across the world.

I live near Brighton and am currently working on another book and a screenplay. Find out more info at

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