Review: Best Friends Forever by Dawn Goodwin

Review: Best Friends Forever by Dawn Goodwin

Have you ever wanted to kill your best friend?
Anna was the perfect wife. Perfect mother. Perfect woman. And now she’s dead. Leaving behind her husband, David, and two young children their lives will never be the same. But Vicky will make sure life goes on…

These two women have been best friends forever, a lifetime of secrets lies between them and now Vicky is ready to step up into Anna’s perfect shoes. But not everything is as it seems and as David begins to question Vicky’s motives for walking into his life things might just get a little murderous.

The question on everyone’s lips is, who killed Anna? And what actually happened on the night she died?

Perfect for fans of The Rumour, The Silent Patient and The Suspect. (Godreads)

What a twisted, wicked, and sinister book this is. Best Friends Forever by Dawn Goodwin certainly left a bad taste in my mouth.

Reading psychological thrillers always does this to me – making me feel like I’m a rotten, corrupt, and devious hypocrite who puts up a good facade superficially but malicious deep inside. With this book, such feelings were almost tenfold, and I’m definitely going to need a lighter, more innocent read after this one.

This is a story of a toxic ‘friendship’ between two women, Vicky and Anna. Starting off with Anna’s untimely death, Vicky, her inseparable best friend for years tries her best to console Ann’s bereaved, grief-stricken husband and kids… striving to bring laughter back into their life. Vicky proves to be successful and quickly fits in the well-made family. A benevolent saviour of a broken family, and a welcome distraction from grief; that’s how I viewed Vicky at the outset of the story.

It didn’t take me long to smell out the catch. Everything is not alright as it appears to be.

The author, Dawn Goodwin did a brilliant job of manipulating my thoughts and impressions while I was reading this book. She literally changed the way I view the character with a mere flick of her pen. The first part of the book portrayed Anna as such a domineering, despicable woman contrasted with meek, gentle Vicky whom we are supposed to empathize with. Then, as many revelations are made regarding Vicky’s past – how miserable her life has been and how envious Vicky was of Anna, the sense of disgust and suspicion towards Vicky wormed itself into not only David’s mind but into mine as well. My mind was completely reprogrammed to hate Vicky, and I started to view her as a nuisance, something I desperately desire to get rid of. The sense of suffocation, the uneasiness that I felt with the presence of Vicky was utterly intolerable. Simply astonishing what big an effect a single book can possibly have on me. The sensation was disturbing yet captivating at the same time.

This book had me seriously stunned and addicted. Told in the omniscient narration style, it is quite easy to let your mind and rationality be possessed by the characters’ perspectives and emotions. The progression where a seed of suspicion bursts out at a full force and morphs itself into a staunch conviction kept me on pins and needles, and could not be read without my heart ramming against my rib cage, holding my breath. Dangerous, hazardous, yet tantalizing … it was like playing with fire. I totally relished the sense of dread and fear coursing through me and having my blood run cold!

That said, I did have some niggles with this book.
Firstly, ‘the big secret’ was not really hard to guess, the breadcrumbs were visible from miles away. It could have been subtler and more complex. It was a bit of a letdown.
Secondly, the ending was a bit anticlimactic as far as I am concerned. It can be attributable to having my excitement all used up with the development between Vicky and David; the particular segment was so thrilling and powerful that it completely overwhelmed what comes next. It could be as simple as that, not really the book’s fault.
In fact, I had this inexplicable feeling toward Vicky now – she isn’t very likable nor relatable, but oh poor girl. The longer I muse over what happened in the book, the more acutely it stings. This is another testament this book is hypnotic.

Either way, it won’t change the fact that I immensely enjoyed this book and this won’t be my last from Dawn Goodwin. I don’t particularly savour the idea of recognising myself not as benign as I’ve always thought I was, yet this sensation of having the dark, nefarious side of me gorged out is quite refreshing and I think I’ll keep coming back for more, intoxicated by this dangerous substance – thrills and suspense.

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9 thoughts on “Review: Best Friends Forever by Dawn Goodwin

    1. Thanks, Yesha! The ultimate ‘secret’ that bonded the two (Anna and Vicky) was easy to guess, the cause of Anna’s death? Not really! It had me guessing all the time. Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

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