The Perfect Friend by Barbara Copperthwaite
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - < 1 day
Pages - 295
Publisher - Bookouture
Source - Review copy
Blurb from Goodreads
She’ll do anything for you…
My name is Alex, and my world has been shattered.
My husband has left me.
My children won’t speak to me.
My friend Carrie is the only person I have.
She’s the only one I can trust to keep all my secrets.
She’d never do anything to let me down.
This dark, gripping psychological thriller will have you holding your breath until the very last page. Fans of Behind Closed Doors, Sometimes I Lie, and The Girl on the Train will be captivated.
Meet Alex, attending a support group she has much to contend with in her life. This is where she met her friend Carrie, Carrie battled cancer and the group offers support to all who need it. Alex has many issues, she would do anything for Carrie sure guilt can make you like that. Carrie is a wee soul, so positive despite the hand life has dealt her but are Alex and Carrie both what they seem to be?
So the book splits into then and now, the then we don't know which character is is, just what they have gone through growing up. Now follows Alex, her daily struggles, recovering from anorexia, attending a therapist and fiercely protective to Carrie. She is a great friend, she feels guilty but why, what has she done. Her children and husband won't speak to her, her therapist is on her about her weight and behaviour and all Alex can think of is Carrie, how to help her and be the perfect friend.
With Alex being an unreliable narrator it adds to the intensity of the story, something is amiss but what. Why won't her family speak to her, what sparked her food and weight issues, why is she so drawn to Carrie? I hated putting the book down as I needed to know, I felt like I was watching a Murder She Wrote, I was suspecting everyone of everything, or Isa from Still Game, something wasn't right and I NEEDED TO KNOW!
The story covers some hard themes, cancer, loss, anorexia, grief, violence, counselling and whilst a lot of dark the book isn't depressing or doom and gloom. There is also loyalty, friendship, strength of character, love, personal growth. It is a busy wee book with attention to detail, nothing is thrown in just for the sake of it, it is well written and envelopes the reader from pretty much chapter one.
Some points I actually gasped out loud, a few times I put it down to tell my o/h what my newest theory was (he isn't interested but I still have to say) and I was almost always wrong wrong wrong. A book that will keep you on your toes, turning page after page, hooked, involved and constantly guessing. 4.5/5 for me this time, whilst I have bought two of this authors books before this was actually my first dance with her, it won't be my last, I will be bumping up the others on my TBRM. You can get a copy of the book from the 5th of July, let me know if you have read it!