This was a wholly entertaining read, if you can suspend your disbelief just a tad and get into it. I'm not quite sure that a group of friends would get themselves in THIS much hot water for one other friend, but maybe I'm just missing friends like this.
BUT the friendships in this book - let's be HONEST - are built on lies and a lot of superficiality, and that's the point. In a tiny town where appearances matter, four friends start to have concern that one of them is being physically abused. Their natural tendency to gossip and gather around the friend with all the drama going on, ends up leading this little foursome into a very tense and complicated tangle of lies and deceit on behalf of their battered friend, and in the end, they're left wondering if it was worth it. And to a very unexpected ending.
Domestic and physical abuse isn't a subject to be trifled with, and in this novel in particular, the plot actually may make some readers who are extremely sensitive to how the topic is used in writing, a little unnerved and upset, so I just want to point that out. Other subjects that may be difficult to come across in this novel are sexual abuse and miscarriage, but these are not addressed in detail and are not the focus of the book.
The author Rebecca Drake cleverly uses the different characters' voices and perspectives for the chapters, alternating the viewpoints of the narrative for the reader. And then just when you think these girls are going to be able to roll out one more 'great idea', something else goes disastrously badly. One quote in the book is quite perfect, and they should have kept it in mind, 'But life so rarely goes according to plan.' You've got that right.
Overall, solid, nerve-wracking thriller!
*I was able to read an early digital copy of this, thanks to NetGalley. Thank you!