The Friends

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Pub Date 17 Nov 2021 | Archive Date 1 Mar 2022

Description

Three young women from a small Midwest town are forced to face the secrets from their pasts when one confronts her own mortality — and decides she doesn’t want to leave the world all alone.

Twenty years before, Marlene, Valarie and Hope each held separate pieces of the puzzle in the disappearance of a high-school classmate before going their own ways — and trying to leave the past behind where they thought it belonged, in a shallow farmland grave. Valarie and Hope stayed in Hillsboro, at drastically different ends of the town’s unforgiving social spectrum, while Marlene turned tail for the big city and turned her teenage pain into a bestselling novel.

But now, all three troubled young women will have to come together, again, in Hillsboro. They’ll have to compare notes, however reluctant they are to start. They’ll have to confront their darkest assumptions. And they’ll have to construct shaky bridges of trust to one another across the town’s cruel and calcified class divides.

And Marlene, Valarie and Hope will have to come to grips with their ghastly secrets against death’s ticking clock. Against their own fearful and selfish desires. Against a police chief who’s getting too close to the explosive truth. Against an old woman who would protect the pride of her family’s past at almost any price. And against others in Hillsboro who would do anything — including adding to the body count — to protect their own dark and deadly interests.

THE FRIENDS is an explosive, richly atmospheric small-town thriller in the mold of critically acclaimed suspense novels of the rural Midwest by Gillian Flynn, Laura McHugh, Mindy Mejia, Chris Harding Thornton, Heather Levy, John Galligan and Allan Eskens.


Three young women from a small Midwest town are forced to face the secrets from their pasts when one confronts her own mortality — and decides she doesn’t want to leave the world all alone.

Twenty...


Advance Praise

"Black offers a rich mystery with layers of intrigue and trickery..." - Kirkus Reviews

"Black’s deft storytelling sucks readers into this complicated and absorbing tale of lovers, betrayals, blackmail and murder." - Blue Ink Reviews (starred review)

"Intoxicating..." - Book Trib

"Black offers a rich mystery with layers of intrigue and trickery..." - Kirkus Reviews

"Black’s deft storytelling sucks readers into this complicated and absorbing tale of lovers, betrayals, blackmail...


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Average rating from 18 members


Featured Reviews

Three young women from a small Midwest town are forced to face the secrets from their pasts when one confronts her own mortality — and decides she doesn’t want to leave the world all alone.

Twenty years before, Marlene, Valarie and Hope each held separate pieces of the puzzle in the disappearance of a high-school classmate before going their own ways — and trying to leave the past behind where they thought it belonged, in a shallow farmland grave. Valarie and Hope stayed in Hillsboro, at drastically different ends of the town’s unforgiving social spectrum, while Marlene turned tail for the big city and turned her teenage pain into a bestselling novel.

But now, all three troubled young women will have to come together, again, in Hillsboro. They’ll have to compare notes, however reluctant they are to start. They’ll have to confront their darkest assumptions. And they’ll have to construct shaky bridges of trust to one another across the town’s cruel and calcified class divides.

And Marlene, Valarie and Hope will have to come to grips with their ghastly secrets against death’s ticking clock. Against their own fearful and selfish desires. Against a police chief who’s getting too close to the explosive truth. Against an old woman who would protect the pride of her family’s past at almost any price. And against others in Hillsboro who would do anything — including adding to the body count — to protect their own dark and deadly interests.

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My first novel from this author and I have to say, I really liked the story. The premise was intriguing and the characters were interesting enough. It really made me ask myself; How far would you go to keep a secret. How bad can you be? A story of betrayal and friendship. One hell of a ride. It was simple, yet captivating.

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The friends by Ava Black.
Three young women from a small Midwest town are forced to face the secrets from their pasts.
A very good read with good characters. I liked Marlene Valerie and Hope. I liked the cover. 4*.

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How far would you go to keep a secret? I enjoyed reading this one. A simple, but entertaining story with interesting characters. Although halfway through after a few reveals the story slows down en and i found myself wishing that things would speed up a a bit. But overall a nice mystery thriller.

I got this arc in exhange for an honest review.

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This seems to be a really common storyline atm and there isn't much terribly original in this book however....... it is really nicely written, the characters have depth and are interesting and the story does keep you engaged and wanting to find out just what happened and what's going to happen next. Its the "big little lies" type feel which is awesome and whilst it's nothing terrible original, it is one of the better takes I've read recently. Definitely a good choice to go for if those "friends reunited/ shared secrets of the past/ a town who wants to keep the past buried" type vibe is your thing.

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DANCING SUGAR PLUMS! 😳

Well holy Turkey stuffing! This was quite the intense thriller with insane secrets that three women hold from a night back in high school and come back together as one of them is dying. They each are trying to keep their own secrets from escaping, while each trying to get what they want from one another. Oh how selfishness & desires can interfere. And let's not forget the Sheriff getting close to the truth. Absolutely crazy & unbelievable. The lengths someone can go to - utterly jaw dropping! Holy high heavens so delish!

I give this 4 / 5 snowflakes! ❄️

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Suspenseful and intriguing, the novel, The Friends begins slowly, leading to a quick ending. Ava Black weaves a story of reluctant friendships, dark secrets, and messy relationships.

Three high school friends attend a party where a classmate disappeared. Twenty years later they come together to solve the mysterious death of their friend Tom. Marlene, a best-selling author with a shaky marriage comes to visit her ailing cousin Valarie, a former beauty queen. She is greeted at the Thunderbird Hotel by Hope, a druggie and former convict who has her own intentions. Hope knows what really happened. Marlene was with Tom but can’t remember anything. And Valerie wants to forget the aftermath. The unlikely trio strives to right the wrongs of the past even if their own lives are jeopardized.

The Friends culminates into a shocking conclusion. Ava Black presents unlikable yet realistic characters with numerous plot twists to keep the reader on edge. I thank NetGalley for allowing me to read and review it. #TheFriends #NetGalley, #Thriller

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If these characters are the definition of Friends, we are all in trouble.

Some became trashy. Some became respectable. But theres always someone who has to stir up trouble and dig up the past when everyone else prefers to leave the past behind.

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