Frightful Friday is a weekly meme in which I feature a particularly scary or chilling book that I’ve read that week. This week’s featured title is Keep Your Friends Close by Paula Daly:
- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Grove Press (August 19, 2014)
- ISBN: 9780802123206
- Source: Publisher
Natty and Sean Wainwright have been married for years. Their two daughters, Alice and Felicity, and booming hotel business keep them busy. When Felicity falls ill while overseas on a school trip, it is Natty that rushes to her side. Fortunately, Natty’s college friend, Eve, is in town visiting and quickly agrees to help Sean while Natty is gone. Unfortunately, Eve takes this new responsibility a bit too seriously.
When Natty returns after Felicity has recovered from emergency surgery, she instantly knows something is amiss. Sean doesn’t hold back; he quickly reveals that he has fallen in love with Eve. Natty is devastated; while she has been sleeping at the bedside of her youngest daughter, her husband was sleeping with her friend. With barely enough time to absorb this news, Natty attempts to put on a brave face and get on with her new life.
Yet when Natty receives a mysterious note indicating Eve has done this before, she can’t help but take action. Diving deep into Eve’s history, she uncovers one dark and unbelievable secret after another. Yet it’s not until Eve’s obsession takes a deadly turn that people stop seeing Natty as a jealous wife and see Eve’s dark and manipulative side.
From the very first few pages, Keep Your Friends Close is a captivating and twisty read. I honestly didn’t know how Daly was going to sustain the intensity throughout the novel yet she did, with great success. Blow after blow, secret after secret was revealed to the reader as Natty discovered them. At times, it was frustrating as a reader to know so much information that isn’t believed by the secondary characters. On many an occasion I wanted to reach into the book and shake some sense into Sean. Eventually, all was revealed with heart-stopping intensity.
Natty’s character is a hard one to pin down. Obviously, as a victim of her husband’s adultery we want to feel sympathy for her. Yet, we know she’s holding a secret herself, one that her husband, father, and Eve are in on yet no one is revealing. Knowing this, it was hard for me to put my full trust in her character.
Eve’s character is just…insane. She starts off as a sweet and caring friend and quickly transforms into a psychotic and manipulative bitch. She got her due, however, and I found myself whooping and cheering by the end.
Bottom line: Keep Your Friends Close is an incredibly addictive psychological thriller. This is the sort of book that will keep you up at night, taking hold of you and demanding your complete and total attention. Highly recommended.