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Just Between Us Book Review – A Women’s Fiction Thriller by Rebecca Drake

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Alison, Julie, Sarah, Heather. Four friends living the suburban ideal. Their jobs are steady, their kids are healthy. They’re as beautiful as their houses. But each of them has a dirty little secret, and hidden behind the veneer of their perfect lives is a crime and a mystery that will consume them all.

Everything starts to unravel when Alison spots a nasty bruise on Heather’s wrist. She shares her suspicions with Julie and Sarah, compelling all three to investigate what looks like an increasingly violent marriage. As mysterious injuries and erratic behavior mount, Heather can no longer deny the abuse, but she refuses to leave her husband. Desperate to save her, Alison and the others dread the phone call telling them that she’s been killed. But when that call finally comes, it’s not Heather who’s dead. In a moment they’ll come to regret, the women must decide what lengths they’ll go to in order to help a friend.

Just Between Us is a thrilling glimpse into the underbelly of suburbia, where not all neighbors can be trusted, and even the closest friends keep dangerous secrets. You never really know what goes on in another person’s mind, or in their marriage.

just betweeen us - rebecca drake - SQUARE Length 2

Book Review

Few writers can capture so perfectly the intricacies of female friendship. The secrets, the small confidences, the comfort, and the blistering insecurities that build after a thousand tiny judgments which can only come from your closest friends. Friendship, at times, is a conflict. A battle between who you are and who your friends portray you to be. When do secrets turn into lies? Who can you really know? And at what point does the bond of friendship break? Rebecca Drake contends with these very questions in Just Between Us with all the cunning of an experienced thriller novelist. I read Just Between Us over the course of few days, obsessed with what might happen next, unable to stop the pages from turning. 

Drake’s talent lies in not only building suspense, but building realistic characters. Each of the four hold a personality trait I can relate to. I feel that I know them or have known women like them.

Many novels tend to neglect certain layer of the female persona, namely their roles as mothers and wives. Rebecca Drake boldly does the opposite in Just Between Us. Drake instead crafted all four characters to form complete identities. The juxtaposition of their roles as friends versus mothers and wives only added a dramatic intensity to the result of their actions.

The result is a very real portrayal of the struggle most women face when navigating the role of their unique individuality within their family lives, therefore making Just Between Us a thoughtful addition to thrillers in the Women’s Fiction genre.

I was lucky enough to interview Rebecca Drake on the release day of Just Between Us – read her Q&A here!

What would you change?

While the characters’ individual personalities were very well-defined, the narrative voice for all four remained extremely similar. It’s most noticeable because each chapter is told from a different woman’s perspective. It wasn’t at all a deal-breaker for me, but I know some readers will take notice. 

Read Next: Book Review – A Liz Boyle Mystery by Kate Birdsall

The Bottom Line

Just Between Us is a riveting, complex suspense novel with twists and turns a shade darker than those found in most female friendships. It’s perfect for those seeking a thrilling women’s fiction with relatable characters and a racing plot line. 

Verdict: Buy It
Page Length: 384
Publisher: St. Martins Griffin (Jan 9, 2017) 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this review of Just Between Us by Rebecca Drake. Keep scrolling for a rating breakdown and pro/con list.

READ NEXT: Best Mystery/Thrillers 2017

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tag: Just Between Us Book Review

Out of 10

Good Things

  • Realistic & relatable women in fiction
  • Suspenseful writing
  • Setting is well-defined
  • Fascinating foray into the bonds of friendship

Bad Things

  • Narrative voice does not change between characters

The Breakdown

Writing Style

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