Updated: Oct 20, 2022
Everyone has friends. Whether they’re from your soccer team, one you’ve had since childhood, or a prospective friend that you’ll meet through university. Friends stick with you through a divorce, moments of grief, or moments of happiness. They are defining pillars of everyone’s life, regardless of how many one has.
But not everyone has those friends. It doesn’t matter how long it’s been, how badly they’ve occasionally behaved, or how late it is when that call finally comes – you show up. No questions asked. These are the types of friends who have collective murder in their history. Friends who keep secrets from one another, friends who keep secrets together. Friends who you see for long stages but then disappear for no apparent reason. Nobody has friends like these.
In ‘Friends Like These,’ written by the incredible lawyer turned mystery author Kimberly McCreight, a group of five friends meet together in a small cabin in Catskills, New York.
There’s Maeve, an abuse survivor who isn’t all that she seems. A perfectionist, seemingly innocent, sweet as sugar.
Stephanie, a sophisticated lawyer with passion and confidence to work alongside powerful men in her corporation.
Jonathan, newly engaged to Peter, with a yearning to please his father, who has never supported him.
Derrick, an author with a past nobody knows about, a wife whom he isn’t in love with and pent-up anger from years of bad mistakes.
Kieth, an artist with a deadly addiction who never seems to get better despite all the promises he makes to himself and his friends.
Finch who pushes himself into the group, regardless of how much they push him out. Annoying, pretentious, arrogant, that’s Finch.
And then there’s Alice, who has been dead for ten years, all because of the six friends and one awful night.
The six friends meet up at the cabin for Jonathan’s bachelor party on a Friday night. By Saturday evening, one of them will be dead, one will be missing, and one will know exactly what happened.
“We did have the best of intentions. Especially after what happened to Alice all those years ago, we can’t bear to think of losing anyone else. In fact, we’ll do anything to make sure that doesn’t happen. We’ll go so much farther than we ever thought we would.”
The novel changes perspectives between the six characters, as well as detective Julia Scutt, who will be solving the disappearance and death of two friends and one anonymous person: the killer. McCreight has the writing capability to keep a story going, introducing handfuls of problems to the group. For example, there are the contractors demanding $15,000 for renovations done at the cabin; there is Crystal, a woman Derrick meets who will be dead by the end of the night and then, there is Alice.
Regardless of Alice being dead for years, the history of one fateful night for the friends never fails to keep them awake at night.
“There’s something so beautiful about that kind of unconditional love. It can turn ugly, though. Or maybe that’s just us. After all, we’ve already been through so much together. And we have so very much to hide.”
I recommend this book for anyone craving a good murder mystery revolving around a toxic group of friends with ugly pasts and perhaps more hideous futures. If you enjoy a quality twist, this is the book for you.