Natty's best friend Eve couldn't have timed her visit more perfectly. Natty's youngest, fourteen-year-old Felicity, is on a school trip to France when her appendix bursts. Frantic, Natty immediately flies in to be by her side, taking comfort in the fact that Eve has offered to stay and help with Natty's oldest, Alice, leaving Natty's husband, Sean, time to take care of their business.
But when Natty returns Sean and Eve drop a bombshell: they've fallen in love and Sean is leaving. Natty is understandably livid. Her best friend and her husband... it's the ultimate betrayal. Natty feels she's losing everything and acts out in a moment of attempted vengeance, landing her in potentially hot water with the authorities. And then she learns that Eve has done this before. With her former friend moving in to take her place, Natty has no choice but to uncover Eve's deepest and dirtiest secrets in an attempt to take back what is hers.
Paula Daly's second release is in the vein of The Hand That Rocks the Cradle and Fatal Attraction - a female villain who sets out to take another woman's husband and life. Eve is a manipulative sociopath with a degree in psychology, so in some sense it's hard to lump Sean completely into the villain category with her. I'd say his history and his actions do earn him a sliver of sympathy, but Natty and the girls are the ones you really feel for here.
This is one of those reads it's impossible not to get emotionally invested in. I think there were more than a few points when my blood was literally boiling as I read! Eve is twisted and smart so it's easy to believe she's done this before, many times before. But in choosing Natty as her victim it seems Eve has made her first mistake. The two women have known each other since college so Natty is the only person who really knows anything about Eve. Eve's hubris ultimately may prove to be her weakness.
I loved Natty! Like I said, I became terribly emotionally invested in this book, at one point even crying alongside Natty (shhh, don't tell!). More than anything, though, I was anxious to see her vindicated and literally cheered when she started to take matters into her own hands.
Keep Your Friends Close is out now from Grove Press. If you're a fan of psychological suspense I definitely recommend it!
Note: Daly debuted last year with Just What Kind of Mother Are You and I understand there are a few crossover characters between that first book and Keep Your Friends Close. The stories are only linked through setting and those few characters - as far as I understand - but Keep Your Friends Close was too fantastic for me to miss out on Daly's previous book. Amazingly - coincidentally - the eBook of Just What Kind of Mother Are You is on sale for $1.99 right now.