My Sunday Book Review this week is for Nicola Marsh’s – The Scandal. An interesting read on secrets that become life-changing for three women who are best friends, all with different backgrounds in life. I’d classify this book as a cross over of genres – chick-lit, cozy mystery and women’s fiction all rolled into one.
My life is like one of those cheap snow globes my twins collected when they were younger. Shiny and pretty on the outside, blurred beyond recognition when shaken.
Ever since her twin girls left home, Marisa has felt there’s something missing from her life. Her sprawling mansion is no longer filled with laughter and chaos, and she’s desperate to feel needed… and to be distracted from the secret she’s been hiding from her husband for all these years.
Coffee with her best friends might be the only thing holding Marisa together. But Claire and Elly have their own secrets. Like why Claire hasn’t been to work in weeks, or why Elly won’t tell anyone who’s buying her flowers.
When Jodi, a pregnant young girl, turns up at Marisa’s doorstep, Marisa is quick to come to her aid. She sees herself in Jodi and she knows how devoting yourself to looking after others can take up all your time in the most marvellous way.
But Jodi’s arrival quickly pushes everyone’s lies to the surface. The father of her unborn child is someone the women know very well, and Marisa starts to wonder if her obsession with helping Jodi might come at a devastating price…
The Scandal has a twist that will take your breath away. An emotionally charged novel about secrets, affairs and perfect small towns from USA Today bestseller Nicola Marsh that will be devoured by fans of Kerry Fisher, Big Little Lies and The Other Woman.
What readers are saying about The Scandal:
“This book has it all!!!!!!!!!!! Scandal, secrets, lies, murder, mystery, love. You think you have figured out, but do you?… My first book by Nicola Marsh, won’t be my last.” Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
“INCREDIBLE!… I was convinced multiple times that I had it figured out when I never actually did… It will stick with me for a while afterwards and I don’t think I’ve ever read a thriller quite like this one before.” Goodreads reviewer
My 4 Star Review:
The story takes place in the Hampton’s where 3 very different women, Marisa, Elly, and Claire, who are best friends, find their lives all entwined when a pregnant woman, Jodi, comes to town looking for the father of her baby, and her arrival turns into a murder. A swarm of drama ensues as the story unfolds and we learn more about the three women’s pasts: Socialite Marisa and her unsatisfactory marriage to narcissistic Avery, Elly, divorced and her strange (off the wall) plan for revenge in efforts to teach married men who fool around on their wives harsh lessons after being duped herself in her previous marriage, and Claire the police woman, married to her loving partner Dane who are struggling to get pregnant. We also can’t forget about Ryan, Avery’s brother who always seems to have big brother Avery covering for him, and his strange marriage to Maggie. All of these women have been scorned and hold secrets from their pasts.
It isn’t until pregnant Jodi comes to town in search of the man who date-raped her and got her pregnant that each of the three other women begin to have questions about their own relationships with husbands and lovers as the investigation into Jodi’s death unleashes a possible trail to any one of those men as suspects.
I found the first 30% a bit slow to keep me engaged, but once Jodi came to town I was fully engrossed. This also opened up the storylines of how these 3 friendships were weaved together. As each new circumstance evolves, we find ourselves guessing at who is the murderer – often changing our minds as evidence builds.
Overall, I enjoyed the book and the author’s writing style, although I feel the 3 main characters could probably have used a little more development to make me feel more of a connection with them, and for a bit of a draggy start. Hence, I’m taking off one star. If you like small town cozy mystery murders and chick-lit you will enjoy this book.