Friday, March 6, 2015

Just Jennifer

You Can Trust Me by Sophie McKenzie (St. Martin’s Press, April 2014)

Livy Jackson is shocked when she finds her best friend Julia dead, but when Julia’s death is ruled a suicide, Livy doesn’t believe it, knowing that she knew Julia better than anyone, or so she thinks, and that her best friend would never have hidden these feelings from Livy.  Livy and Julia became best friends after the murder of Livy’s younger sister Kara who was friends with Julia.  Kara’s murderer has never been found and as Livy looks into Julia’s death, she comes to believe that Julia knew who Kara’s killer was and that person found at she knew and killed Julia before she could tell anyone.  Livy becomes obsessed with the idea that Julia did not kill herself and alienates Julia’s already distant family but finds an unexpected ally in someone who knew as much, if not more, about Julia than Livy.  As Livy races to find her friend’s killer, she lets her family fall to the wayside, a family that is already in distress from an affair Livy’s husband Will had six years earlier, an affair Livy believes he has started again.  When Livy’s search takes an unexpected turn, she realizes she might be able to solve Julia’s murder as well as find the truth about Will, but at what cost? 

McKenzie’s second book to be published in the United States is full of twists and turns, a complicated plot and a list of suspects that is believable and convincing.  Livy is a hard character to get to know and her motives to satisfy her suspicions in her friend’s death rather than to save her marriage and her family is a bit mystifying, unless she is using Julia’s death as a substitute and a way to channel her energies rather than deal with something just as painful and stressful.  When all is said and done, though, Livy has grown and has come to accept things as they are and makes decisions rather than letting her life happen.  

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