Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
There Should Have Been Eight by Nalini Singh
Published by Berkley on November 21, 2023
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Amazon, Audible, Libro.fm, Barnes & Noble, Apple
One last weekend.
A mansion half in ruins.
No room for lies.
Someone is going to confess.
Because there should have been eight...
They met when they were teenagers. Now they're adults, and time has been kind to some and unkind to others. None more so than Bea-the one they lost nine long years ago.
They've gathered to reminisce at Bea's family's estate, a once glorious mansion straight out of a gothic novel. Best friends, old flames, secret enemies, and new lovers are all under one roof. But when the weather turns and they're snowed in at the edge of eternity, there's nowhere left to hide from their shared history.
I really enjoy this author and the different series and now standalone books she writes. Nalini Singh brings a lot of diversity and highlights settings in a part of the world I don’t know. There are slight cultural aspects which are not in my region. I would call this a psychological thriller having read it and my success with them is mixed.
A group of friends who haven’t spent much time together in the past 10 years but were very close in college get together for a reunion on a remote estate. We get the point of view of Luna, a photographer, who is not part of a couple. Luna is struggling with a medical diagnosis and hasn’t told even the closest friends. She is also still grieving for Bea since they never really got closure with a funeral or anything. yes, they start dropping one by one with illness, injury or death.
Luna struggles to document everything for the authorities to determine if things were accidents or criminal in nature. But as more of the group is affected, it seems obvious it’s intentional. The mansion is huge with multiple wings, secret rooms and hidden passageways. The suspense builds as Luna tries to find and protect and treat everyone. Eventually, even with the abysmal weather conditions, she has to go for help. Surviving the conditions is another trial.
I enjoyed learning about the characters and the slow reveal of what had happened to Bea. I cared about Luna and some of her friends. The pace was engaging and there was a good mix of Luna’s reflections and the action of events. I would have appreciated a bit more at the end as far as the outcomes, particularly for those who survived.
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