Release date: August 7, 2018
Publisher: Lake Union
Beware of friends with secrets…
Imagine your closest friend utterly betraying you. Years later, when she seeks forgiveness, you invite her to your engagement party as a gesture of reconciliation. But seething hostilities rise to the surface, ruining everyone’s evening. After an awful night, your friend’s battered, lifeless body is found at the bottom of a rocky cliff.
Newly engaged Marissa Parlette is living this nightmare. She should be celebrating her upcoming wedding, but she can’t shake the image of her friend lying dead on the beach. Did she fall? Was she pushed? Or did she take a purposeful step into darkness? Desperate for answers, Marissa digs deep into the events of the party. But what she remembers happening after nightfall now carries sinister implications: the ugly sniping, the clandestine meetings, the drunken flirtations. The more she investigates, the more she questions everything she thought she knew about her friends, the man she once trusted, and even herself.
Bestselling author A. J. Banner keeps readers on a razor-sharp edge in this intricately plotted novel of psychological suspense…in which nothing is as it seems.
I’ve read and enjoyed all three of Banner’s books but I have to say, After Nightfall is my favorite to date. It’s the perfect summer mystery, it’s not too heavy and is on the shorter side making a quick read that you could devour poolside, yet it does have enough darkness and depth to give it some bite making it the ideal vacation read and yet another book I’m recommending you add to your summer TBR.
I mentioned before that it’s on the shorter side which means Banner wastes no time with filler and you get right to the heart of the story almost immediately. Stories of female friendship with a dark edge always intrigue me and the relationship between Marissa and Lauren seems at surface level ordinary enough. But it’s quickly apparent that there is a tense, awkwardness bubbling underneath the surface that had me hooked.
That’s as far as I’ll go in terms of the plot, but I was surprised by how many surprises there were in this one. It’s a straightforward enough story told solely from Marissa’s point of view, no detectives perspective muddling things up, just a regular woman on the hunt for answers about her frenemies death. Besides the fun twists along the way to keep me engaged it also had an well executed turn in the end, I absolutely loved how things worked out and was so satisfied.
After Nightfall in three words: Compulsive, Astonishing and Suspenseful.
Overall rating: 4.5/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.