Review: Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier


Release date: June 12, 2018

Publisher: Minotaur

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


This is the story of three best friends: one who was murdered, one who went to prison, and one who’s been searching for the truth all these years . . .

When she was sixteen years old, Angela Wong—one of the most popular girls in school—disappeared without a trace. Nobody ever suspected that her best friend, Georgina Shaw, now an executive and rising star at her Seattle pharmaceutical company, was involved in any way. Certainly not Kaiser Brody, who was close with both girls back in high school.

But fourteen years later, Angela Wong’s remains are discovered in the woods near Geo’s childhood home. And Kaiser—now a detective with Seattle PD—finally learns the truth: Angela was a victim of Calvin James. The same Calvin James who murdered at least three other women.

To the authorities, Calvin is a serial killer. But to Geo, he’s something else entirely. Back in high school, Calvin was Geo’s first love. Turbulent and often volatile, their relationship bordered on obsession from the moment they met right up until the night Angela was killed.

For fourteen years, Geo knew what happened to Angela and told no one. For fourteen years, she carried the secret of Angela’s death until Geo was arrested and sent to prison.

While everyone thinks they finally know the truth, there are dark secrets buried deep. And what happened that fateful night is more complex and more chilling than anyone really knows. Now the obsessive past catches up with the deadly present when new bodies begin to turn up, killed in the exact same manner as Angela Wong.

How far will someone go to bury her secrets and hide her grief? How long can you get away with a lie? How long can you live with it?


Do you ever read a book by a new to you author and then immediately run to see if they have any other books because you liked their style that much? That’s exactly what happened the minute I finished Jar of Hearts and I was excited to see Hillier has several older books for me to add to my never ending TBR. There was something about her writing style that drew me in within a few pages of starting this and my interest never waned for one minute.

This was absolutely perfectly paced, there were no dull moments or times where I wanted things to speed up a little, I was on the edge of my seat so many times waiting to see what would happen next. It alternates between Geo and Kaiser and is broken into five parts and the ending of each one was exciting and opened the door for another delicious twist. There were many shocking moments and I only figured one surprise out just before it revealed, but overall this was fantastically well plotted and extremely exciting.

The less you know the better for this one, but I will say I’m not sure if I’ve ever struggled with how I feel about a character more than I did with Geo. One minute I hated her and thought she was a horrible human being and then the next I would be jolted by the sympathy I was feeling towards her. To me, that’s always the sign of a gifted writer, bringing out unexpected emotions in me, (especially in a thriller!) is an appreciated bonus and not something I take note of lightly.

Jar of Hearts in three words: Intricate, Exciting and Gripping.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

12 thoughts on “Review: Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier

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