No Bad Deed (Review) // Suspenseful, deceptive, brilliant

Packed with the electrifying pacing and pulse-pounding suspense of Harlan Coben and Lisa Gardner, a thrilling debut about a mother desperate to find the connections between her missing husband and a deadly stalker who knows too much about her own dark family history.

Driving home one rainy night, Cassie Larkin sees a man and woman fighting on the side of the road. After calling 911, the veterinarian makes a split-second decision that will throw her sedate suburban life into chaos. Against all reason and advice, she gets out of her minivan and chases after the violent man, trying to help his victim. When Cassie physically tries to stop him, he suddenly turns on her and spits out an ominous threat: “Let her die, and I’ll let you live.”

A veterinarian trained to heal, Cassie can’t let the woman die. But while she’s examining the unconscious victim, the attacker steals her car. Now he has her name. Her address. And he knows about her children. Though they warn her to be careful, the police assure her that the perpetrator—a criminal named Carver Sweet—won’t get near her. Cassie isn’t so sure.

The next day—Halloween—her husband disappears while trick-or-treating with their six-year-old daughter. Are these disturbing events a coincidence or the beginning of a horrifying nightmare? Her husband has been growing distant—is it possible he’s become involved with another woman? Is Cassie’s confrontation with the road-side attacker connected to her husband’s disappearance? With all these questions swirling in her mind Cassie can trust no one, maybe not even herself. The only thing she knows for sure is that she can’t sit back while the people she loves are in danger.

As she desperately searches for answers, Cassie discovers that nothing is as random as it seems, and that she is more than willing to fight—to go the most terrifying extremes—to save her family and her marriage.

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When Cassie Larkin witnesses a violent crime and intercedes in spite of the danger, her life begins to change. The next day, her husband disappears. Threats are made, messages left to warn Fassie abotu her vulnerability. She can’t stop thinking about the man’s words: “Let her die, and I’ll let you live.” Is her husband’s disappearance due to infidelity, or is there something more sinister going on? Cassie’s search for answers leaves her life changed forever.

I’m still in shock, what just happened? I felt like there was a bit of a slow start (that was mostly me being unsure why past me decided this book would be of interest to me though), but after that things quickly kicked off, and my frustration at the “cops don’t believe main character” storyline quickly wore off. How could it not, when I had no idea how much more to the story there’d be?

I was on the edge of my seat the whole time reading No Bad Deed, anxiously waiting for—dreading—the next bad thing that would happen to Cassie; her paranoia became my own. But what I didn’t realise was that Heather Chavez was quite deliberately shepherding us down one path, and only much later in the book did the misleading become apparent. Even then there was still so much that we din’t know, that wouldn’t be revealed until the very end.

Cassie Larkin is shoved from normalcy and thurst into a world of threats and lies. What is random, what is coincience, what is preplanned? Of everyone she knows, who can she actually trust with her life—and those of her children? is the truth hidden beneath the lies or are the two so deeply intertwined that they’re indistinguishable? In No Bad Deed Heather Chavez weaves together all these layers and brings to you an action-packed thriller that will keep you wanting more.

~I received a copy from Hachette NZ and willingly reviewed it~

Do you like to read thrillers? Do you prefer middle-aged or teenage narrators?

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