A Secret Among Friends by J.S. Ellis

Published: July 25, 2023

Black Cat Ink Press

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Pages: 163

KKECReads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.

J.S. Ellis is the author of psychological thrillers and suspense and published her debut psychological thriller in 2019, which was an instant success and received great praise from readers. She writes stories about obsession and betrayal. When she’s not putting her characters in uncomfortable, difficult positions, J.S. Ellis likes to relax with her husband and their fur baby, Eloise. They live on the sunny island of Malta.

He knew she was lying, but he could change that. After all, what were friends for?
When Zoë first sits in Jason’s salon chair, he immediately notices they have a connection. Yet he soon learns there is far more to his new friend than meets the eye.
Stumbling on a scene he was never meant to see, Jason uncovers a secret that could tear Zoë’s life apart.
Forced to choose between loyalty and morality, Jason makes a decision that could have deadly consequences. Now, he must bury a dark truth all his own. When all is exposed, will their friendship survive? Or will their bond be braided closer than ever before?

“And secrets can be seductive.”

James owns a salon and is always looking to make a new friend. When Zoë walks in one day, James can just tell they will be the very best of friends. And for a while, things are great. Getting to know each other and building the foundations of their friendship starts strong until Zoë starts keeping secrets.

This was different. I liked the concept; it was creepy but engaging. This was an interesting mix of how perspective plays a part in everything; how we see a situation may be completely different from how someone else sees that same situation.

James was a lot. He believed his intentions were good, but he was needy, clingy, and obsessive. Zoë was not a great communicator, leading to many of her struggles.

The dynamic of their friendship blossoms into something otherworldly and spirals out of control. The secrets, revenge, and egos are on high alert. I enjoyed getting this story from James’ perspective. He was a well-developed albeit strange character.

This book had an interesting pace. The first half built up steadily, but the last half was a free fall into utter chaos. I love how Ellis writes characters. The way she lets readers into their heads and guides the narrative is clever.

This is a well-done, twisted thriller that will make you think twice about making new friends.

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