The book A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell is anything but simple. I was led in about 20 different directions while reading this, some good, some bad, and some very very creepy. I don’t know if I would necessarily call this book a psychological thriller, but it does have some of the components of one. Also, when I saw this book on Edelweiss, it was yet another book that was compared to Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, which threw me off, but also intrigued me. I’ve said before that I do not like when books are compared to Gone Girl, because for some reason it’s the only book that marketers and publishers can think of to describe this genre-the wicked, scorned, woman-but since I did actually enjoy Gone Girl, I figured I would give one last comparison book a try (I’ve actually steered clear of a lot of them lately).
The simple favor that the title claims in this book is when Emily asks her best friend Stephanie to pick up her son Nicky from school and keep him until she returned around 9 o clock that evening. The problem is, Emily never returns, and everyone that Stephanie contacts has a different idea about when Emily is supposed to return. Stephanie remembers very clearly that Emily did not say that Nicky would be staying the night, but when one night turns into several, Stephanie and Emily’s husband start to worry.
There worrying becomes real when a body is found in a lake in Michigan, at the cabin that Emily’s parents own. Stephanie and Emily’s husband Sean soon panic, and are convinced that Emily is dead. Until the phone calls start, then things start to get really weird, and even though Stephanie and Sean are falling in love-there’s something nagging at the back of both of their minds, that Emily is still alive.
Mixed with blog posts, and view points from Emily herself, Stephanie, and even Sean, we get to see the picture become clearer and clearer as to what is really going on in this novel. The suspense is intense, and it’s cleverly unfolded so that the reader never knows what’s really happening. I enjoyed this book so so much, and after having a rough couple of months not reading-this was definitely the book that put me back into the reading grind. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars, it was very unnerving, but also quick and satisfying. There are so many components to each character that show you how deep lies can go, and how one simple favor can ruin your entire life.