Thanks to Avon UK Publicity Team for sending me an E-ARC in exchange of a honest review. All views are my own.
What would you do if a stranger would present you with the opportunity to get revenge on the one person that ruined your life with no repercussion? Would you take the opportunity or would you question, why a stranger would give you this opportunity?
The Friend is a thrilling read, the start of a new series, in which themes of trust and the extent a person would go to obtain justice for their family collide. They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but honestly the cover is something that let me down when I first saw it. Usually the cover is the first thing that captures the attention of a reader. This cover didn’t capture my attention at all. It felt generic and found myself wondering after reading the book why wouldn’t something more pragmatic from the story wouldn’t be featured on the cover. I know that cover design isn’t in the control of the author but I think that the cover would have fitted the genre and the story more if something more simplistic (a good example would be the black folder that is prominent at each scene) would have been incorporated on the cover. I can’t help but feel that the cover was a miss.
Charlie Gallagher is a name everyone should remember; The Friend is an exciting start to a new series that feels both fresh and already well established.
The story line is linear in the story, which can very easily slip into the boring side especially in this day and age when everyone is looking for something new. However what Gallagher managed to do is hide the linear story line behind strong characters which step to the forefront of the story. The multiple POV’s which weren’t usually the standard protagonist POV’s allows the readers to experience the events of a twisted game played by a stranger through a new lens.
I mentioned that the characterization is strong in The Friend. And I stand by that. Gallagher manages to breathe a breath of fresh air into them by making them unexpected. DI Joel Norris is the perfect example for this. As a crime series reader, I got so used of seeing ‘the-broken-detective’ trope that when Gallagher actually brings to the forefront a DI that is married and has a somewhat functional relationship with his wife, it feels totally unexpected and enjoyable, giving room for the flawed characters to sit into the normal people that actually go through the horrendous experience of meeting and playing the revenge game.
What is the revenge game you ask? Well it’s actually such a simple idea but so effective. You get yourself a stranger that promises you justice with no repercussion what-so-ever. Then you get a choice. Will you take justice into your own two hands or will you let justice take it’s own course? I don’t want to give away to much of the plot in this review because the excellence of this novel sits in the plot.
Charlie Gallagher is a name everyone should remember; The Friend is an exciting start to a new start to a series that feels both fresh but also already well established. I haven’t gotten yet the chance to read the Maddie Ives series or the Langthorne series but if they are anything close to The Friend then I can’t wait to dive into them when I start to feel my Gallagher withdrawal kick in.