Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Good as Dead by Susan Walter

Good as Dead
by Susan Walter
Published October 1, 2021 by Lake Union Publishing

It all starts with a promise from a stranger: We’ll take care of everything.


Holly Kendrick’s husband is dead. Holly saw it all. In one violent moment, a hit-and-run accident turns Holly’s life upside down. Then a fixer for the high-powered guilty party approaches Holly with an offer she is in no position to refuse. Holly and her daughter, Savannah, will want for nothing, beginning with a luxury dream house—all for the price of their silence. But when their sudden appearance in privileged Calabasas, California, piques the curiosity of neighbors, the price becomes greater than they imagined. Because Holly and Savannah aren’t the only ones in the neighborhood with something to hide.


Told from alternating points of view, Good as Dead draws together an unlikely group of people bound to one another by a crime, a cover-up, and compounding deceptions. As carefully constructed lives begin to crumble, how far will everyone be willing to go to bury the truth and protect the people they love?


Review
5 Stars

What a twisted, twisted thriller Susan Walter has woven with Good as Dead. Written like a suburban drama, Good as Dead follows six people in the months following a terrible, fatal accident. There's Holly, the bereft widow, Savannah, her daughter, Evan, the fixer, Andy, Holly's new screenplay writer neighbor, Libby, his nosy wife, and finally Jack, the millionaire producer. Labeled a hit-and-run, Holly's husband passed before her eyes and the solution provided by Evan is more money than she's ever seen before, a beautiful home, and a safe neighborhood for her daughter. The quiet, snooty Calabasas street is meant to be her escape from the trauma, but with Evan lingering, perceptive neighbors, and a new boyfriend in Savannah's life, it's only a matter of time before someone's secrets start spilling.


I absolutely loved Good as Dead; I initially thought the format and multiple narrators would be difficult, but I found myself wading neck deep into this suburban thriller. Walters tells the story by alternating between flashbacks and present day perspectives, with each character taking us to where they were three months ago and the impacts the accident had in their life. It's the kind of story where an invisible thread connects everyone together and that thread is twisted and tangled and raveled up tight. It's an exploration into wealth, privilege, and happiness, or rather, the lack of and the ripple effects of trauma.


Impossible to put down, masterfully constructed, and totally clever, Good as Dead is an absolute hit from Susan Walter. It has all the pieces required to form an addictive thriller, weaving suspense, a crime, and secrets to keep you on the edge of your seat.

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