Book Review: A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell 1

A Simple Favor

by Darcey Bell




Barnes & Noble


 Hardcover: 304 pages
 Publisher: Harper (March 21, 2017)

“Riveting and brilliantly structured, A Simple Favor is an edge-of-your-seat domestic thriller about a missing wife and mother that relies on a rotating cast of unreliable narrators to ingeniously examine the cost of competitive mom-friends, the toll of ordinary marital discontent and the fallacy of the picture-perfect, suburban family.”—Kimberly McCreight, New York Times bestselling author

She’s your best friend.

She knows all your secrets.

That’s why she’s so dangerous.

A single mother’s life is turned upside down when her best friend vanishes in this chilling debut thriller in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.

It starts with a simple favor—an ordinary kindness mothers do for one another. When her best friend, Emily, asks Stephanie to pick up her son Nicky after school, she happily says yes. Nicky and her son, Miles, are classmates and best friends, and the five-year-olds love being together—just like she and Emily. A widow and stay-at-home mommy blogger living in woodsy suburban Connecticut, Stephanie was lonely until she met Emily, a sophisticated PR executive whose job in Manhattan demands so much of her time.

But Emily doesn’t come back. She doesn’t answer calls or return texts. Stephanie knows something is terribly wrong—Emily would never leave Nicky, no matter what the police say. Terrified, she reaches out to her blog readers for help. She also reaches out to Emily’s husband, the handsome, reticent Sean, offering emotional support. It’s the least she can do for her best friend. Then, she and Sean receive shocking news. Emily is dead. The nightmare of her disappearance is over.

Or is it? Because soon, Stephanie will begin to see that nothing—not friendship, love, or even an ordinary favor—is as simple as it seems.

A Simple Favor is a remarkable tale of psychological suspense—a clever and twisting free-fall of a ride filled with betrayals and reversals, twists and turns, secrets and revelations, love and loyalty, murder and revenge. Darcey Bell masterfully ratchets up the tension in a taut, unsettling, and completely absorbing story that holds you in its grip until the final page.


My Rating:



Favorite Quotes:


She always wears the diamond and sapphire ring that Sean gave her when they got engaged. And because she moves her hands a lot when she talks, I think of the ring as a sparkling creature with a life of its own, like Tinker Bell flying out in front of Peter Pan and the Lost Boys.


I remember wondering: What counts as an “emergency” in the fashion business? The buttonholes are too small? Someone sewed a zipper in backward?


The company sent up a busload of fashion interns, and for an entire day, our town was swarming with underweight androgynous young people, all with asymmetrical haircuts and skinny suits, carrying armloads of flyers, staple guns for the telephone poles, and double-sided tape for shop windows.


This was the worst thing I’d ever done. By far. And the weird thing was: it felt so liberating. As if I were being absolved for all the bad things I’d done by doing something so much worse.


My Review:


A Simple Favor provided an intriguing, warped, and heinous cast of characters who were part repulsive, yet continually fascinating in their pathology. Each main character had a trunk full of secrets.   While I was curious, absorbed, and entertained by the suspense and twisted nature of storyline, the callousness of the out of the ordinary and atrocious characters gave me pause – I cannot say that I was drawn to them or ever liked them, yet I could not stop reading and couldn’t decide whose narrative I enjoyed more. I did feel pity for poor Sean as he may have started out with a clear heart but had been so taken by his diabolical wife that he allowed himself to be emotionally blackmailed, to his ruination. The premise was interesting but patience was required as the plot developed and unwound at a maddeningly slow pace, yet I could not put my kindle down. All in all, A Simple Favor was an outstanding effort for a debut author.  I received a review copy of this intriguing book from Harper Collins and TLC Book Tours.


Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


About Darcey Bell

Darcey Bell was born in 1981 and raised on a dairy farm in western Iowa. She is a preschool teacher in Chicago. ASimple Favor is her first novel.

Follow Darcey on Twitter.

One comment on “Book Review: A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell

  1. Reply trish Apr 21,2017 10:19 am

    Thank you for being on this tour!

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