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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier (Review)

Title: Jar of Hearts
Series: N/A
Author: Jennifer Hillier
Release Date: June 2018
Pages: 320 per Goodreads
Format: Egalley

This is the story of three best friends: one who was murdered, one who went to prison, and one who's been searching for the truth all these years . . .

When she was sixteen years old, Angela Wong—one of the most popular girls in school—disappeared without a trace. Nobody ever suspected that her best friend, Georgina Shaw, now an executive and rising star at her Seattle pharmaceutical company, was involved in any way. Certainly not Kaiser Brody, who was close with both girls back in high school.

But fourteen years later, Angela Wong's remains are discovered in the woods near Geo's childhood home. And Kaiser—now a detective with Seattle PD—finally learns the truth: Angela was a victim of Calvin James. The same Calvin James who murdered at least three other women.

To the authorities, Calvin is a serial killer. But to Geo, he's something else entirely. Back in high school, Calvin was Geo's first love. Turbulent and often volatile, their relationship bordered on obsession from the moment they met right up until the night Angela was killed.

For fourteen years, Geo knew what happened to Angela and told no one. For fourteen years, she carried the secret of Angela's death until Geo was arrested and sent to prison.

While everyone thinks they finally know the truth, there are dark secrets buried deep. And what happened that fateful night is more complex and more chilling than anyone really knows. Now the obsessive past catches up with the deadly present when new bodies begin to turn up, killed in the exact same manner as Angela Wong.

How far will someone go to bury her secrets and hide her grief? How long can you get away with a lie? How long can you live with it?
This was definitely a different type of read for me, and I really liked it.  It was dark and twisted, and I was never sure who I wanted to root for - if anyone.

So Geo is our female lead. The only lead, and she carries the story the whole way through. At first I felt like Geo was keeping secrets because of goodness.  And that feeling flip flopped in me  as new details emerged.  There were times I felt pity for her, scared for her, happy for her...disgusted by her. Ultimately, I don't like her as a person, but that made me adore her as a character.  Geo has lots of devils, and lots of levels. Her time in prison for a murder she didn't commit is a short part of the book. We see she is in as an accessory, but we aren't told why or how she was an accessory.  Was she just keeping a secret for her first love, the baddest of men, Calvin? Was there something more evil going on? Hard to say.

You get a picture of the past, in flashbacks and such.  It's vivid and disturbing at times, and that is on of my favorite combinations! And then the present gets all twisty and really dark....the darkest of dark.  And I have to say, I didn't see it coming until it was right there in front of my face.  I love that Jar Of Hearts surprised me.

As a thriller, this book is great.  But don't go looking for redeeming qualities in any of the characters.  Everyone has many sides to them.  And that kaleidoscope is exactly what makes this fresh view worth it.

Jar of Hearts on Goodreads
 Jennifer Hillier
 Jar of Hearts on AMAZON