Perfectly paced with a narrator who feels like she’s talking directly to the reader, “Her” by Britney King is a psychological thriller about toxic friendships, jealousy, desire, and the dark places passion can take you. The only problem is that it doesn’t quite take you there in the shocking, twisted away a psych thriller should.
About the Book
“After four, I quit counting. What’s the point if you know it isn’t going to stop?”
Sadie is jealous. Why wouldn’t she be? Her life is falling apart. Meanwhile, her new neighbor is everything she is not.
Ann is perfect–the kind of woman everyone loves to hate–and a best friend to die for. She hosts over-the-top dinner parties, takes parenting to an entirely different level, and makes ambition look sexy as hell.
Sadie learns quick: the best way to cure jealousy is to befriend it. She also learns there’s more to her new friend than meets the eye. She’s patient, she’s kind, and possibly a serial killer.
It isn’t until Ann’s proclivities hit a little too close to home that Sadie has to ask herself how much she’s willing to overlook in the name of getting what she wants.
Toxic female friendships. Toxic marriages. Both tropes are so heavily used in psych thriller novels that they are fairly cliché. That’s not to say there still can’t be electrifying psychological thrillers that use these tropes. Of course, there can. But the bar is set high, requiring such palpable tension and jaw-dropping twists that your knickers are blown off along with your socks. “Her” by Britney King is simply not one of those books.
In “Her”, the narrator Sadie is a frumpy, overweight, reclusive housewife whose husband left her. Ann is the very opposite. She’s a popular self-help author who’s happily married, beautiful, popular, and kind (or so it seems). At once, Sadie is jealous of her and obsessed with becoming her closest friend. Never mind that she soon realizes Ann is probably a serial killer. Sadie has her own motives.
“Her” is easy to read. It’s steady pace and short chapters make the pages fly by. Author Britney King uses language that’s conversational, making it feel like Sadie is talking directly to the reader. The story is as engaging as the writing for most of the book. But then something happens or, more accurately, fails to happen that takes the story from addicting to disappointing. The prologue foreshadows a major twist to the characters’ friendship. Sadie alludes to the same throughout the chapters. However, when the twists come, they feel more like ripples.
Even though “Her” is well written, superbly paced, and short enough to devour in one sitting, the book in its entirety fails to deliver the gut punch it needs to stand out and stand above. Sadie and Ann’s toxic friendship is cliched. We’ve read it before by other authors. And while Sadie leads you to believe you’re racing toward a dark and shocking conclusion, there’s only an anti-climactic end.
Keep in mind, these are only my opinions about “Her”. Plenty of readers and reviewers love it. But if you’re looking for something less cliched and, instead, more unexpected and mind-blowing, this book probably isn’t going to be it.
About the Author
Britney King lives in Austin, Texas with her husband, children, two dogs, one ridiculous cat, and a partridge in a pear tree.
When she’s not wrangling the things mentioned above, she writes psychological, domestic and romantic thrillers set in suburbia.
You can find Britney online at BritneyKing.com.