Review: No Bad Deed by Heather Chavez

Rating: 9.0/10

Synopsis

Packed with the electrifying pacing and pulse-pounding suspense of Harlan Coben and Lisa Gardner, a thrilling debut about a mother desperate to find the connections between her missing husband and a deadly stalker who knows too much about her own dark family history.

Driving home one rainy night, Cassie Larkin sees a man and woman fighting on the side of the road. After calling 911, the veterinarian makes a split-second decision that will throw her sedate suburban life into chaos. Against all reason and advice, she gets out of her minivan and chases after the violent man, trying to help his victim. When Cassie physically tries to stop him, he suddenly turns on her and spits out an ominous threat: “Let her die, and I’ll let you live.”

A veterinarian trained to heal, Cassie can’t let the woman die. But while she’s examining the unconscious victim, the attacker steals her car. Now he has her name. Her address. And he knows about her children. Though they warn her to be careful, the police assure her that the perpetrator—a criminal named Carver Sweet—won’t get near her. Cassie isn’t so sure.

The next day—Halloween—her husband disappears while trick-or-treating with their six-year-old daughter. Are these disturbing events a coincidence or the beginning of a horrifying nightmare? Her husband has been growing distant—is it possible he’s become involved with another woman? Is Cassie’s confrontation with the road-side attacker connected to her husband’s disappearance? With all these questions swirling in her mind Cassie can trust no one, maybe not even herself. The only thing she knows for sure is that she can’t sit back while the people she loves are in danger.

As she desperately searches for answers, Cassie discovers that nothing is as random as it seems, and that she is more than willing to fight—to go the most terrifying extremes—to save her family and her marriage.

Review

Thanks to HarperAudio, the author, and the narrator for an advance listening copy of No Bad Deed for review consideration. Receiving this ALC did not influence my thoughts or opinions on the novel.

A compulsive read, No Bad Deed is relentless in its pacing and flawless at sinking its hooks in on page 1. You will skip meals and, more than likely, sleep while attempting to binge this page-turner in a single sitting. Chavez’s debut is a must-read thriller in 2020.

Looks like thrillers are starting to become my go-to palate cleansers from all of the fantasy/science fiction novels my blog is accustomed to. While 2019 had several winners like The Silent Patient, The Chestnut Man, The Whisper Man, and The Hiding Place (among others), 2020 is coming out of the gate with some absolutely gripping novels like The Other People, and now, No Bad Deed.

Chavez’s writing style is fast-paced, hard-hitting, and tends to push down on the accelerator more than it lets off. Her ability to ramp up the suspense throughout had me polishing off this book in a matter of hours, and you know a book is really good if you can put off chorin’ in order to finish. There are plenty of twists and turns along the road that lead to a very unexpected ending, and in saying that, I had 0 clue as to how this book was going to wrap.

While I can’t say I would’ve chosen some of the paths the protagonist took (especially the very first one, which I guess makes me a “bad” Samaritan), all of the choices she makes are pieces to a larger puzzle that she becomes embroiled in. Having said that, Cassie is a strong female protagonist that you can easily get behind and become emotionally tied to. There is a wide variety of secondary characters who all play a part in how the story pans out, and while it becomes quite a list of names and some can easily get mixed up, plot points get re-explained at the end so any potential confusion is alleviated.

In my opinion, No Bad Deed will be one of the best thrillers released this year. I can see a huge following in Chavez’s future, and you can count me as one of them right now. I cannot wait to see what she comes out with next.

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