Review: No Bad Deed by Heather Chavez

RATING: 9/10

SYNOPSIS

Cassie Larkin has a problem: she was on her way home from work when Cassie helped a woman whom she saw on the side of the road being attacked by a man. As the three of them struggled for control, the man made an offer: Let her die, and I’ll let you live. When Cassie refused the man ran off with her van. And her purse.

Cassie calls the police and is able to identify the man right away. The police then inform her the man is a violent criminal they for whom they had already been looking. And now this same man had access to all of her information: her name, address, kids’ names, husband, where she works. He now also had a motive to come after her.

Cassie tries to put it all out of her mind until her husband goes missing the next day while trick-or-treating with their daughter, which happens to be Halloween. Cassie does not know what to think, though, as she begins to get eerie text messages from him.

I need time.

Cassie had felt her husband slipping away of late, but was she imagining things? The police are not helping, so she decides to do some detective work herself. But, the deeper Cassie digs, the more dirty the secrets become. It turns out her good deed could cost her everything. Can she look beyond the shroud surrounding her family and rescue them? Or is it too late for heroics?

There can be no doubt about it: Cassie is in for the fight of her life and must save her family – in more ways than one.

REVIEW

No Bad Deed is Heather Chavez’ first published novel, and what a debut it is! This book grabbed hold of me from the first sentence and took me for a wild ride, not letting go until the very last line. It tells a story so thrilling and twisted I could not put it down, no matter how hard I tried. (Not that I wanted to, but the body cannot sustain itself on book alone and does require sleep to survive – believe me, I have tried.)

The story is told from Cassie’s perspective, and I cannot imagine it any other way. A woman, helping another. A wife, missing her husband. A mother, fearing for her children. These are a few of the aspects of Cassidy that are explored, each evoking much emotion and empathy as the story goes along.

Even better, as the emotion ramps up, so does the pacing in the story. As the reader gets deeper into Cassie’s world (and Cassie herself struggles with the consequences of the knowledge she has gained), so does the action. Creepy coincidences start happening. She receives threats, mysterious visitors, and ominous phone calls and texts. Cassie gets desperate, not knowing who to turn to, who she can trust. The combination of emotion and fast-pacing is both gut-wrenching and fascinating, creating a whirlwind of intensity that increased my heart rate for much of the book.

The one aspect of the story that kept it from receiving a perfect score was the tension between Cassie and the police that, to me, felt forced. I think if it had been developed a little more I would have bought into it, but the way the author kind of skirted around the edges of this plot point made it feel like more of an afterthought that anything. I consider both of these to be minor flaws that did not effect my overall enjoyment of the book.

No Bad Deed is not your average thriller. It is dark, twisted, and exhilarating from beginning to end. I recommend it to all fans of thrillers, and to anyone who likes their mystery served with a side of family drama.

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