To say that Kate’s divorce had been acrimonious would be a laughable understatement. In Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead by Eleanor Kelley, Kate’s ex-husband Harry has taken his money, the loyalties of their adult children, and Kate’s sense of worth regarding the past 25 years of her life. When Harry suddenly passes away after a debilitating stroke, Kate hopes to finally put all that hurt behind her. Instead, the arrival of an oddly familiar new “friend” and a series of bizarre events leaves Harry at the forefront of her mind. Did he fake his own death, or were there reasonable explanations for everything? Was Kate possibly going crazy? And how did Ettie, who breezed into town as all of this was starting, fit into the puzzle? Kate couldn’t stop until she knew.
As Kate tries to remain positive and live her life, she ruminates on all she’s lost- not only the years of her marriage and all that it meant but, more recently, the death of her beloved mother, which made Kate a relatable character. Yet, even at times when it all seems too much, Kate knows that the support system she has in the way of family and friends helps tremendously.
Kelley’s writing style is warm and engaging, making the characters feel like old friends. Although some of the characters could have been more developed, Kate’s relationships with her family and friends provide a comforting and grounding force throughout the book. The story itself is intriguing and full of twists and turns, with enough suspense to keep readers on edge. I found this book to be a page-turner that is hard to put down. The book is well worth the read for anyone who enjoys a good mystery with plenty of intrigues. I couldn’t put the book down because I couldn’t wait to find out more, but by the end, there was so little explanation for anything it just left me wanting more.
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a thrilling and engaging read. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead by Eleanor Kelley is deep, filled with dark family secrets, odd happenings, mystery, and intrigue; readers will keep guessing until the end.
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