by Maureen Lindley
Expected publication: April 3rd 2018 by Gallery Books
Genre: Adult Psychological Thriller
In a Flutter: Soooo twisted!
An exploration of domestic derangement, as sinister as Daphne Du Maurier’s classic Rebecca, that plumbs the depths of sibling rivalry with wit and menace.
Oh, to be a Beloved—one of those lucky people for whom nothing ever goes wrong. Everything falls into their laps without effort: happiness, beauty, good fortune, allure.
Betty Stash is not a Beloved—but her little sister, the delightful Gloria, is. She’s the one with the golden curls and sunny disposition and captivating smile, the one whose best friend used to be Betty’s, the one whose husband should have been Betty’s. And then, to everyone’s surprise, Gloria inherits the family manse—a vast, gorgeous pile of ancient stone, imposing timbers, and lush gardens—that was never meant to be hers.
Losing what Betty considers her rightful inheritance is the final indignity. As she single-mindedly pursues her plan to see the estate returned to her in all its glory, her determined and increasingly unhinged behavior—aided by poisonous mushrooms, talking walls, and a phantom dog—escalates to the point of no return. The Beloveds will have you wondering if there’s a length to which an envious sister won’t go.
Worldbuilding: Cold-Upton and London, UK setting.
Characters: Elizabeth seems to be a psychopath, imo. I was horrified of the thing about Gloria’s kitten, in the beginning. Yet she exerts a creeping sort of charm, a magnetism I can’t explain and don’t like – charismatic psychopath. As the story goes on I found her less and less charismatic, and more and more insane. I guess that’s the thing with psychos: they seem interesting and mysterious from some distance, but horrifying if you’re privy to their real thoughts.
Plot: The story follow Elizabeth through a descent into homicidal madness. It’s very tense and there’s a sense of disjointed reality as we experience it through her filter. The ending was very fun and full of possibilities though at the same time it left me with a clear sense of what is going to happen from there on.
Writing: First person, past tense narrative, Elizabeth’s POV. I enjoyed her cruel and spiteful voice with dry and dark sprinkles of humor in the beginning of the story, though it got darker and less enjoyable as the story progresses. I didn’t like the jumping about of the timeline – I’m never a fan of flashbacks.
Curb Appeal: Cool cover, hooking blurb – impulsive buy material for my psychological thriller moods (of which I have more and more, lately, lol).
I recommend The Beloveds to fans of chilling stories about killers from their POVs. It’s a cozy sort of thriller that will make you think twice about how you behave with your relatives and neighbors, lol.