Best Intentions by Emily Listfield
The lovely people at Simon & Schuster sent me a copy of Emily Listfield's new book last week; I read it over the bank holiday weekend and I loved it! Best Intentions is the story of four college friends whose reunion in New York has fatal results. Listfield uses the story to explore the question of: How well can you ever really know another person? Lisa Barkley is the central character and in 24 hours her whole life is turned upside down; her husband, her job and her best friend are all called into question.
Lisa is married to Sam and they have settled in New York with their two young daughters; Deirdre is an old college friend of both of them, also living in the city. Deirdre and Lisa are best friends and meet weekly for breakfast to confide in each other about their worries and anxieties. In their last few meeting Deirdre opens up about her complicated love life and Lisa expresses her worry over the financial strains that she and Sam are facing. Jack is the fourth person from their college days; he visits New York for a job interview and the reunion takes place. They catch up on each others lives and the old flame of attraction between Jack and Deirdre is re-ignited again. A series of events contrive against the four of them; Lisa is handed photographs of her husband alone with her best friend, Jack accuses Sam and Deirdre of having an affair in their college days and inevitably suspicions are raised and emotions even more so. This is the build up to Deirdre being found dead in her apartment. Reeling from shock, Lisa has to admit that she has no alibi, nor does Sam; Deirdre's ex was out of the country and Jack's wife has said that he was with her at the time of the murder. There is no sign of forced entry, leading the police to believe that Deirdre knew her murderer and willingly invited them into her apartment on that fateful night.
Lisa already has her suspicions of those closest to her and Deirdre's murder leaves her in the vulnerable position of having to question those that she loves the most. Who would want to murder Deirdre and why?
Emily Listfield's book had me gripped from the very beginning and I loved the use of first person narrative. I felt as though I was standing just behind Lisa, watching all the events unfold and hearing her thoughts and feelings as they happened. It really does make you wonder if you ever do truly know another person or if you just have to take a leap of faith and trust them. What happens to our relationships when they are tested?
I felt that communication was a real key theme in this book too, especially how we communicate with each other and how much information we decide to keep to ourselves. Lisa and Sam both have jobs which involve communicating to the public about people and events. Sam is a journalist so he is always trying to make sure that the truth is exposed and Lisa is in public relations so she is making sure that the public get the positive version of events and people. They are both very much aware of how the system works and this seeps into their relationship and they way they communicate or not with each other.
I would highly recommend this book, it held my attention to the very end and gave me a lot to think about afterwards. If you want to find out more about Emily Listfield then check out her website, Best Intentions also has an individual website that is worth taking a look at. Emily Listfield has written six novels so I am very excited to have discovered an author who has other books that I can explore.