Trade Paperback January 2018
Reviewed by Richard Goldman
Four friends in an affluent suburb meet every week at a coffee shop. They are all mothers of young children and they are all alike in many ways; the sort of moms you see every day. But one of them will turn out to be a murderer and all of them will have secrets that will have deadly consequences.
Rebecca Drake in her latest novel, Just Between Us, has fashioned a story and a cast of characters that strikes a beautiful balance between the deceptively mundane surface and the deeper currents of shame, guilt and violence, that run below. At the surface level kudos to Drake for bringing to life a cast of characters that are instantly recognizable but, more importantly, believable and sympathetic.
The founding pair of the eventual quartet are Julie, a successful real estate broker, and Sara, a lawyer now a stay at home mom. Into their friendship comes Alison, who does IT work at home is awed a bit by Julie and Sarah evident self-confidence. Finally we have Heather, a willowy former mode now married to a successful plastic surgeon with whom she has a son.
Things head in a weird direction when Alison notices bruises on Heather's arm. Over a period of months she, Julie and Sarah become convinced that Heather is being systematically abused by her husband--an accusation that Heather denies consistently.
Naturally, there will be a murder; there will be an investigation; there will be justice of a sort. I'm not going to spoil anything by talking about any of that but rather leave you with the delight of discovering each of the steps in the chain. Along the way you'll be confused, amused, shocked and ultimately satisfied as this domestic thriller rolls along to a violent but satisfying conclusion marked by a surprising revelation.