The Request

Berkley. Jun. 2020. 416p. ISBN 9780440000891. $27. THRILLER
Hidden secrets combined with a sense of duty spin Ryan Francis and his family into a nightmare in Bell’s latest thriller (after Layover). Ryan has a secret he’s kept for years, and only a couple of people know what happened that night. One of them is Blake Norton, so when Blake asks Ryan to break into a woman’s house and retrieve an incriminating document, Ryan can’t say no, especially since refusing could expose the truth to Ryan’s wife. When he tries to fulfill the favor, Ryan stumbles upon a murder scene, and Blake has disappeared. Trying to find out what happened could destroy everything Ryan holds dear. Bell has crafted a compelling thriller that explores how trust and loyalty can be compromised. It is also an exceptional examination of the uncertain world of social media. The story appears straightforward at first, but as the pages fly by and readers become immersed in the characters, lies start to unravel, leading to the surprises that follow.
VERDICT Bell nails the suburban niche in this absorbing work that fans of Harlan Coben will thoroughly enjoy. [See Prepub Alert, 11/25/19.]
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