Third Party

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 17 Sep 2019

Member Reviews

This was an interesting mystery with a lot of twists an turns. I like that you got a lot of points of view - so you were with the wife, the last few days with the victim, and then also with a female detective. I thought they all balanced out the story and I liked that you got to see the various characters from each person's POV. 

The subject was a bit twisted and more than I thought it would be. I didn't mind the adult themes but was just surprised - clearly I didn't read the synopsis or other reviews well enough to know what I was getting in to. But the subject felt new and taboo and I found it fascinating as each person juggled the information in their life. 

Interesting story, well flushed out and a good mystery.
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Third Party by Brandi Reeds is seriously twisted story full of mystery, murder, secret identities, and abuse. My first by this author, this one is a compulsively readable, rather shocking tale. 

The apparent suicide of a beautiful aspiring law student unites two strangers, connected only by their tangled suspicions: that nothing about Margaux Stritch’s tragic end is what it looks like.

Firefighter Jessica Blythe is doing well in the male-dominated Chicago Fire Department whilst in the throes of a complicated relationship with Detective Decker. A first responder to the crime scene, Jessica has a professional duty to Margaux.  Kirsten Holloway is a wife and mother, getting herself together after an emotional breakdown however, her husband’s infidelity has left her in a terrible place full of mistrust and fear. Her curiosity about Margaux’s death has become very personal as she suspects that her husband might have been having an affair with Margaux. Two women are about to converge on a trail of blackmail, secrets, troubled pasts, and hidden shadows, but they’re not the only ones stepping into the dark. Someone else is following, but is it to warn Jessica and Kirsten, or to direct them both into an evil nightmare?

The story was told primarily from three women’s perspectives -Jessica, Kirsten, and Margaux - one in the past and two in the present, I found myself gravitating toward Jessica the most as an interesting, complex, troubled character and it was a journey to get to know her. 

From the first page, there was so much happening in this hard-hitting story!  There was abundant depth to Brandi Reeds' writing which kept me hooked throughout. The author really worked wonders with most of the characters in this fabulous story and even the less personable ones still had very good parts to play and did not dampen my enthusiasm for this fascinating tale.

The plot was great and moved along at a really comfortable pace and I was very happy with the author’s general writing-style. The main focus brought incredibly good entanglement to this mystery, before hurtling towards the surprising denouement.

I thoroughly enjoyed this exciting story and I will be checking out this author's novel - Trespassing - as well as looking out for her next one. All in all, this is cracking read for anyone who has a preference for brilliant suspense thrillers. 

I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel, at my request, from Lake Union Publishing via NetGalley and this review is my own unbiased opinion.
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I received an eARC of this book in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own. 

Okay, so there's really no way to review this book without going into some spoilers, so if you're going to read it (and you should) you might not wanna go much further. The story starts with the suicide of a young college student. It is told in alternating chapters between the dead girl (Margaux), the firefighter who cut her down (Jessica), and Kirstie, the wife of a man with an interesting connection to the other two women. I am actually a really big fan of the alternating POVs and I think this added a bit more to the story than had we been told just through one of their perspectives. 

I HATED Ian/Arlon/Jack whatever his name was supposed to be. I know we were supposed to, but between his need to gaslight everyone around him, his cheating ways, and his smug attitude I didn't feel a bit sorry for him at the end of the book. He might not have committed a murder, but he was a rapist, and let's be real-- as a white man in America if they had decided to ban together and report him for rape and abuse, he would have gotten off anyway, because #patriarchy. I knew that he was going to get his comeuppance, but when he decided to throw his own child into his hole of lies I couldn't deal.

TW: This book deals with a lot of BDSM/auto erotic asphyxiation, rape, and abuse. It was by no means an EASY read, but if you can stomach it, it was a very good one. I finished this book in one day because I had to know how it ended. I couldn't put it down. I did notice a few typos within the text, and some word spacing that was a little bit off, but now that the book has been published I'm sure that those issues have been fixed by now. I can see why it didn't get a ton of hype, given the topics covered; it's not one that you can read and forget about, but for me, it was a compelling read that I will recommend to some of my friends and other patrons that I know can handle it.
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Wow!  What a thrilling, twisted read, that’s sure to keep you reading way past bed time!  Well written, characters are developed in an amazing manner, fast paced, and entwines mystery with thrills to keep the reader on high alert and guessing non stop.  I highly recommend!  
Will make sure I buzz, buzz, buzz it up!
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A seriously twisted story full of mystery, secret identities, abuse and murder, this one is a compulsively readable story. 

Told primarily from three women’s perspectives, one in the past and two in the present, I found myself gravitating toward Jessica the most. She seemed the most complex and had the most interesting character build of the three. While the responsible party wasn’t hard to guess and the different identities exposed what with the limited cast of characters, I still enjoyed the journey to the conclusion. 

I did feel like there were these moments of rah rah girl power that felt too over the top. I get the message but a bit more subtlety would’ve benefited it. 

Overall an enjoyable read, 3.5 stars and thanks to NetGalley, the author, and the publishers for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Seriously twisted! For once I didn’t read too much about a book before going in. Brandi Reed’s latest thriller Third Party is daring and uninhibited, exploring a very twisted web of secrets, lies, and betrayal. What a ride! By about one third through, I couldn’t put the book down. A twisted thriller with some expert reveals!

The suspicious suicide of aspiring law student Margaux leads to questions about her death. When firefighter Jessica is on the scene with her fling Detective Decker, she begins to realize there is more to Margaux's death than meets the eye, and she investigates. This leads her to meet Kristen, a wife and mother who just discovered evidence her husband may have been having an affair with none other than Margaux. As the two women work to discover what happened, a third party becomes involved. The third party seems to know exactly what happened, but is this person friend or foe?

Jessica was a great character, torn between her desire for bad-boy Decker and her blossoming relationship with financial analyst Jack. In the opposite of how magnetic her attraction to Decker is, her relationship with Jack is slower and much more normal and healthy. But most of us can’t resist a bad boy, amirite??

The death of Margaux leads Jessica to meet Kristen Holloway, a wife and stay at home mother who married her high school sweetheart. When Kristen finds a pair of red panties in the pocket of her husband’s sportscoat when she is taking in his dry cleaning, her world crashes around her. I loved Kristen. She’s not the docile woman you would think she is. Kristen confronts her husband and remains skeptical of his attempts to explain away the underwear. She saw her husband talking to Margaux at his cousin’s wedding not long before her death. Was her husband having an affair with Margaux?

We also see flashbacks into Margaux’s life in the months leading up to her death. Margaux has a very twisted tale! Margaux got taken advantage of and her trust was spent, leaving her unable to afford law school without a job. She ends up working at an underground sex club called the Aquasphere. I enjoyed the way Reeds wrote Margaux’s chapters. Because she was dead in the present but alive in her chapters, I felt I could never fully get a handle on Margaux. Her story is tragic and engaging. I was shocked and horrified by some of the things in her life, but I’ll leave those to you to discover!

Three women with very different lives are entangled by this series of events. And of course, there is another person. A third party. This person seems to know exactly who all of the players are and what happened to Margaux, and who seems to have an ulterior motive. I was so fascinated to find out what the deal with the third party was, and I wasn’t disappointed!

I thought the resounding theme of this book was actually about feminism and how women are treated. Jessica, Kristen, and Margaux all have complicated relationships with the men in their lives. I thought all three women were so strong, and there was a tone to the novel that the abused, the taken advantage of, and the victims still have a way out, through the power of women.

I really enjoyed this book! It was gripping and had a great message. I loved the author note at the end. That said, there is some very sensitive content. I loved this, but I don’t think it will be for every reader!

Thank you to Lake Union Publishing and Amazon for my copy. Opinions are my own.
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Well, this was a reall,y riveting story with three different women, told in their alternating views and I thoroughly enjoyed -  it certainly held my attention through to the very end. I haven't read Brandi Reeds before but I will  definitely look up her past work..  Strong female characters, unexpected twists and turns and a great plot.  Recommended for all lovers of psychological thrillers.
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I love a good thriller. I love a book that keeps me wanting more. That keeps me in suspense. That makes me guess all the way to the end. One that I think I know but then find out it’s not exactly what I really thought. This is such a book in many ways.
One man with way to many secrets. Three names he uses. His real name and then the two he uses to fool other women or coax them into his bed. A very sick man who loves having complete control over a woman. Not just in life but especially in the bedroom. He loves bringing them to deaths door before stopping. Just stopping short of killing a woman. It is what drives him. Gets him going. Makes him feel powerful. One such girl is very young. He daughter’s age actually. She’s already had a lifetime of abuse and now when she thinks she is being loved, she finds out it’s all a lie and she is being used again.
A wife, Kirsten, who has dedicated her entire life to her family. Her husband, daughter and son. She’s always done the right thing. Been a dutiful wife. Obedient and loyal to a fault. Raised their two children and gave up her hopes of ever going to college. Of ever having a job or a life. All the while her husband is abusing her love for him too.
Margaux was just a child when she lost her entire family in a terrible wreck. She was adopted by an older couple who wanted her to call them grandparents. Strange in my opinion. Richard/granddad is a pervert from the start. I truly hated him with a passion. I felt so bad for Margaux. I felt bad for her through this whole book. She never stood a chance. Helen/grandmother was not good to her. So of course she turned to an older man, Arlon, trying to find love. He loved doing things to her that were not right. She felt like he was proving he loved her though.
Jessica is a firefighter who is on the scene where Margaux is found hanging. She has to cut her down and it leaves her feeling like justice certainly has to be served in this case. Was it suicide or murder. If it was murder who did it and why. Will an innocent man go to prison for murder or will someone who treats women as next to nothing get just what he deserves?
I loved how this book played out. I loved how Kirsten handled herself in this story. I actually loved how all the women finally banded together. They wanted to make sure justice was served and to show solidarity between women.
There are some very intense scenes in this book that will possibly make you feel uncomfortable or maybe not. There are things that happen that will possibly make you cringe. Things that happen to a young woman who should have had her whole life ahead of her. Things that were stolen from her that should not have happened. She should have been protected.... She only wanted to be loved.
A wife who finally sees that she deserved way more. Finally sees through open eyes that she’s been living a lie. Who will go to great lengths finally to protect her children. Who will not under any circumstances allow her son to be framed for something he did not do. A firefighter who finally faces her past and finds the love she really wants with the man she really loves.
This book was very well written. Some characters are so well loved while a couple will be hated. Things that happened may curl your toes and I don’t mean in a good way either. They will make you pause and think. Take deep breaths and wonder how can anyone do these things.
There are a few passages that I’d like to share: 
(1) When one is in love, one always begins by deceiving oneself, and one always ends by deceiving others.-Oscar Wilde (I personally disagree with this one)
(2) I’ve spent my whole life waiting for things to begin, and suddenly, everything feels closer to the end than the starting line.
(3) You can smash a vase, apologize to it for breaking it, and you can even glue it back together. Maybe it even holds water again, but no matter what you do, its fractures will always be there. (I could relate to this one)
(4) “It doesn’t matter if you did it or not. You deserve whatever punishment they give you.”
Thank you to #NetGalley and #LakeUnion for this ARC. This is my opinion.
I give this book a huge, very huge, 5 stars and highly recommend it.
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I really, really enjoyed this book! The author's writing style is snappy and full of wit, and her female characters were believable and well-fleshed-out. The mystery element kept me flipping pages, but the characters were what really drew me into the story. A good, fast-paced mystery/thriller that I'd recommend to fans of Paula Hawkins or Karin Slaughter!
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3.75 stars

I would love to thank Brandi Reeds, Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for this book in exchange for an honest review.

Go into this book without reading the synopsis!

We have three perspectives going into this book.
First, there is Kirsten Holloway, a wife that thinks her husband might hide something from her, so she goes on a hunt after he denies some things.

Secondly, we follow Jessica Blythe, a firefighter whose complicated relationship with a detective seems to come to an end while she starts dating Jack Wyatt, a great lawyer that seems to really care for her.

And lastly, we have the perspective of Margaux Stritch, a person who died in present time but whom we get to see the past of.

I mostly liked Jessica's perspective, but as the story progressed I started liking Kirsten more because that's what I call a character improvement along the story/book.

So, what exactly is this book about?
Margaux Stritch died hanged. People think she commited suicide, but others think that she was murdered. Decker is a great detective that usually solves anything, including Jessica Blythe in bed. And she really cares about him, but he's usually bailing on her, so she thinks of giving Jack, the guy she dates, a chance.

Meanwhile, as I was saying before, Kirsten and Ian's marriage is on a thin line and he starts acting weird and tries staying far from his wife. She tries solving everything on her own, and that's how her life collides with Jessica's.

The ending is not what I expected. It wasn't extraordinary. Yes, it's a good book.
And after I have read the author's note at the end I understood that this book doesn't focus on the person who done it or how she died (although this is also important; it's a thriller, after all), but it's about a lecture, a thing that happens in real life and the author seems like a really great person who, through her book, shows the entire world that in a situation where you are abused by men or can't get out of a toxic relationship, you can get help and you have to get out because you can lose your years trying to make a man happy, you can lose possibilities, and that is not fair! I consider this book to be in kind of a feminism literature, so if you like/love either thrillers and/or feminism area/subject/etc, I recommend it to you.

Just...don't have expectations. Enjoy the book and the thrill. Happy Reading!
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I really enjoyed this book. It was very fast paced and told from multiple perspectives which I appreciate in stories like this.

The mystery did keep me guessing and the ending was surprising. I did not see it coming so I would recommend this book. 

4/5
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THIRD PARTY is immediately engrossing and held my attention all the way through.  It follows Margaux a beautiful, intelligent young woman (who dies at the beginning of the book), Kirsten, a housewife trying to recover from an empty-nest fueled breakdown and Jessica, the firefighter who cut Margaux down from the noose that killed her.  Reeds gives a twisty tale in which all three have far more in common than they would ever imagine, and, as the truth is revealed, maybe the only ones who want justice served.  While some of the interactions, especially between Kirsten and her husband, don't ring true there is enough right about this novel to overlook these issues.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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This was a fast read for me! I couldn’t put it down. Told in multiple perspectives and told in past and present tense. Such a great mystery. Kept me guessing the whole way through. Even with secrets being revealed , you still have questions until it’s all revealed at the end. Great story! definitely didn’t expect the last bit at the end there!
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Intriguing Until The End. This book had a LOT going for it - the opening hooks the reader into the central mystery pretty quickly, the various perspectives reveal some things not overly common, the mystery is tantalizing and features some points rarely if ever seen, etc. And all of these elements work *very* well, through 85% or so of the book. But in the book's final act, instead of continuing the less traveled path the author instead swerves to the ordinary, safe play. I'm still planning to read future books from this author, and on the whole this book is still recommended, the ending is just a tad disappointing.
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This is the first book by this author that I have read. Glad I did it was a fun read kept my attention with plenty of fast moving action suicide or murder? Kept me reading until the end to find out who did what. I liked the way is was written with three peoples view points made for a good story. Will read more from this author.
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3.5*
There are 3 perspectives that we follow. The first is a female firefighter Jessica, who is called to the scene of a suicide/possible murder. The second perspective is Margaux, the victim. And the third one is quite interesting: a woman named Kirsten,who suspects that her husband might have been having an affair with Margaux. Both Jessica and Kirsten are investigating this apparent suicide and they become friends pretty early on in the story. 
There was definitely a strong theme of female empowerment and feminism in this book. Ideas of women getting together and forming a united front instead of fighting each other and making each other a villain. 
Some things were a bit unbelievable. Like,Kirsten is in the force(even if it is firefighters and not the police) and yet she quickly shares a lot of personal information with Kirsten( a potential suspect) not to mention all the information related to the case that really should be confidential. 
The writing sometimes didn't work for me,I considered dnfing the book a few times. It wasn't bad,it just wasn't for me.
The story had a few twists that I didn't see coming, so that is always nice.
Overall, I did like this book and would recommend it.
Thank you to netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is not a book for everyone. It’s a psychological thriller with changing view points going between present day and the past. Margaux’s story is full of secrets that could unravel many lives. I found this story to be so intriguing, I kept changing my mind on who was guilty and who was framed. I couldn’t stop reading. ⁣
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"Jessica puts her hand out, hovering palm down, "Justice for Margaux."
I place my hand in the centre of the table, too.
Then, Helen.
And finally, Donna joined us. "For women everywhere."
Together, I don't see how we can lose. - Kirsten"

Trigger Warnings: Suicide, Rapes, Abortions.

When I read the description of this book, it really got my attention. So I went ahead to read this one. This book turned out to be the book which is predictable yet not the one you would keep down. This book is something everyone must read because of all the current atrocities happening against women. If this book missed this aspect or had been subtle about it, this would have been a dull read. It is not something I might read again, anytime soon, but I will give it a reread, someday for sure.

Marquax, a 22-year-old female, has been found hanging in her apartment after she slipped a note to her neighbour: a single sentence without which her suicide would have been an open-and-shut case. Jessica, the firefighter who took Marquax down, has been affected by it and ends up getting key points to solving the case to Lieutenant KJ Decker, who is the investigator of the case. He smells foul play and is Jessica's on/off partner. Kirsten is a 40-year-old mother to Quinn, a graduate freshman and Patrick, an intern at his father, Ian Holloway's, law firm. She finds something that belongs she thinks belongs to Marquax and other inappropriate things in her husband's possession.  The story is narrated in Jessica, Kirsten and Marquax's POV. The plot moves ahead with solving the case while narrating Marquax life. At one point it gets messy and tricky but it goes well nevertheless with the help of an unknown third party to Marquax's help.

The story is constructed pretty carefully but I found one plot hole in the story. I didn't feel like it was fast-paced but it was not slow-paced either. I am only giving this book 4 stars because of the themes it contained: white men privileges and strong women who stand up against this, showcasing of men control over women's body (all the issues surrounding rapes and abortions), women who are supportive to each other and feminists, true feminists in this case and some other aspects which are currently needed to be written about. As a young woman, I love reading, watching or listening to stuff based on these themes. It makes me feel so empowered. So besides the plot and themes, Reeds writing is for everyone. It is simple, easily understandable yet on point. She has done a good job with this book even if the story is simple yet interesting. I will check out her other books too.

Recommended: It's a good read so why not but if you have trigger issues, please do not read since this book has many triggering aspects in it.
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***Thank you to NetGalley for providing me a complimentary copy of THIRD PARTY by Brandi Reeds in exchange for my honest review.***

The lives of several woman and men intersect in ways that will make readers cringe, ball their fist in anger and drop their jaws. 

Brandi Reeds is a master at creating plot intricacies that don’t all come together until the very end of the story. THIRD PARTY ends not with a period but with a huge exclamation point.

I’m usually a big Brandi Reeds/Sasha Dawn fan and my lack of enjoyment of THIRD PARTY is in no way indicative of how I feel about her writing and books. That said I didn’t enjoy the book.

Publishers should be more careful that blurbs don’t give away too much about the plot/resolution. After reading the blurb I thought, “I bet XYZ.” I won’t say what XYZ is as not to spoil anything. I’ll read any plot details except hurt/abused/dead animals which fortunately THIRD PARTY didn’t have. If I knew  the “consensual” sexual violence was a large part of the plot, I wouldn’t have requested the ARC.

I didn’t enjoy reading THIRD PARTY, but will always be excited when Brandi Reeds/Sasha Dawn writes a new book.
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The Third Party is my first read from author Brandi Reeds, and I've just got to say that it was an overall great experience.

This story revolved around the lives of three women: Margaux, who was recently found dead in her apartment, Jessica, the firefighter who responded to the scene, and Kristen, who is involved in the mess and suspecting her husband is cheating on her.

The formula used in this book can be described as a mystery classic, but it still works. My mind's gears were whirring and I was very interested in what would happen next. I was not mindblown, but it was not like the plot twist was already obvious a few pages in.

All in all, an enjoyable read!

☁ THE CRITERIA ☁

🌼 Blurb:⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Main Character:⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Significant Other: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Support Characters:⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Writing Style:⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Character Development:⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Thrill Factor: ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
🌼 Pacing: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌼 Ending: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌼 Unputdownability: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌼 Book Cover:⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
☁FINAL VERDICT: 4.27/5 ☁
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