Cover Image: Who to Believe

Who to Believe

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I'd read a title or two by Edwin Hill early on, and so looked forward to reading WHO TO BELIEVE. But less than 50 pages in, after I had already spent a chunk of the preceding pages curling my lip regarding a certain character (who really set me off), I found myself going ballistic and figuratively spitting nails, I was so furious! I felt as if the author had betrayed me, making me discover horrible secrets unwarned. And then! More horrible secrets! Talk about morally gray: these characters are solidly in "morally black!"

Fictional Monreith, Massachusetts, seemingly a quiet unassuming small town, is actually a descendant of Peyton Place!! Almost nobody is truly free of secrets and misdeeds. Of course, some are much worse [and more fatal] than others. And nobody is trustworthy.

Once I had finished and calmed down, I decided I was glad I had read the novel, though by no stretch of any imagination could it be considered "comfy" or comforting. Can there be THAT MANY evil people in one small town? Doesn't ANYBODY behave?😳

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Thank you to Kensington and NetGalley for the earc in exchange of my honest review.

I hate hate books that redo the same things from different POVs, instant buzzkill.

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Monreith, Massachusetts, seems like a peaceful town filled with good people, but that illusion is soon shattered once a local restaurateur is found brutally murdered. The layers of secrets the town holds begin to peel back, and a dark underbelly is exposed. Told from multiple POV's, but in a unique way, the story and the town really come alive for the reader. I enjoyed getting to know the cast of characters, and found myself pleasantly surprised with several twists I didn't see coming. This is a unique book, which is hard to do in today's heavily saturated thriller market. I will have to check out more from Edwin Hill!

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for this ARC. I am leaving this review voluntarily and all views expressed are my own.

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Who to Believe by Edwin Hill

Brilliant, well-crafted, riveting read ~ drew me in, grabbed hold, and wouldn’t let me go ~

What I liked:
* Superb story telling
* The plot, pacing, and setting
* Multiple – seven – viewpoints all sharing new elements that build the suspense
* That characters are more than they appear to be on the surface
* Thinking about what it might have been like to have been any one of the characters in this story and deciding which one, if any, I could most relate to or might find myself willing to call friend
* Thinking about what would have motivated the murders and what would create a person willing to kill someone – or more than one person
* The few more sane characters that helped balance out those who were less so
* The dark, twisted, deviousness of the story and just how brilliant it truly was
* That it made me think and care and really hope that at least the teenagers might come out okay in the future

What I didn’t like:
* Who and what I was meant not to like
* Thinking about evil, murder, and the way some can appear so “good” but have rather rotten centers

Did I enjoy this book? Yes
Would I read more by this author? Yes

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for the ARC – This is my honest review.

5 Stars

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Theories, rumors and recollections run rampant, with several suspects at the forefront. There are some twists, but who to believe? Very entertaining.
Many thanks for to Kensington and to Netgalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.

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This was the first Edwin Hill book I’ve read, but it won’t be my last. I was drawn into the story from the first chapter, with the interesting situation between a counselor and a pastor.. Both are accustomed to keeping secrets told to them by clients or parishioners, so their verbal sparring was a perfect way to build tension.

Author Hill does a fantastic job of layering the clues of the thriller between the conversations of friends, lovers, and neighbors — all told in a series of first-person narratives that leave you wondering which version to believe. The timelines overlap and occasionally flash backward to fill in important details, yet the story is propelled ever forward. This can’t be an easy style to write, but it is great fun to read.

“Who to Believe” is masterful....but you may have to read it to believe it. My only issue was the overuse of sexual relationships to build the complexity of the characters.

I’m grateful to NetGalley for the review copy. These opinions are my own.

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Great story from start to finish and the twists and OMG moments just kept going as you learned more about each character. Since there are so many characters it was nice how it was setup in sections to make it easier to keep up. I thought I knew what was going on and who did what but in the end I learned a lot about these small town people.

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This book started off very strong, and I enjoyed Farley's and Alice's POV's. Unfortunately, after that it became to convoluted and confusing and it lost my attention tbh. There were to many people and ridiculous situations to keep track of. The timeline hopping in Georgia's POV was very confusing and unnecessary. The amount of murderers were unrealistic. And the amount of people who were sleeping together and having affairs were hard to keep track of. I felt really nothing when learning who killed Farley at the end because there was to much going on by then, and I didn't connect with any of the characters. I'll give it a 3 star only because I really liked the first few chapters, but probably won't be reading any more books by this author.

Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC.

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I was gifted a copy of this book from the author and an ARC from NetGalley.

What a perfect title. It fits so well. Who to Believe indeed.

This is a complex story that has so many thrills and twists you will think everyone is guilty. Maybe everyone is guilty in ways. Guilty of things that they don't want anyone else to know. But who is the murderer? Who actually killed? It could have been anyone. Well anyone except one of the children. Or the dog.

There is a birthday party. A group of six people. Some have secrets. Actually most have secrets. The problem is, it seems everyone knows most of these secrets and some may be willing to kill for them. Kill to keep them from getting around. Kill to protect themselves or maybe to protect another? I had many guesses but I was wrong about so much.

The story is a mix of affairs, debts owed, secrets, lying, and a diverse array of characters. Each seemed to have a motive to kill. A reason. Even the Chief of Police could be a killer. Maybe multiple murderers? Or maybe a total stranger hidden in plain sight.

This book is well written. Keeps you guessing. Keeps you wanting to know more. It's edge of your seat scary in places too. Told from multiple POVs and many motives. My favorite was Harper. His is the last POV and I loved it. Everyone had a motive except Harper.

Thank you #NetGalley, #EdwinHill, #KensingtonBooks, for this ARC. This is my own true thoughts about this book.

Five big stars. I highly recommend this one.

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I would like to thank NetGalley and Kensington Books for providing me with an advance e-galley of this book in exchange for an honest review. Look for it now in your local and online bookstores and libraries.

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Book Review: Who to Believe by Edwin Hill

Rating: 4.5 stars

Edwin Hill's "Who to Believe" is a riveting domestic suspense thriller that delves into the dark underbelly of a seemingly idyllic New England coastal town. Set in Monreith, Massachusetts, the story kicks off with the shocking murder of popular restaurateur Laurel Thibodeau, sending shockwaves through the tight-knit community and unraveling a web of sinister secrets.

The narrative unfolds amidst a cast of characters who are as complex as they are unreliable. From Laurel's husband with ominous gambling debts to a group of friends harboring their own skeletons in the closet, the novel expertly weaves together jealousy, revenge, adultery, and greed in a gripping tapestry of deceit and betrayal.

Hill's writing is sharp and enthralling, propelling the reader through a rollercoaster of twists and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat until the final reveal. The author masterfully crafts a suspenseful atmosphere, drawing you deeper into the murky motives and hidden agendas of each character.

What I especially loved about "Who to Believe" is the characters. None of the players in this tale are particularly likable, yet their flawed personas add layers of intrigue and complexity to the narrative. Hill's bold choice to present a cast of unreliable narrators pays off, creating a compelling dynamic that challenges readers to question everyone's motives.

In conclusion, "Who to Believe" is a must-read for fans of psychological thrillers and mystery novels. With its well-paced plot, unexpected twists, and morally ambiguous characters, this book is a captivating journey into the darker facets of human nature. Edwin Hill's skillful storytelling will keep you guessing until the very end, making this novel a standout addition to the genre. I wholeheartedly recommend diving into the twisted world of "Who to Believe" for a thrilling and unforgettable reading experience.

⚠️This review was written based on personal opinions and experiences with the book. Individual preferences may vary⚠️

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I liked the way this book is told in sections, each from a different character’s point of view. Hill did a good jibe of showing of showing the same scenes from various characters’ viewpoints without it feeling repetitive. Each section added knowledge for the reader and included twists. It all kept you guessing!

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How am I going to write this review without giving anything away? Everyone is guilty of something and the main characters each have a point of view, confiding their secrets to the reader. I’m usually not a fan of multiple first-person points of view but the author is highly skilled at making each one of the voices stand out on their own. Everyone in the group of friends has a motive in this small coastal Massachusetts town.
The plot is a puzzle taking shape as each of the characters steps forward to tell a piece of it. I could not guess what was going to happen next or who was going to have the next point of view—I’ve read quite a bit of Edwin Hill, and I think this is the most emotionally intense of his novels. A real page turner and his writing is an absolute joy to read. Highly recommended.

Thank you NetGalley and Kensington for a copy of this book to read and review.

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The story unfolds from the perspective of each of the six characters in succession in the aftermath of the murder of a resident in their small town. Each of the adults have their own secrets that they are keeping from the others in spite of how close and intertwined in each others lives. By the end of the first section, I was hooked and couldn't put this down.

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Wow. I really loved this book. Loved the different narrators and their versions of the story. Great mystery and the best part.... the dog!

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<b><font face="roboto" size="12pt">TW: Language, drinking, sexual abuse (mention), cheating, suicide (mention), violence, guns, fat shaming, cheating, grief, bullying, family drama, divorce, homophobia, gambling, mourning</font></b>

<b><big>*****SPOILERS*****</b></big>
<b>About the book:</b>
Monreith, Massachusetts, was once a small community of whalers and farmers. These days it’s a well-to-do town filled with commuters drawn to its rugged coastline and country roads. A peaceful, predictable place—until popular restaurateur Laurel Thibodeau is found brutally murdered in her own home. Suspicion naturally falls on Laurel’s husband, Simon, who had gambling debts that only her life insurance policy could fix. But there are other rumors too . . .

Among the group of six friends gathered for Alice Stone’s fortieth birthday, theories abound concerning Laurel’s death. Max Barbosa, police chief, has heard plenty of them, as has his longtime friend, Unitarian minister Georgia Fitzhugh. Local psychiatrist Farley Drake is privy to even more, gleaning snippets of gossip and information from his patients while closely guarding his own past.

But maybe everyone in Monreith has something to hide. Because before this late-summer evening has come to a close, one of these six will be dead. And as jealousy, revenge, adultery, and greed converge, the question becomes not who among these friends might be capable of such a thing, but—who isn’t?
<b>Release Date:</b> January 23rd, 2024
<b>Genre:</b> Thriller
<b>Pages:</b> 320
<b>Rating:</b> ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

<b>What I Liked:</b>
1. I liked the writing style
2. The chapter breaks
3. The characters were interesting
4. Pov of Harper the dog was fun

<b>What I Didn't Like:</b>
1. Very slow beginning
2. Farley is poop
3. Some parts felt repetitive

<b>Overall Thoughts:</b>
<b><u>The Therapist:</u></b>
The book starts off with the murder of Laurel Thibodeau. We follow the therapist, Farley Drake. Who we find out is the someone that has already killed some of the locals;
• Steve Alabiso - was selling drugs to anyone and cheating.
• Jeanine Geller - was giving her daughter stuff to make her sick
Farley would find these terrible people through his clients and then kill them. The twist is that Farley didn't kill Laurel.

<b><u>The Patient:</u></b>
We then jump to the pov of Alice Stone. Alice knew that her husband, Damian. Alice found out that Damian was sleeping with Laurel. We find out that she has killed some people of her own;
• Hans - her 27 year old teacher that was sleeping with teenagers. She killed him with a syringe between his toe
• Father Jean-Marc - for taking advantage of sad and grieving women. She drugged and drowned him.

Awe Max remembering that Alice is vegetarian and getting vegan marshmallows. So nice.

Finally Alice tells Damian that she knew he was cheating and Damian dropped a bomb - he was going to leave her for Laurel. So I guess this dude just cheats and then marries the women he cheats with.

Oh the phone got a text and it's from Richard saying <i>"Meet me at the dock."</i> sent 10 minutes earlier. Who's phone is this? At first I was thinking it was Laurel’s but it can't be because Richard knows that she's dead.

<b><u>The Cop:</u></b>
We get to Max the cop that kissed Alice in her kitchen. The cop that brought her ambrosia salad with vegan marshmallows. What a choice that was... Ew though. (mentions he had vegan marshmallows on hand)

Omg I didn't see that coming. Now Farley is dead.... Omg.

<b><u>The Boyfriend:</u></b>
Now we can get Richard's pov. He also has a secret account where he is sending money because he's going to leave Georgia.

I don't know why Richard said he would get back to the house conversation when Farley already said that Richard bought half the house.

Richard mentions that he signed papers for the house and to be in the will for Farley's house then says he's <b>still</b> married to Georgia, so she'd get the property too. Hmmmm.

We end the chapter on a bombshell that Richard is being arrested for the murder of Farley and Damian - - Damian is dead????

<b><u>The Daughter:</u></b>
Onto Chloe's pov.

I liked being able to find out what happened to her at school with the fight. Taylor is terrible. She called her father a f*g insult. Gross.

Chloe does hate Farley despite what Farley's pov where he made out they were great together. She actually wants her family back together.

The night of the murders she snuck out to the phone back from Noah. When she comes home is when he her father is "waking" her up for the police.

<b><u>The Minister:</u></b>
Now we hear from Georgia. Ah so Damian asked Georgia to pick up the cake for him. Why did he not mention that? That's why she randomly showed up with the cupcakes.

Ohhhhhhhhhhh the burner phone belongs to Georgia!!!

So now Georgia is the one that approached Laurel about stolen items and seeing why she's stealing things from the old people

And then get to the reveal. Georgia killed Laurel because she didn't want Damian and the tow to know that she was tormenting him via a phone. How very random. How could they prove it was really her behind it? Why would the town turn on her after 15 years of being in the town for two people that were cheating on their spouses? She also decides to frame Farley for the murder. Seems silly because he wasn't on camera showing up and he is her therapist - easily explained that she must have picked the hair up when she was in his office at an appointment. She gets worried that Damian will turn over his phone because there is a photo of Laurel with a bag over her head on it. Why send it to him if you are worried? Again how would it be traced to her?

She also killed Damian with her car because he knows too much. She didn't kill Farley. So what happened to him?

<b><u>The Dog</u></b>
Interesting pov from the dog. So Alice and Max are together now. Georgia is arrested - Chloe turned her mother in.

Alice & Harper were out that night when it was raining and they passed Georgia without knowing it. Georgia had dropped the mallet but then Farley was stalking Alice because he knew he had to kill her. Alice attacked him with the mallet. She threw it in the water. The last scene we get us Harper almost bringing the mallet back to Max to play fetch with.

I kept thinking Chloe and Noah killed Laurel and Farley because they wanted their parents to stay together. Honestly it seems like everyone hated Farley. This book is keeping me guessing I seriously don't know who killed them. We know that Laurel didn't kill herself because the case is still open. She had a bag over her head and Simon, her husband found her. He has an alibi but the town insists on treating him like he did it.

I think the detective is over stepping in his investigations. Forcing him to talk to Richard's daughter is not legal. Unless you are arrested you don't have to talk to the detective.

<b>Final Thoughts:</b>
My biggest issue with the book is that there are two killers in this small town both killing people in the name of revenge. Not only that but the more you learn about Farley it seems so out if character for him to even care enough about people to take out vengeance in their name.

I had <i>so</i> much fun with this murder mystery book. The characters all passing one another without knowing it but interlinked into one another's lives was absolutely wonderful.

I kept thinking the killer must be this person and then a new character pov proved that not possible.

I would love to other books from this author.

<font face="roboto" size="12pt"><b>
Thanks to Netgalley,
Kensington for the ebook, and Recorded Books for the audiobook. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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This book kept me on my toes each time I thought I knew who did it I was then directed to another person. Love how everyone had their part in their POV but honestly, this book had me so confused and kept me guessing. It is worth a read.
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I enjoy books having different narrators for each section. It brings life to the book.
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listened to a murder mystery in quite a few months and I’m thankful that @netgalley & Kensington’s let me read/listen to this book and audio.
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#WhotoBelieve #netgalley #netgalleyreads #netgalleyreviewer #audiobook #kindlemystery

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Oh what tangled webs, multiple webs of deception, tangled lies and betrayals and secrets, twist after twist. I was bemused, befuddled, and bewildered, as public persona gave way to secrets of lust and revenge. Is no one trustworthy beneath the friendly veneer? Whom can we trust? Maybe the teens, and certainly the dog.
We all have things we keep private, we all show more formal public faces when we need to, and we all take risks when we share secrets, but how far would we go to protect them? Where’s the line?
We all tell our stories from our own POV. Edwin Hill’s WHO TO BELIEVE is a reminder to consider those other versions of those stories and to carefully consider the CHOICES we make. CHOICES is the theme of the sermon the minister has been struggling to write, thinking at first that she would write about grief.
One choice that might help follow this Rashomon style of telling would be a notecard to help track the characters. Even without taking notes, all did come clear in the well-written ending, as my friend promised it would, but notes might have helped me figure things out, maybe. It was a beguiling puzzle, a bit like watching seven spiders all spinning webs in the same place. Fascinating!

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As another reviewer pointed out, the narrative circles back like groundhog day. However, it unfolds from different perspectives. Still, it got to be monotonous, especially after the second point of view. It was just a re-hashing of the same events from different people. Even though little secrets from each character were revealed, it just wasn't enough for me to keep circling back to the beginning with each character.

What didn't help the narrative was that all of the characters were pretty vanilla. Almost all were the same without any feature that stood out from the rest.

Needless to say, it got boring and I just couldn't see myself wading through the same story with each character. An unfortunate 1 star DNF at 34%

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Wow -- what an amazing ride filled with murder and mayhem!

In a small town in Massachusetts, every resident pretty much knows everyone else's business. There's Damian, a documentary filmmaker and his wife Alice. Georgia, mom to Chloe and the town's beloved minister, struggling with her divorce from Richard, who is now dating Farley, the local therapist. (And Farley has a front row seat to everyone's thoughts!) Everyone is watched over by the police chief, Max. As for Max, he is busy trying to solve the recent murder of Laurel--where the main suspect is her restaurateur husband, Simon.

This dark, dynamic story is told from the POV of many of these main characters, one-by-one. What could be a repetitive device (hearing about the same event from each person, for example) turns out to be a suspenseful one, as we get new tidbits of information here and there, slowly revealing the story. Everyone has their own secrets and confessions and there's an interesting choice to reveal a killer up front. (But do not despair, there are plenty of killers and death to go around here!)

Our story revolves around a party held for Alice's 40th birthday, followed shortly by another death. It dips back a few days before via flashbacks. This is a wild ride as so many characters are dark and evil! So much drama, so many secrets, so much sneaking around in a small town! While there are plenty of messed up folks to go around here, I found some to love, especially spunky teenage Chloe and Alice's adorable dog, Harper. The book gets a little wild by the end, maybe requiring a bit too much suspension of disbelief, but overall I really enjoyed this dark web of lies and twisted narratives. If you want a dark, complex, well-written mystery that will keep you guessing, this one is for you!

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