Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier
Published by Minotaur Books on June 12, 2018
Genre(s): fiction, crime, mystery, suspense, thriller
Format & Length: e-book, 320
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“Jar of Hearts grabs you by the throat! The perfect blend of riveting characters, chilling details, and gasping twists in this standout thriller will keep you frantically reading until the explosive end.” – Lisa Gardner, New York Times bestselling author of Right Behind You
This is the story of three best friends: one who was murdered, one who went to prison, and one who’s been searching for the truth all these years . . .
When she was sixteen years old, Angela Wong—one of the most popular girls in school—disappeared without a trace. Nobody ever suspected that her best friend, Georgina Shaw, now an executive and rising star at her Seattle pharmaceutical company, was involved in any way. Certainly not Kaiser Brody, who was close with both girls back in high school.
But fourteen years later, Angela Wong’s remains are discovered in the woods near Geo’s childhood home. And Kaiser—now a detective with Seattle PD—finally learns the truth: Angela was a victim of Calvin James. The same Calvin James who murdered at least three other women.
To the authorities, Calvin is a serial killer. But to Geo, he’s something else entirely. Back in high school, Calvin was Geo’s first love. Turbulent and often volatile, their relationship bordered on obsession from the moment they met right up until the night Angela was killed.
For fourteen years, Geo knew what happened to Angela and told no one. For fourteen years, she carried the secret of Angela’s death until Geo was arrested and sent to prison.
While everyone thinks they finally know the truth, there are dark secrets buried deep. And what happened that fateful night is more complex and more chilling than anyone really knows. Now the obsessive past catches up with the deadly present when new bodies begin to turn up, killed in the exact same manner as Angela Wong.
How far will someone go to bury her secrets and hide her grief? How long can you get away with a lie? How long can you live with it?
If I had to sum up Jar of Hearts in one word, it would be intense. This, my friends, was a thriller in the full sense of the word.
Hillier’s writing style really pulled me in, grabbing my attention from page one and not letting go. Between an interesting and fast paced plot and believable characters, this story was satisfying on so many levels. As someone who loves to solve a good puzzle, I usually find myself thinking what if this or what if that as I read and more often than not, one of the what ifs turns out to be correct. This time around, my what ifs came up only paragraphs before they were revealed, making for a riveting read.
This isn’t a story for the faint of heart. Jar of Hearts deals with some sensitive and tough subjects, with a focus on toxic relationships. There are some fairly brutal scenes involving rape and a thread of vicious murders. But for the reader that can stomach such scenes, they will find other moments of incredible insight on the human character that makes for a compelling and thought-provoking reading experience.
Without a doubt, Jar of Hearts is one of the best thrillers I’ve read this year. I can’t not recommend this. If you like dark thrillers, definitely check it out!
*Thanks to the publisher for providing an arc of this edition via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.