When Livy and Will Jackson attend a work-related party in Exeter one evening, Livy is anxious. She is reminded of six years previously, when Will cheated on her with a colleague named Catrina, who will probably be at this party.
So her anxiety intensifies, so much so that she ignores a text from her best friend Julia, pleading with her to call right away, that it is important.
She tries later, but doesn’t reach Julia. So when she and the kids, Hannah, 12, and Zack, 7, arrive the next day for their scheduled lunch, she is stunned and grief-stricken to discover Julia’s dead body. The whole thing reminds Livy of her sister Kara’s death years before. The unsolved murder has defined her and Julia’s lives for years since.
Why is everyone so eager to believe that Julia committed suicide? The note on the computer could have been planted, and nothing about suicide matches what Livy knows about her friend.
In the next few weeks, Livy connects with Julia’s boyfriend Damian Burton, and together they start following clues they hope will answer their questions, since both of them believe that Julia was murdered.
Why do the clues lead them to an agency called Honey Hearts, and a woman named Shannon? What, if anything, does Shannon know, and why has she disappeared?
Meanwhile, someone has told Livy that Will is cheating again, and as an additional stressor, Hannah is acting out in very obnoxious ways. How could Livy’s life have gone from bad to worse, and who can she believe?
You Can Trust Me: A Novel is alternately narrated in Livy’s voice and the voice of the unknown man, whose confessions ratchet him up to the level of a crazed serial killer. He sounds like someone they all know and possibly trust, so there are numerous red herrings along the way, making the reader suspect almost everyone. Could the killer be Julia’s weird twin Robbie? Or perhaps Will himself is the killer, since a damning item is discovered in his toolbox? Or maybe the killer is someone that nobody would suspect. I couldn’t wait to find out.
The settings in the English countryside, as well as the appealing beach communities near London, brought the reader into the world of the characters. I could visualize this story as a movie, one that would definitely keep me riveted. And, in the end, when the most unlikely of all persons turned out to be truly evil, I could not help but be amazed. Definitely a 5 star read for me.