You are going to be hearing a lot about A Simple Favor. Debut author Darcey Bell manages to cram a lot of living, if you will, into a standard-length novel with some extremely contemporary, 'right-now' elements and enough sordid episodes and surprises to fill a couple of books ... Bell sets things up nicely. You know these women, or ones similar to them. You may even be one of them, up to a point ... You will come to doubt everything you know before the book reaches its conclusion ... While it is tough to predict such things, it is a good bet that you will be seeing Bell’s novel stuffed in a lot of beach bags this summer. It is engrossing, fascinating in parts, and very real-world in spots.
Debut-novelist Bell ramps up suspense with authority in this domestic thriller, in which actions seem as inevitable as they are chilling. The audience that made Gone Girl a publishing sensation is likely to take to this one, too.
...[a] wickedly satirical psychological assessment of two apparently perfect suburban moms and how they made victims of each other ... the sweet and loving friendship of Emily and Stephanie comes apart, and the book becomes even more interesting ... What really makes the plot move along is that Stephanie is her own kind of monster, and even worse, she is a bore ... There is a certain satisfaction in the denouement.