Beth, Portia, and Eddie Morgan are estranged siblings forced together for a cross-country road trip, a demand in their recently deceased grandfather's will that they must obey before receiving their inheritance of his fortune. The trip recreates one that the family took together 20 years ago, and things become as creepy this time around as they were in the past.
Samantha Downing has knocked it out of the park again with this twisting, whip-smart tale of three messed up siblings trying to secure an inheritance. Enforced family togetherness is always a recipe for drama, and Ms. Downing embroiders upon the premise of the road trip from hell to tell a really clever, expertly crafted tale of deeply flawed family dynamics that are several levels more complex—though, occasionally, just as petty—as the accusatory phrase that makes up the book’s title ... a very human, very sympathetic look at problems that are common to most families, with the unusual complication of sheer sociopathy exacerbating otherwise run-of-the-mill situations ... Ms. Downing turns her critical eye on the kind of society that enables abusive behavior even as it pretends to care about fairness and justice. He Started It is an indictment of patriarchy from its very first pages, even if the p-word hardly ever shows up in print. From Beth’s first declarations, quoted below, to the stunning ending that had me shrieking with consternation, this book stands up for women and their stories ... Ms. Downing’s talent as a thriller writer continues to dazzle even as she carves out a name for herself as a literary thinker to watch and admire.
... a thrill-ride that you will be unable to put down ... The twists and turns, revelations and backstories, dark humour and suspense never stop. Siblings Eddie, Beth, and Portia have their entire dysfunctional lives on display throughout this long road trip, and it will be difficult for most readers to find anyone they can consistently call ‘likeable’. (For readers that are not concerned with likeability, you are in for a big treat!) While I would never want to be on this road trip, being able to comfortably sit back and read about it is an absolute joy! This clever tale of greed, betrayal, and family is edgy and entertaining from start to finish. It is a pure fun, escape-from-the-world type of book, but with lots of sneaky little details and an interesting way of telling an outlandish tale.
From chapter to chapter, the foreshadowing in Samantha Downing’sHe Started It heaps on relentless suspense. The surprises come one after another after another, building mystery upon mystery, right up to the end, which is…well, you decide.