Monday, September 18, 2017

Review: Best Day Ever

Summary: In the bestselling, page-turning vein of The Couple Next Door and The Dinner, Kaira Rouda weaves a gripping, tautly suspenseful tale of deception and betrayal dark enough to destroy a marriage…or a life.

“I glance at my wife as she climbs into the passenger seat, and I am bursting with confidence. Today will be everything I’ve promised her…and more…”

Paul Strom has the perfect life: a glittering career as an advertising executive, a beautiful wife, two healthy boys and a big house in a wealthy suburb. And he’s the perfect husband: breadwinner, protector, provider. That’s why he’s planned a romantic weekend for his wife, Mia, at their lake house, just the two of them. And he's promised today will be the best day ever.

But as Paul and Mia drive out of the city and toward the countryside, a spike of tension begins to wedge itself between them and doubts start to arise. How much do they trust each other? And how perfect is their marriage, or any marriage, really?

Forcing us to ask ourselves just how well we know those who are closest to us, Best Day Ever crackles with dark energy, spinning ever tighter toward its shocking conclusion. -- Graydon House

Books like BEST DAY EVER seem to be the new rage. I have read quite a few thrillers lately about some pretty messed-up families; however, I do believe that this novel by Kaira Rouda stands out. It tells the story of one family who seemingly has it all, but underneath the surface, they are living in a nightmare of sorts.

Paul Strom has a wonderful career as an advertising executive. He lives in a grand home, is married to a beautiful woman, and has two great kids. Life should be perfect for this family, but appearances can be deceiving.

Paul's wife Mia has been sick for awhile, so Paul decides that he wants to give his wife the "best day ever" and take her on a romantic weekend to their lake house. However, as Paul and Mia are in route to their vacation home, the tension between them rises... and escalates into a shocking finale!

I have to say that I enjoyed BEST DAY EVER quite a bit. It's definitely a fast-paced psychological suspense story, and I can guarantee that Paul and Mia will remain in your thoughts for sometime. The majority of the story is told in Paul's voice, and he's a piece of work. Actually, he's a sociopath that couldn't be more selfish and horrible (although in fairness to Paul, he did have a difficult childhood.)

One of the things I enjoyed the most about this novel was how the story unfolded. The book begins with a husband and wife leaving for a romantic getaway weekend. The reader might sense that there is something brewing below the surface, but it doesn't seem all that out of the ordinary for a few chapters. As Paul tells more of his story, and becomes much more honest and forthcoming, it becomes apparent to the reader just how twisted he really is.

Mia, on the other hand, appears to be a woman who doesn't really see her husband for the horrible man he is. She's overwhelmed with her mysterious illness and parenting her two young sons, and it's almost if she doesn't have the energy or desire to see through Paul's lies. However, Mia isn't as weak as she first appeared. I don't want to give too much away, but suffice it to say that it's entirely possible that Paul has met his match with his wife!

Another thing I really enjoyed about this book was the pacing of the novel. Overall, I'd say that the the book was fast-paced, but about half-way through, it really took off for me. The culmination of the all that tension that was building from the first chapter just exploded. I loved how manic the story (and Paul) became, and I found the ending to be pretty darn satisfying. What I liked even more was that the ending was left a little open-ended, so I'm not entirely sure that these characters won't be back in a future book.

BEST DAY EVER is an exciting story about a husband and wife and the secrets between them. Highly recommended for fans of domestic suspense and psychological thrillers.

Thanks to the Get Red PR and Wunderkind PR for providing review copies of this novel.

Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.


bermudaonion said...

Wow, now I'm very curious about the relationship between Paul and Mia. This sounds good!

Kaira Rouda said...

Thank you for your wonderful review of Best Day Ever. So glad you enjoyed it!