On their first date back in law school, Natalie and Will Clarke bonded over drinks, dinner and whether they could get away with murder. Now married, they’ll put the latter to the test when an unchecked danger in their community places their son in jeopardy. Working as a criminal defense attorney, Nat refuses to rely on the broken legal system to keep her family safe. She knows that if you want justice…you have to get it yourself.
Shocked to discover Nat’s taken matters into her own hands, Will has no choice but to dirty his, also. His family is in way too deep to back down now. He’s just not sure he recognizes the woman he married. Nat’s always been fiercely protective, but never this ruthless or calculating. With the police poking holes in their airtight plan, what will be the first to fall apart: their scandalous secret—or their marriage?
Margot Hunt is the pseudonym of a bestselling writer of twelve previous novels. Her work has been praised by Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist and Kirkus Reviews. BEST FRIENDS FOREVER is her first psychological thriller.
Apparently, impressing this reader in the suspense department has proven to be quite the task as of late. It must be my trusty bullshit meter—permanently stuck in the on position—or love for anything true-crime, that’s messing with my mojo.
At first glance, For Better and Worse teeters on the very precipice of being something amazing, memorable even. A potential standout amongst a genre overtaken by unreliable narrators and searches conducted for the sake of the missing.
Turns out, the excitement surrounding the idea of vigilante justice wasn’t enough to draw my eyes away from the major faults—namely, the execution. From an intriguing opening to the pothole sized lulls in the pacing, and a finish line that wasn’t quite as satisfying as the looming possibilities, I can’t say this novel has the staying power I’d initially foreseen. It’s probably not one you’ll find me reminiscing about in a few weeks or even months from now.
It was back in law school, 15 years earlier, that Natalie and Will found themselves caught up in the thrill of their first date. Flirty and sarcastic banter turning to talk of their abilities to pull off the perfect murder together.
Fast forward through years of marriage, stopping to roll tape when the couple finds out the unspeakable has happened to their 11-year-old son. Natalie’s first instinct, to start plotting with her partner-in-crime. The only suitable option is to kill the man responsible for hurting Charlie, right? Problem number one: Will wants no part, instead pleading his case to report the incident to the police. A little wifely manipulation goes a long way as Nat sets the stage for her one-woman show—making the murder she’s about to commit look like a suicide.
If I was going to plan an execute a murder all on my own, I had a lot of work to do.
What happens when the unwilling, unbeknownst to him, becomes an active participant? It ain’t pretty, that’s what. It sure makes for good reading though.
There were two pivotal somebodies I really didn’t care for—Will and Natalie. My feelings for the couple were pretty neutral to start, I’d say. But it didn’t take long for the monotony of living in their relationship to start grating on me. If you’re looking to sympathize with a stereotypical unhappy husband—bored with his life, turning elsewhere for excitement and lacking a backbone in the face of his controlling wife—Will’s your guy. Natalie, on the other hand, plays the part of know-it-all quite well. Defending criminals by day and ruling her family with a whiteboard calendar by night. Her self-proclaimed arsenal—tips and tricks she’s picked up over the years from her clients—might lead you to believe she’s got this. No problem. The stupid mistakes she actually makes, some you might even call textbook or sloppy, prove she was a bit overconfident. A few episodes of Dateline would’ve gone a long way, just saying. *wink*
There’s no denying, Margot Hunt presents an incredible idea here and ends things on a bit of an unexpected note. I just wish her execution had been a little tighter, more polished. With that said, there were enough moments of brilliance sprinkled amongst the tediousness to convince me this author deserves another shot to truly knock my socks off.
*THANK YOU to Harlequin/Mira for providing a copy in exchange for my honest review.
For Better and For Worse is a psychological thriller with an intriguing premise that, unfortunately, falls flat.
When Natalie, a criminal defense attorney, discovers that her 11-year-old son has been sexually abused by his school principal she decides to take matters into her own hands and plans for revenge. She believes she’s smart enough to pull off the impossible: commit the perfect murder.
However, things don’t go as planned and Natalie is forced to reach out to her husband, Will, to help her cover up the crime. Not only are Natalie and Will in danger of being caught, but also their marriage is about to implode.
I love the idea of For Better and For Worse. While it serves as a good mindless reading, it’s lacking some elements that make it a memorable thriller. Natalie and Will’s characters embody cliche after cliche; they lack nuance and intelligence. I was hoping to be intrigued by their characters and the plot, but it was not so. It gets old rather quickly.
I was drawn into the story in the beginning--especially during their first date when they discuss how to commit the perfect crime. But we never find out the details and when Natalie executes her plan to take out the abuser it was a bit of a letdown. I found the ending to be anticlimactic, even though it's meant to be much more.
This isn’t a bad a read. It’s enjoyable, but lacking in execution.
I received an ARC of this book from Harlequin-MIRA and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
loved it!This was a fast entertaining read that kept me engaged throughout... what would your reaction be if you were out on a first date and the topic of conversation was.... how to get away with murder? Well if I’m being honest I would probably be a little intrigued with the conversation, but never thinking it would ever come to fruition.... I don’t believe Will did either, but Natalie had other plans....
Such an intense story that kept me on the edge of my seat throughout... more than 10 years after the afore mentioned date Will and Natalie are married with a young son Charlie.... both are successful lawyers Natalie is a defense attorney and Will is a real estate lawyer... they have a good life although they both take one another for granted.... Natalie is pretty controlling and Will could grow a pair... although I have to admit as an outsider the argument they had over the whiteboard calendar was quite humorous! So what will this couple do when they find out someone has done the unthinkable to their child? And what will Will do when he finds out that Natalie has taken things into her own hands? Is murder ever justified?
This book definitely gave you a lot to think about... what would you do if you were put in this couple’s situation? What if somebody did the unthinkable to your child? I don’t think I could ever kill anybody, but if I could it would be because somebody hurt one of my kids... didn’t even really like Natalie or Will, but I sure wanted them to get away with this! My one little niggle with this book was the very stupid mistakes Natalie made in both the planning and execution of this crime.... seriously she is a defense attorney and my only knowledge of the law is from TV shows like Law and Order... and I knew better than her when it came to some of these little mistakes, maybe she needs to get out of the courtroom and turn on the TV! however this did add to the tension of the story, the entire time all you could think was, are they going to get away with this or not? And should they?
An enticing story that will keep you glued to those pages! And the ending... both satisfying and surprising! And a apologue that made me gasp, but just confirmed something I already figured out!
Absolutely recommend this is a quick addictive escape of a story!
*** Big thanks to Harlequin for my copy of this book ***
That is what Will and Natalie talked about on their first date in law school. Years later after many years of marriage they must examine that question again when they learn some shocking news involving their son, Charlie. Nat is a defense attorney and does not want her son to testify. She knows the process and does not want her son to go through the stress. Plus, she is angry - furious in fact. She wants justice and she wants it her way. Will is concerned and angry as well. He goes along with his wife to keep a secret he has been keeping and because, well, it's too late to turn back now.
This book is interesting as we know from the synopsis most of the plot. Something bad has happened and the characters take matters into their own hands. What lengths are they willing to go to obtain justice? What gives someone the right to take justice into their own hands? Can you get away with your actions? How does one plan and execute the perfect crime? Can someone ever cover up their tracks entirely?
Both parents in this book are lawyers and I was shocked at some of the poor choices and bad judgement calls they made. I'm pretty sure anyone watching true crime tv, CSI, Criminal minds, forensic files, could do the same if not better than this pair. Having said that, they are under stress and emotionally involved so some of their mistakes make sense.
It is always interesting to read a book when you basically know most of the plot. The reader is given a lot of information and the true question is "will they get away with it?" There were parts that I thought "Seriously?" and then there were parts where I thought "this is what I am talking about". This was a fast read for me and there were some good moments. It may have the reader questioning their stance on vigilantes, what they would do if they were Charlie's parents, and how they might have done things differently (or would the reader take the course of action Nat and Will took?)
This was pure escapism reading for me. Yes, it does deal with a difficult subject. Thankfully the reader is only given *enough* information about what happened to Charlie -nothing too graphic but enough that it is unsettling, and it is obvious what happened. Plus, Will has his side action *ahem*, I meant subplot going on. So, I was waiting for that (high-heeled) shoe to fall. It was fun, watching the duo squirm when the police arrive. Reading both Nat and Will's POV was also enjoyable. The reader is privy to their thoughts about each other, what is going on, their own actions, etc. Both had some interesting thoughts!
There is a lot to discuss with this book. It deals with a pedophile. Molestation is not an easy subject for various reasons. What lengths will a parent go through to protect their child? Vigilante justice - do people agree or disagree on it? These are two of the issues. Although molestation has occurred, the book focuses on the parent's reactions and the lengths they will go through for their child. Will they get away with it? Will the police uncover the truth? Will this make them stronger or wear them down? Although this book does deal with heavy subjects, it does so in a lighter way. Be warned, some may experience triggers while reading this book and may have an issue with the book taking a lighter stance.
Then there is that ending. I don't feel I can discuss it without giving away any spoilers, so I will just say that the ending was interesting.
Thank you to Harlequin-Mira and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my own.
On your mark, get ready... for the twists and turns!
I picked this one up to just read a few chapters and ended up staying up waaay past my bedtime! Now that is the sign of a good book IMO.
Who discusses planning a murder on their first date!?
Well Natalie and Will do! It was years before they were married and parents of an adorable eleven year old son, Charlie. They both are intelligent after all and why wouldn't they be able to pull off the perfect murder? Natalie happens to be a defense attorney and Will is a successful real estate attorney. They have a good life and they love Charlie to pieces. Even if Will did have a little something to hide! Yep
Let the plotting begins....
Natalie never expected what was coming and never planned on plotting murder in her "real life", but when she receives devastating news that crushes her, she begins to plot and scheme and use all her tricks of the trade. Lets just say that she becomes a little "jumpy" and thinks "why can't these people leave me alone and let me plan this murder?" I was laughing hysterically at some of her and Will's tactics. Could they possibly flub this murder up?? What?
I was thoroughly entertained, on the edge of my seat, and gasping through out. Lets just talk about that ENDING..... I was bewildered!!!
Can you tell I Loved It?! <3
Thanks to Harlequin for my digital copy. Review will post to my blog closer to Pub. Date
This book was definitely entertaining, but I still ended up with some mixed feelings…
My review contains unhidden spoilers..
Natalie and Will are married with an 11-year-old son named Charlie. In the beginning, their marriage was good, but as time went on everything seemed to fall apart with Will losing all interest in Nat. Their schedules are sort of crazy and everything seems controlled. Nat drops Charlie off at school one day and spots the police and questions why they’re at the school. It turns out that the principle (Robert) is being charged with a horrible crime against one of Charlie’s fellow schoolmates. All the parents are shocked, but Nat doesn’t even know yet that her son might be involved too. Being a defense attorney, Nat decides to take matters into her own hands with plans involving a murder.
The book covers difficult subjects, and I thought I might have to quit reading when I saw the direction it was taking, but because there’s more going on with the characters–an interesting subplot–I had to discover their outcome. On the subject of characters though–I really didn’t like Will. Here’s a man who gets bored with his wife (Nat), and decides to look for something more exciting. He doesn’t do a very good job covering it up either, in fact, he’s downright horrible at it, but luckily Nat doesn’t even seem to care. He becomes so hateful and angry toward her, and I wasn’t feeling any love in the relationship whatsoever. Of course Nat is preoccupied dealing with the cover-up and doesn’t have time to investigate what’s happening in her marriage. This whole ordeal just ended up annoying me though, and I began to wonder how anything could keep this couple together, regardless of the fact that they have a child. Nat seems forgiving, while Will becomes somewhat of a basket case who’s made poor decisions, and even at the end of the book it still isn’t clear whether he’s learned his lesson after he states how important his family is to him.
Robert’s sick and twisted behavior makes him easily hateable and luckily the author spared the details. After the plot to kill Robert, Nat wants to cover up every track, but some of her reckless choices just made no sense, especially coming from someone who knows the law like Nat does. It was parts like this that made her character a little confusing and less convincing as a vigilante. Just my opinion though.
I enjoyed the writing and appreciated that the author also included Will’s point of view at times, however, the ending of the book felt a little too quick and I can’t say I was satisfied with it. I feel like there was something thrown in the ending that was meant to be a twist, but it didn’t feel twisty and really felt unresolved to me. Maybe there’s another book coming? I know it seems that I’m being overcritical, and with all of that said, the book was STILL totally gripping and full of suspense. It was fast-paced, thrilling at times, and I was definitely entertained regardless of the annoyances. There were things I didn’t like about the weak characters and their behaviors, but I still wanted to finish the book and had a lot of feelings afterward. I’m definitely looking forward to reading more by this author.
If you like thrillers and suspense novels, definitely give this book a try.
Thanks to Netgalley for sharing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinions.
Natalie and Will met in law school. Their first date consisted of all the awkward conversations that come with first dates. (Who hasn’t been there?!) Including an interesting little game called “getting away with the perfect murder.” Just a game...right?
Now married with an 11 year old son Charlie, life in small town Florida has become slow and easy. That quickly changes when the principal at Charlie’s school is suddenly dismissed, now under suspicion of being a pedophile.
What lengths would you go to protect your child? Natalie and Will have a decision to make. Go to the police, or...well you get the picture!
Margot Hunt writes a very clever and entertaining thriller that will captivate you, keeping you glued to the pages! This is a super-fast read I devoured in one day! It kept me interested and on the edge of my seat beginning to end. This is the second book I’ve read by this author, and I’m ready to stand in line for her next!
My only issue was the ending felt a little rushed. After such an explosive read, I wanted the ending to match the intensity. Overall, still enjoyed it and would recommend for anyone looking for a fast, entertaining read!
A speedy buddy read with. Susanne!🍁
Thank you to NetGalley, Harlequin-MIRA and Margot Hunt for an ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.
Upon finishing this book, I was only going to give it two stars; but after further reflection, I decided to bump it up one star for one simple reason:
I adored her. I risk further outing the overly pragmatic, cold-hearted ice queen that lives and flourishes in my soul by saying this, but she reminded me...well, of myself. I just flat out related her on so many levels. I related to her personality, her thoughts, and her actions, and - in light of her character and actions in this book - that's probably not what many people would consider a good thing. But whatever. We are who we are and I loved her.
As much I adored Natalie...I loathed Will. What a selfishly spineless douche bag.
Other than that, while I appreciated the authenticity of the story and its characters, I also can't say that this blew my mind or was all that memorable a read. But that's okay, it was still entertaining.
The blurb basically tells you most of what happens in the book. For me that already eliminates a “star”, there should be more mystery left for the reader to discover. Here is part of the blurb:
“Their young son Charlie’s principal is accused of molesting a troubled student. It’s a horrifying situation—and the poison spreads rapidly. One night before bed, Charlie tells Natalie he is a victim, too. In that moment, her concept of justice changes forever. Natalie decides the predator must die.
To shelter Charlie from the trauma of a trial, Natalie concocts an elaborate murder plot and Will becomes her unwilling partner. The Clarkes are about to find out what happens when your life partner becomes your accomplice—and your alibi “
To this reader I did not find that Natalie “concocted an elaborate murder plot” but a method of killing someone that has been used by hundreds of authors in mystery books for at least the last 50 years. So this was a huge disappointment, I was waiting for a unique murder plot but what I read was very mundane.
The main characters, Natalie, Will and Charlie were not very well described. We jump from law school to this event 15 years later in their marriage. I didn’t like either Natalie or Will, they were both self serving, narcissistic and completely dishonest with each other. I need to have characters that I can care about and understand.
The worst part of this book, for me, was that it took a very sensitive topic, children being molested, and turned it into a story of vigilante justice, which is never alright even if the crime committed is terrible, scary and horrific to parents. One of the police officers, Reddick, stated this well “You see, vigilantes piss me off. They keep me from doing my job. He pointed to himself. If you’d come to us, filed a report, we could have nailed that _____________. It’s how it’s supposed to go. We work the case, we take the bad guys down, they rot in jail for the rest of their lives. I believe in that system” . I guess I believe in that system also.
I was hoping for a really good ending, but that did not happen. The ending is very unbelievable and then the Epilogue One Year Later wasn’t any better.
I guess the two stars would be for an interesting premise and it did make me turn the pages and was a quick read. I will need to be more picky in choosing thrillers because I seem to be in the minority when it comes to this book.
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
Have you ever been on a first date and the conversation turned to ways to get away with the perfect murder?? Um, no, not me either. Although I do love true crime, so it might be fun.
This is what Nat and Will, who met in law school, talk about on their first date. It was all good fun. Right? A simple exercise in speculation. Right? Or was it?
Years later Nat, a criminal defense attorney, and Will, a real estate attorney. are married with an eleven-year-old son, Charlie. They are happy. Well, happy-ish. Nat is a bit controlling with little room in her schedule for fun. Will has his, well, his extracurricular activities. But they love their son. On that, there is no question.
The following is not a spoiler, as it’s the premise of the entire book. Their lives are upturned when a pedophile is in their midst and they find out he targeted their son. How far would YOU go to protect your child? The pedophile is arrested, but as a criminal defense attorney Natalie knows the stress and emotional toll their son Charlie would endure if forced to testify. She also knows that once a pedophile, always a pedophile.
She doesn’t have faith in the judicial system so decides to take matters in her own hands. Things don’t go quite as planned and her husband Will becomes involved. It was almost comical how badly things go. Will is left wondering just WHO Nat is.
This all happens very early in the book. The rest of the book details the investigation and the suspicions of the police, all leaving the reader questioning if Will & Nat will get away with murder. Should they get away with it? Was it justified?
This sounds like a heavy serious book, but it was not. Although the subject is serious, it was written with a light hand, with no graphic descriptions. I found it to be a quick entertaining escape read that was full of surprises that I did not see coming! I was able to go wherever the story took me (not one of my strong suits!) and not let logic get in the way of my enjoyment, so I found it to be great fun.
Your enjoyment of this book will depend solely on your ability to not take this book too seriously.
And then that ending…WOW, I did NOT see that one coming!
• I listened to this on audio, which was flawlessly narrated.
OOOMMMMMMMGGGGGGGG I can't praise this book enough. I loved everything about it. The writing is to the point without excruciating details. The characters are believable, likeable and relatable. The plot is fresh and unlike anything I have ever read.The story moves at such a quick pace that it left me breathless at times. The author doesn't allow time for the reader to digest what just happened before she throws the next curve ball at you. Unrelenting, absorbing drama. I can't wait to see what comes next from this author.
Bravo Margot Hunt!!! Thanks for the ride.
I was provided an ARC of this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
“Then one of two things will happen. Behind door number one—Robert is convicted, which could possibly give Charlie some sort of closure, whatever that means, and Robert will go to jail for a really long time. And then Charley will spend the rest of his life wondering if he did the right thing, second-guessing himself, because don’t forget, it will already have been planted in his brain that he might not have remembered exactly what happened after all, or behind door number two— Robert is acquitted, and possibly goes on to hurt other kids, and Charley spends the rest of his life wondering if he could have prevented that by being a better witness. And either way, he’ll ‘always’ be known as that kid who is molested by the principal”.
***Shoreham, Florida is a small town where mom’s network ( gossip), and nothing stays a secret for long. ****OH COURSE THIS IS A SMALL TOWN.... .....where scandalous secrets are sweeter than hot apple pie à la mode!!!!
The blurb says: “Shocked to discover Nat’s taken matters into her own hands, Will has no choice but to *dirty* his, also”.... SHARING ONE PAIR OF RUBBER GLOVES!!! - literally.... too funny!
I love a novel that keeps me on the edge - dying to keep reading - but can make me laugh at the same time. Maybe I’m a sick human being - but I cracked up in the middle of this story - yet I was still gripping my kindle wanting to know every detail just as much as the snotty smug mom’s in town would. A BLAST OF FUN READING... Couldn’t wait to find out how it would end ... My lips are sealed!!!!
3.75 Stars* (rounded up) A Frightening, yet Fun Fast-paced Read!
When Natalie and Will met their attraction was instantaneous. Who knew that planning the perfect murder could be so sexy?
What started out as thrilling dinner conversation on their first date turned into the real thing some fifteen years later when their son Charlie’s school principal is accused of sexual assaulting a student. Natalie, a criminal defense attorney, sees red and it has the principal’s name all over it. Can Natalie and her husband Will get away with murder? Only time will tell in this delicious tale.
What a quick, crazy read “For Better and Worse” turned out to be! I tore through this mystery / suspense in a matter of mere hours, desperate to find out how it ended. For me, this was a really enjoyable read right up until the very end, which unfortunately, I found to be somewhat far-fetched. All in all however, this was a fun one, with truly intriguing characters which I highly recommend it to mystery lovers.
This was yet another thrilling buddy read with Kaceey!
Thank you to NetGalley, Harlequin – MIRA and Margot Hunt for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Natalie and Will are now married lawyers, but their first date was spent discussing whether they could get away with murder. Years later, their son is put in harms way, and they find themselves questioning once again if they could get away with murder.
Nat is a criminal defense attorney and knows first hand how broken the justice system can be, and she refuses to wait for it to do its job. She takes getting justice into her own hands.
…and now that Nat is making big moves, Will has to be a loyal husband and throw his hat into the ring, too. Even though he joins in, Will is conflicted and not sure he knows who Nat is anymore.
The police come knocking, and it’s unclear if Will and Nat’s tightly wound up secret, or their marriage, will fall apart first.
For Better and Worse is a tense and gripping thriller. I found Nat cold and calculating, while Will was less so but roped in due to the bonds of marriage and his loyalty to Nat. She becomes a vigilante, but she can’t do it completely on her own. She needs Will.
Margot Hunt does a wonderful job getting into the heads of these parents who will stop at nothing to protect and avenge their child. The topics addressed in this book are heavy and dark at times, but Hunt has a way of keeping it from feeling overwhelmingly serious, while also feeling authentic.
Overall, For Better and Worse is an engaging, well-plotted, and thoughtful thriller, and I’m already looking forward to my next book from Margot Hunt!
Thanks to Harlequin MIRA for the review copy. All opinions are my own.
This is a straightforward story of a murder. The victim is a known child molester and the reader is not meant to feel sorry for him. The killers are a respected, married couple who feel justifiably wronged.
Hey, these aren’t spoilers, it is right on the book jacket.
So, while not a whodunnit or a whydunnit, we do feel the tension and anxious story building as we wonder how in the world this guilty couple might get away with murder. If they do.
They might end up going to prison. I’ll never tell! 😬Besides, that's the only question propelling the story and I would never deny you the fun of that.
I love this writer. When it comes to creating fast, addictive reading full of realistic dialogue, Margot Hunt is one of the best. Her first novel, BEST FRIENDS FOREVER, is more addictive. And better.
If I could wish…. Hunt would flesh out her novels. I need more characterization and deeper plot lines. While I’m a fan of the first person/one timeline only structure, FOR BETTER AND WORSE, falls a bit flat and feels one notedly (yes, I made up that word!) superficial.
If you are looking for a quick commute read that doesn’t require much effort on your part, this is a good one! A semi-interesting, fun look at a well-planned murder gone awry.
Hold on while I pick my jaw up off the floor and wait for my heart rate to slow—because this book really did a NUMBER on me in the BEST possible way!!! Reading this book was like watching someone else’s nightmare unfold and being unable to wake them up! With each twist and turn the tension cranked up a notch until I couldn’t have put the book down if I wanted to—I HAD to know what was going to happen next! I actually don’t think I’d have been able to sleep without finishing it! What a ride!
The moral dilemma here is one that really gave me pause.What is someone to do when a loved one is hurt, and they know that the criminal justice system will likely favor the perpetrator, while tearing their loved one apart? If the justice system doesn’t do it’s job, is it ever okay to make your own justice? I must admit, I am an extreme rule follower. The type of person that makes a full stop in the dead of night with not a soul around, just because of the sign. The type of person who actually struggles to jaywalk, even when everyone else is. But this book actually made me empathize with taking a vigilante approach to justice! Something I didn’t think I’d support ever. Credit due to Margot Hunt, who really opens our mind to the dilemma faced by these parents.
In terms of the story itself, what a wild ride! When I say it was like being able to watch a nightmare unfold and not be able to wake the person up, I mean it! I did not expect how much suspense and terror could be built into what starts as a horrible but realistic scenario. I found myself cheering on people I’d usually condemn, and that is quite a testament to what Hunt was able to craft here. The experience of reading this book completely immersed me in the story. I am still shaking my head in awe of what I experienced! In a way, the book shows us that our own minds can be our worst enemy of all. Humans are flawed. We make biased risk that doesn’t always payoff. The key is, learning to live with the fallout…
“I doubt it would be easy to take a life. But I think if you had to—I mean, if we had to—we could absolutely get away with it.”
Look at that quote^^^. LOOK AT IT!!!!!! Did you look at it? Why the eff wasn’t I all over this when it was an ARC? I mean I realize I’m not super late to this party since it was just released ten days ago, but still . . . especially since it was a BOTM selection as well. Thankfully I jumped on the library right away, begged and pleaded while holding on to the pornbrarian's leg as she drug me around the suburban branch and was first in line when it was finally obtained. I have a feeling the wait list is probably about as long as my arm at this point. But about the book . . .
Okay so Natalie and Will are both aspiring attorneys whose first-date small talk consists of figuring out how to get away with murder. (Confession: I read zero blurbs about this so I was totally ready for another Strangers On A Train knockoff.) Fast-forward to the present where the two have been married for ages, have an eleven-year-old son and have fallen into a pattern of work and home that’s pretty much a snoozefest – despite the fact that she’s a criminal defense attorney for a living. Needless to say, that old conversation from the past has long since been forgotten. Until something happens in their community that calls for . . . .
Okay so that’s all I can give you without giving too much. I will say that there were some hints about as subtle as a skillet to the back of the head about a certain something that made my brain decide if this didn’t end the way my brain was thinking I was going to be super pissed, but then . . . .
This was awesome. I loved that there weren’t 50,000 twists and turns, I loved even more that mistakes were made and things didn’t add up and normal people didn’t somehow become criminal masterminds. But most of all? I looooooooved Natalie. Good lord she’s my number one fictional gal pal for 2018 fo sho! I gave this 4.5 Stars over on Instagram this morning, but that’s just stupid. It deserves all 5.
3 Stars I don’t count this story as mystery/suspense/thriller! It dragged a lot. The plot wasn’t really good and I got bored and after reading 60% I started skimming and skipping. I enjoyed my first read by her (Best Friends Forever) but this one didn’t really work out for me, unfortunately! Maybe it was just me and not the book, as you can see all the good reviews! So don’t listen to me and read it, hope you enjoy it!
Thanks to Margot Hunt, Netgalley and HARLEQUIN - Mira for the advanced digital copy in exchange an honest review.
With absolutely loving Margot Hunt's debut novel Best Friends Forever... I knew I had to get my hands on her next novel from Netgalley. Let me tell you "Some people just need killing" ...... THAT is in all honesty a VERY true statement my friends.
Margot Hunt delivers a fast paced, addicting, and wild ride with For Better and Worse. I wasn't quite prepared for what I was getting into with this one. Margot had some serious twists and turns in her debut novel that leaves your jaw on the floor. I was hoping that this one would have just the effect on me.
In the beginning you're introduced to Will and Natalie Clarke who met through law school. They joked about planning the perfect murder one day. Well.. my friends the TIME has arised and all I can say is they better get it right haha.
The Clarkes have the worst situation on their hands that any parents would never want to have. Their son's principal and friend of the Clarke's has been accused of molesting a young boy at the elementary school. One day Natalie is talking with her son Jacob and he drops an awful bomb of being molested by the principal Robert as well. Talk about HORRIBLE!
Natalie decides that Robert must die and her husband Will must help her with the act. But, is she serious?! Will she actually kill the man that hurt her son?
Now, this gets complicated very quickly as you can imagine especially with having two criminal defense attorney's on your hands... but wait they know what they're doing right? :)
I was hooked from page one and devoured in over a couple of days. I was not disappointed but I do have to say was hoping for a bit more of a twist at the end of the story. Margot does deliver one final twist in the prologue but was edging for a bit more.
Overall, this was fantastic!
4 strong stars for Hunt!!
Huge thank you to Harlequin Mira and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this arc in exchange for my honest review.
She was a delicious, fizzing secret that had transformed my boring, colorless life into something exciting.
He was an affable guy in his late forties, with the sort of annoyingly boyish good looks that women always went for. My main impression of him, after being law partners for a number of years, was that while he led a charmed life, he was about as deep as a puddle. He had a pretty, vapid wife and a couple of good-looking, vapid children who all excelled at sports.
He lifted the corners of his mouth up in a sly smile. He suddenly, vividly reminded me of the crocodile exhibit at the Palm Beach Zoo.
When I was a kid, my dad used to tell me, ‘Some people just need killing.’ I always thought that he was being overly harsh. After all, my dad also made me go to Sunday school, where they talked about turning the other cheek and forgiving your neighbor. But if you live the life I’ve lived, seen the things I’ve seen…” He shrugged, as if trying to push away a whole history of bad memories. “I can’t say that my father was wrong.”
She thought that sometimes she loved Will, and sometimes she hated him. Sometimes she couldn’t tell the difference between the two.
Margot Hunt has mastered the art of building and maintaining tension and suspense in her artful and brilliant arrangements of words. This wasn’t a thriller or a “who done it” murder mystery as we witness the murder being committed and I will confess, I even wanted to help and felt a bit complicit. I was taut with tension, nibbling on my cuticles, and largely unsettled while reading Ms. Hunt’s compelling and well-crafted storylines. If ever there were a case for justifiable homicide, this would fit most anyone’s criteria. The premise was ingenious; the writing was superb and maddeningly paced; the characters were intriguingly nuanced, and the ending left me smirking. Sequel, Ms. Hunt?
For Better and Worse by Margot Hunt is a thriller that asks the questions just how far will you go for your family? What would you do to protect your child? And a warning is in order with this one as it may not be for everyone with child molestation involved.
Natalie and Will Clarke are both lawyers now and have been together since their days in law school. Back on their first date the couple had had a strange but fascinating conversation about being able to commit the perfect murder. Neither had thought at the time the day would come when that conversation would come up again.
Natalie has been working as a criminal defense attorney all these years so she has come across the worst of the worst in her profession. Never did Natalie think that one day she would find out that her son had been in danger from a predator or that she would need to do something to stop that predator from ever harming another child.
For Better and Worse is the second book I’ve read by Margot Hunt and much like the first I found this one simply captivating once sitting down with it and beginning to read. Taking a mother’s love of her child to the absolute limit the story is one that is an emotional one and keeps the pages turning to see how it would all work out in the end. Definitely would recommend checking this one out for the thriller fans.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
Wow! This book blew my mind! There are a handful of books this year that I was completely blown away with and this is one of them. The plot, the writing style, the suspense of seeing if they get caught, checked all of my boxes for a perfect thriller.
This book was not on my radar to read until my fellow Traveling Sisters organized a group read. I am so glad I joined in with this one because I would have missed out on one of my top 10 books for the year. To say I loved it is an understatement. Okay so you get that I loved it!
Natalie and Will have been married for 17 years and know everything about each other, or do they? Is there a side to each other they don't know? While at Tulane in law school, they had joked they knew their way around the law so well they could commit a murder and get away with it. Wait, could they really get away with it? Why would they want to kill someone? I think it will all become really clear once you start reading. A parent's worst nightmare begins to unravel right in their own home. I think we can all relate to their desperation and rage but the actions they took were shocking. I literally gasped in shock as they set their plan into motion. Just as shocking was that one of them found it quite easy, almost in a sociopath type of way.
This book had me thinking about it every second I set it down. I flew through it in less than 24 hours. I had to know how it ended. Wow, what an ending it was. This was my first book by Margot Hunt and it will not be my last! I have a copy of Best Friends Forever on my kindle and you can bet I can't wait to read that!
Once upon a time there were two law students, Natalie and Will, who were out on a first date.
Natalie was not sure if Will was really her “type” until he started a conversation about how two lawyers, namely, the two of them, should be able to plan and execute the “perfect murder”.
Over tossed salads, they tossed around ideas.
By the time the entrees were finished, and the last of the red wine had been poured, they were clinking glasses and toasting “to getting away with it”..
Fast forward 15 years...Will and Natalie are married and their vows of “For better and Worse” are about to be tested.
Their son Jacob’s principal, has been accused of molesting a troubled student. And, when Natalie talks with Jacob about it, she learns that he has been a victim too. As a criminal defense attorney, she knows how grueling a trial would be for their son.
She will not allow that.
But the principal must not be allowed to get away with this.
Is it time to “test the theory” that the two had discussed when they were just young law students out on their first date?
Are Natalie and Will as smart as they think they are?
As in her first novel, “Best Friends Forever”, Margot Hunt has written well developed characters that feel like people who could be your friends and neighbors. She writes about marriage and friendship in such an honest way, you almost forget this is fiction....
I was GRIPPED from the first word till the last. She is an author who is fast becoming one of my FAVORITES! It was just plain FUN to read!
I hope she is hard at work on a third novel!!
I would like to thank Netgalley, Harlequin-Mira and Margot Hunt for allowing me to read an ARC in exchange for a candid review!
This mystery/thriller will be available on Dec. 11, 2018 and can be pre-ordered NOW!!
Natalie and Will Clarke met in law school seventeen years ago. She’s now a criminal defense attorney, he’s a trust and estate lawyer and they’re the parents of 11-year old Charlie. Their marriage appears to be on shaky ground as he’s become distant and she’s bordering on disinterest. However, when they learn their son has been harmed, Natalie takes action to shield him from the criminal justice system and drags Will into her scheme. Now they’re forced to come together to protect each other as well as Charlie.
Natalie’s scheme isn’t a brilliant one but it was effective. That’s not the true heart of the story, though admittedly it’s a big part of it. At first I was skeptical that a law abiding, upstanding citizen could devolve so quickly and commit a heinous crime so easily. However, as the story progressed and I learned more about Natalie and Will through their points of view, my opinions kept shifting. On the surface, they seemed to be one thing but underneath they were much more complex. Her experience in defending criminals was invaluable as she could anticipate how law enforcement would manage an investigation. He wasn’t accustomed to seeing Natalie in action professionally nor was he used to just following her lead.
The narrator delivered an excellent performance for both characters. Unlike some other women narrators, Campbell doesn’t dramatically alter her voice pitch for male characters but you clearly can tell it’s the right gender. She’s also one of my favorites.
It’s impossible to say much more about this story without revealing too much. I found Natalie and Will fascinating and often repugnant, but also questioning what I would do in similar circumstances. This was a really good psychological thriller about two people who could be our next door neighbors. I loved that the entire story is told from their points of view. The ending delivered an unexpected twist and the epilogue was chilling. While I might not like Will and Natalie, I couldn’t stop reading their story and needed to know their outcomes. I’m still thinking about them...unfortunately.
(I received an advance copy from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review)
For Better and Worse was another unexpected thrilling read for me and one once I started I couldn't put down.
So what made this one a thrilling read for me? It was all in the delicious, dark pleasurable revenge story that appealed to that vigilantism while playing on our fear as parents. After someone harms her son, Natalie’s protective claws come out, and she cooly and calmly decides the person who abused her son must die. Revenge thrillers are a guilty pleasure for me, and I love to ponder those moral questions and just get lost in the nonsense of imagining getting revenge against someone who has harmed a child. Is that dark?
My two cents
The story begins with a good hook. While on a date, law students Natalie and Will discuss how they could outsmart the law and plan the perfect murder. They are now married with a son that is being tested. There are some dark themes and one that might have you shying away from; however, we are not given any details to make this a dark read. We know just enough to allow us to feel angry and invoke the need for revenge and justice and some desire to see the criminal here get what he deserves.
There is nothing believable to this revenge crime, and it is hard to buy into the shady story. It’s all in the self-indulgent feeling that allows us to fantasize about getting away with this revenge crime. None of the characters other than young charlie are likable or compelling.
Overall. It might not sound like a thrilling read and not work for a few readers, but the thrill of revenge drives the story forward.
Is there really such a thing as the "perfect murder." It's been written about in books for centuries. Movies, television shows, radio and podcasts have all tackled the age old scenario. Do you think you could plan the perfect murder and get away with it? Fifteen years ago, Natalie and Will Clarke went on their first date. As two young law school students spent the evening getting to know each other, they put their law school brains together as they discussed how to plan the perfect murder and get away with it. Flash forward fifteen years as this now married couple with a young son put that one-time conversation to the test. Author, Margot Hunt's book, For Better and Worse, gives the reader an interesting look into what happens when this couple go from mundane day to day married life that is on a rocky road to a couple willing to go to ultimate lengths to protect their son. Thrilling, cleverly written, Hunt gives us a fast-paced story line that will have you eager to turn each page to see what happens next. Hunt manages to put the reader in Natalie and Will's lives with the feeling of being that nosy neighbor who can't look away. For Better and Worse is a great title but the book was really For Better and Better. I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley. My reviews are my own. #NetGalley #ForBetterandWorse #MargotHunt
Will and Natalie meet in law school, and later get married. After a few years, and a son Charlie, life seems to enter a phase where their relation seems to be losing its shine. Their life comes under severe strain when Charlie’s principal is accused of molesting a child. Will and Natalie have known him well and are not sure what the truth is. The student who has made the accusation has had problems in the past.
Very quickly Will and Natalie find themselves getting involved more deeply. They are concerned on the impact all this will have on Charlie. Natalie especially is determined that she will do anything to keep her son safe. Very soon Will and Natalie find themselves in a very complex situation and possibly on the wrong side of the law. Will has a few things to hide which complicates things further. It is tough to add anything more to the story without introducing spoilers, and hence I stop here.
This is an extremely well written book – a strong storyline, great characterization and very fast paced. Highly recommended!
I received a free ebook from Netgalley for an honest review.
Well, it looks like Margot Hunt is going to be my new go to author when I'm looking for a crazy but entertaining read. This book had a "I can't look away or I might miss the potential trainwreck" type storyline. A great vacation read although I guess in these times it is better to just call it a quarantine read.
I agree with other reviewers who believe the publisher's synopsis gives away too much info. Having already read and enjoyed another book by this author, I just jumped into this one without bothering to read anything about the storyline ahead of time. It's my advice to do the same thing but if you don't want to go in blind, I'll give you a small tidbit. Natalie and Will met in law school, got married and now have a son. After attending a meeting at their child's school, all hell breaks loose. This book is probably best classified as a domestic thriller.
The story features some out there behavior (that's putting it mildly) but at the same time you can at least understand where the main characters are coming from even if you don't agree with their actions. The author came up with a good premise as it's one in which you can ask yourself, "what would I do in their situation?". (In case you are wondering, my answer is I would not do what they did, that is for sure.) And while I had a good time reading the book, it's not one I am going to defend as it's far from perfect. For whatever reason though, I love messed up characters and crazy behavior, and this book really delivered. Other readers might not be so easily amused but I was and this book held my interest which recently has been no small feat.
At the very least, this is a quick read so I say take a chance on this one if you are on the fence.
What a surprise! I went into this thriller knowing absolutely nothing about it - I just wanted to read it because it’s one of my November BOTM picks, and I am really surprised by how much I enjoyed it! I flew through this book in a day and a half and the writing was so good I couldn’t put it down!
This thriller follows two attorneys Will and Natalie, who met in law school and are now married with an eleven-year-old son. They had always talked about how they think they can get away with murder and now it is put to the test... that’s all I want to say without giving away spoilers but omg....