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Friends Like These

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Everyone has those friends. Doesn’t matter how long it’s been, or how badly they’ve occasionally behaved, or how late it is when that call finally comes—you show up. No questions asked.

Honestly, that’s how the five of us ended up here in the Catskills. We did have the best of intentions. Especially after what happened to Alice all those years ago, we can’t bear to think of losing anyone else. In fact, we’ll do anything to make sure that doesn’t happen. We’ll go so much farther than we ever thought we would.

In the end, maybe that’s what caught up with us. That, and the fact that we’re such a complicated group—so much history and so many big personalities. Secrets, too, that can slip out at the most inopportune moments. Of course, we love each other despite all of those things. We love each other no matter what.

There’s something so beautiful about that kind of unconditional love. It can turn ugly, though. Or maybe that’s just us. After all, we’ve already been through so much together. And we have so very much to hide.

320 pages, ebook

First published September 7, 2021

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About the author

Kimberly McCreight

18 books3,881 followers
Kimberly McCreight is the New York Times bestselling author of several literary thrillers including RECONSTRUCTING AMELIA and A GOOD MARRIAGE. She has been nominated for the Edgar, Anthony and Alex awards and her books have been translated into more than twenty languages. She attended Vassar College and graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter and at kimberlymccreight.com

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5 stars
953 (13%)
4 stars
2,616 (36%)
3 stars
2,782 (38%)
2 stars
739 (10%)
1 star
155 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,011 reviews
Profile Image for jessica.
2,479 reviews29.7k followers
October 15, 2021
feeling pretty lukewarm about this one, tbh.

im really drawn to stories about friend groups that are hiding secrets, not only to those outside their circle but also to each other, so i really like the premise of this. the execution, however, not so much.

theres just too much going on - too many characters, too many POV shifts, and too many subplots. it honestly just becomes so unrealistic that it takes the reader out of the story. the ending is pretty twisty and i didnt see it coming, but only because its yet again another unrealistic subplot.

that being said, i still enjoyed the heart of the story. i think if it had been reworked into something more simple, it would have been much more effective and enjoyable.

2.5 stars
Profile Image for Melissa (LifeFullyBooked).
4,483 reviews1,611 followers
November 29, 2021
2.5 stars, rounded up
I've had a string of lackluster psychological suspense reads lately. This one is filled with unbelievable circumstances, characters hiding things from the police and from each other that they never would in real life (and never would be able to either), and a wholly unlikable cast of characters, save maybe for the police detective.

This is about a group of college friends who witnessed and then hid a terrible incident when they were in school. Keeping the secret led to Alice, one of their group, committing suicide. Now in the present day, they are meeting austensibly to have a bachelor party for Jonathan, but in reality they are planning to convince drug addicted Keith to go to rehab. Joining Jonathan and Keith are three others from the college group and one guy who has pushed to be included. The book opens with a car found in the woods with a dead body inside, and the police don't know who is dead or who was driving, but they are trying to find out.

All that to say that the book is overall quite convoluted and actually silly at times. The characters are basically caricatures and do very cliched things. The secrets they are hiding get more and more bizarre as they come to light. The one positive thing I can say is that the ending twists are pretty surprising (honestly I don't think there's any way a person could figure them out ahead of time), and made for a satisfying ending for the most part and made me round up rather than down.

I have liked this author's previous books, but I don't feel like this one is up to those standards. It lacks nuance and creativity, the way things are revealed feels clunky and awkward and the motivation behind most of the secrets and crimes isn't revealed or clear. So much of the book hinges on everyone trying to hide things to protect each other to the bitter end, even if the consequences weren't that dire.

Maybe I'm just an outlier because there are quite a few positive reviews for this book. I just didn't really connect with it for the most part.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Jen.
128 reviews198 followers
November 28, 2021
With friends like these… Who needs enemies?

Now in their 30s, Keith, Maeve, Jonathan, Stephanie, and Derrick have known each other since college. There used to be a sixth, Alice, but after the group conspired to cover up and keep quiet about a death they witnessed, she couldn’t live with herself. Each now carries around guilt from their action (and inaction) surrounding both the death and Alice’s suicide, as well as a feeling of a lifelong bond with the remaining group. When they all get together for a weekend, things go horribly wrong. One is missing, one is dead, and everyone has something to hide...

Can Detective Julia Scutt piece it all together when everything that comes out of the group’s mouths is a lie, and will she be able to separate the case from her past demons that seem intent on coming back to haunt her?

Well, I have to say, I 100% did not see *that* ending coming, and I can almost always see the twist coming… Was it somewhat because it was kind of ridiculous and wholly implausible, sure. But that’s been a pattern lately in mysteries and thrillers, and this one at least pulled off the shock factor for me.

Unfortunately, it was a *struggle* to get to the ending. There was just too much going on; convoluted is an understatement here. There are POV shifts between SEVEN people, timeline jumps, 8 million secrets and problems all managing to converge on a single weekend, and all of it revolves around a cast of wholly unlikeable characters. At first it was hard to feel connected to the story or the characters due to the somewhat large cast and the frequent POV jumps. However even once I finally got a handle on who everyone was, I simply couldn’t bring myself to care about them. Curiosity kept me going, and I’m glad I stuck with it, but in this case the way the cast was used and abused in order to create red herrings just left me feeling very meh about it all. I also didn’t love the secondary twist/reveal and wish the author had figured out a different way to tie some threads together rather than relying on that.

I enjoyed Kimberly McCreight's previous book A Good Marriage and despite my problems with this one, do think she has a good knack for buried secret plots. In this case, it was just all too much. I will look forward to checking out the next, and hope she is able to dial it back a bit.
July 13, 2021
I was super excited to get an advance copy of this book, but it fell a little short. There was a good story in there, but it was a bit of a convoluted mess.

There were just SO many characters to keep straight, all of which had their own POV chapters, plus Alice who died 10 years ago, plus the mystery person, plus the detective, and then the timeline kept jumping back and forth from the beginning of the weekend, to the end of the weekend, to the mystery stalker 2-3 weeks ago, to back when everyone was in college together.

At the end of the day, keeping everything and everyone straight just felt like work, and enjoying the book felt very secondary to that.

The ending REALLY saved the book for me. Moved my rating from a 2.5 up to a 3. There's no doubt that Kimberly McCreight can write a great thriller, this one just missed the execution mark.
Profile Image for Laura.
599 reviews118 followers
June 2, 2021
This novel entails an interesting premise. A group of six friends, each with their own eccentricities and one common secret, slowly unravel in their complicity when an interloper pokes away at them for less than altruistic reasons. A mysterious and thrilling page-turner. Thank you to HarperCollinsPublishers for providing an Advanced Reader Edition.
Profile Image for Frank Phillips.
489 reviews238 followers
December 13, 2021
This book was so bad. Literally had 20 pages left and DNF'd it, I just didn't care. A jumbled mess with way too many characters and perspectives, plot lines, that all seemed unrealistic and unoriginal that the overall execution came off as a book that felt rushed to meet a deadline, perhaps??! I've only read two of this author's prior books but this one was so far removed from those works that it almost felt like it came from a different writer. If you're on the fence after reading the synopsis I would recommend giving this one a pass. Unless of course you are into all of the above issues!
Profile Image for Denise.
509 reviews353 followers
July 27, 2021
This is a book I read a couple of weeks ago and just realized that I hadn't reviewed it - but oddly, I barely remembered what it was about until I went back and read the back cover blurb and other reviews, so I'm not sure what that says (or doesn't say) about the book!

Once it all came back to me, I remembered that I really didn't care for it at all. Normally the premise of a group of college friends, who all share a traumatic past and multiple secrets having a reunion of sorts at a remote location, is my cup o' tea, but not here. It was just all a bit absurd. It also had WAY too many narrators - each one of the friends and the investigating police officer - and it want back and forth between three time periods. It was too confusing. Much (and I mean much) time was also spent on the catalyst event for the whole plot - something that happened on the roof of a building when the friends were all in college - and it just didn't seem believable to me.

Does it have some shock value because you don't see the ending coming? Yes, but herein lies my issue with it - no one would see that ending coming because it is preposterous and bizarre. Not to mention, it is not possible for one group of friends to have so many bad things happen to them!

McCreight is hit-or-miss for me, and this book will probably appeal to many readers, but for me it was a miss. 2 stars.
Profile Image for Kat.
Author 8 books306 followers
September 20, 2021
In FRIENDS LIKE THESE, a group of college friends witnessed something terrible back in college… then did something worse. It later caused one person in their group (Alice) to take their own life. Now years later, they’re getting together again under the guise of a bachelor party for one friend (Jonathan) but really they’re there to convince another friend (Keith) to go into rehab. I have read other books by Kimberly McCreight before and really enjoyed them. I struggled with this one somewhat. The plotting felt convoluted with lots of jumping around between POVs and timelines. I struggled to connect with the characters. I have greatly enjoyed this author’s previous books.

Please excuse typos/name misspellings. Entered on screen reader.
Profile Image for Seneca.
30 reviews11 followers
December 11, 2021
This was a quick, enjoyable thriller, but I felt like there was way too much going on. Too many POV's, too many characters, and way too many side stories. The characters were so dumb and made choices that were entirely unnecessary and unbelievable. Overall, it was a fun read and the twists were good, but it was nothing to write home about.
Profile Image for Yusuf Nasrullah.
119 reviews5 followers
June 7, 2021
Bizarre, fairly pointless motley of unsympathetic and rather despicable characters and a mystery that easily unravels once the mistaken identity is revealed. Hardly worth the read to get to its climax. A better ending would have been an avalanche that could have killed the entire cast.
Profile Image for Amy.
1,799 reviews1,854 followers
September 16, 2021
When I first started this one, I’m talking the first few pages I was interested and then pretty quickly I was confused. There’s a lot of characters who honestly all felt similar in the beginning so it was a little difficult to keep them straight. When I decided to switch to the audio I settled in more, so as always audiobooks are saving my ass! There were several narrators and they were all good, I hate when a book has multiple viewpoints but one narrator and there were like 6 or 7 here 🙌🏻 Anyway I’m glad I stuck with this one through my initial confusion because it had a strong ending and ended up being a solid audio read
Profile Image for Gary.
2,552 reviews356 followers
December 20, 2021
I was so disappointed after reading this novel having loved other books by this author. Maybe I was expecting too much but I never felt compelled to keep reading at any time in the book. You can’t please everyone all of the time I suppose.

A group of college friends witness an incident when they were at school and don’t tell anyone. Years later they plan a reunion for all the group bar Alice, who committed suicide. The group have secrets that will end up with one of them dying.

I would like to thank both Netgalley and Headline for supplying a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jamie.
640 reviews
June 27, 2021
Definitely Kimberly McCreight’s best book! Unputdownable and a shocker with every page.
These characters are complex and so well thought out. I love Detective Julia Scutte, she’s a force to be reckoned with and I hope I read more from.
I had no idea where this book was going and I really felt the theme of this book was fresh and the writing so well done.

Put this on your tbr for September, this is a thrill ride of a book.

Thanks to Edelweiss and Harper for my gifted copy.
Profile Image for Dallas Strawn.
626 reviews65 followers
September 7, 2021
Full of twists and turns, and with a tough as nails female detective at its center, Kimberly McCreight's gripping new novel FRIENDS LIKE THESE, a tale of betrayal and murder, is going to be one of the top thrillers of the fall; unputdownable, fast paced, and full of red herrings, It truly does leave you wondering how well you know your own friends....And the ending gave me goosebumps!

The novel revolves around a group of 5 college friends who are keeping a dark secret of something that happened 10 years ago, and a reunion in the Catskills while holding an intervention for their drug addicted friend leads to chaos when a dead body is discovered. I loved this book, and fans of domestic thrillers are going to eat this one up.

5 incredible stars for Ms. McCreight’s latest effort, and believe me, she had big shoes to fill, A GOOD MARRIAGE was one of my top 10 reads in 2020!

Happy Pub Day!!!
Profile Image for Marti.
387 reviews80 followers
May 12, 2021
Well, this author took me all the way to the end then dropped me on my butt. I DID NOT see that outcome. Thank you to Edelweiss for approving an early look. Ms. McCreight has not let me down yet. She has been one of my favorite writers ever since Deconstructing Amelia. I highly recommend clearing some sit downtime and give this one a go. She can make you see and feel the characters so clearly in this novel you begin to care for them, well some of them. lol
Profile Image for Blair.
1,729 reviews4,079 followers
September 11, 2021
In recent times, it’s been hard for me to find thrillers I like. There are loads of them around, but they mostly seem to be about either increasingly ludicrous plot twists or fitting into some literary trend, and there doesn’t appear to be much quality control happening when it comes to the writing. Friends Like These, though, I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s about five college friends who meet up 10 years after graduating, supposedly for a stag weekend – except they’re really staging an intervention for one of the group, who has a drug problem. Of course, it all goes wrong and they have to lie to the police... because they’re already hiding a big secret from all those years ago. You know a story like this is good when you don’t care what happens in the end because you’re just having so much fun along the way. I raced through this and had a great time with it.

I received an advance review copy of Friends Like These from the publisher through Edelweiss.

TinyLetter | Linktree
Profile Image for Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader.
1,040 reviews121 followers
September 4, 2021
I love when a book is like a roller coaster. So many twists and turns and things you don't see coming. McCreight has outdone herself with this one.
You will not see what is coming, in the end you will be shaking your head and be so mad at yourself for missing this one.
I gave this 4 stars and I recommend Friends Like These. A must read.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.
Profile Image for Leo.
4,177 reviews370 followers
September 7, 2022
Mayor spoiler below. Will spoil the murder trope (but not who)

The ending ruined any 3 star rating I was about to give it. It had a clear and not at all discrete " ugly duckling who happens to be fat turns into a beautiful slim version no one recognise from the past". Really dislike that trope. More than love triangles or insta loves.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Elena.
775 reviews54 followers
September 14, 2021
I try not to read books with a rating lower than 3.8 on Goodreads. It really has served me well to weed out ones that I wouldn't find enjoyable. I made an exception here because I've read other novels by Kimberly McCreight that I enjoyed a lot and there has been the rare time when I've read a book less than 3.8 that I have enjoyed - so, I went for it.

Bottom line - I would not recommend this book to others. The secrets and conflicts the friends are keeping from each other are weak as hell. Any group of friends that were the best of friends in college and are still friends means that they obviously have a lot of trust in each other. Late-night drinking coming home and hashing out the problems with their upbringings, etc. You are telling me that these teenagers didn't confide in their friends about these things. No fucking way.

There was definitely a lack of likable characters, but that isn't really a nail in the coffin if you get enough character development, which I don't think happened here. At one point it just cuts off and when the reveal rolls out we just never hear from anyone again. For someone that is expecting a well done psychological thriller you can pass on this one.

Spoiler Thoughts:

What happened:
Profile Image for Rachel Hanes.
462 reviews130 followers
June 7, 2022
With Friends Like These, who needs enemies?!!!
Let me just say that the ending of this book just blew my mind 🤯. I seriously did not see that ending coming!

This book had been on my want to read list for quite a while, and I am so glad that I finally got to it! At first I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about it because there may have been two too many characters to keep up with, but once the momentum and flow of the book picked up, I could not turn the pages fast enough!

We have a group of friends who share a big secret and seem to stay together for the sake of this secret. Yes, they all generally care for one another (or do they?), and that’s when things start to get a little tense and difficult with each other when they go away for a weekend…

I do not like to give away any spoilers in my reviews, all I can say is read this book!! And in the meantime, be careful who your friends are ;)
Profile Image for Donna.
1,813 reviews2 followers
January 27, 2022
The group of friends: Maeve- in public relations, nervous about boyfriend Bates; Jonathan- rich, fiancee Peter, owns weekend house in mountains; Stephanie - workaholic lawyer; Derrick-literature professor, unhappily married to Beth; Keith-addict, owns art gallery. Ten years after being at Vassar together, this group travels to the Catskills on the pretext of a bachelor party for Jonathan while really trying to talk Keith into rehab. An incident requires investigation by Detective Julia Scott whose 16 year old sister was murdered years ago. Also muddying the waters were a couple of deaths at Vassar back then.

Amazing to me how many books I've read in the past few months with a similar plot of college friends meeting up again. I had to make a list of characters to keep them straight. I didn't like the characters yet I liked the way the story was put together. It's a puzzle and there are pieces everywhere. Halfway, I still couldn't put it together. I was so busy trying to link it all that I could hardly put the book down. Yep, I was totally fooled. Lots of twists in this one.
Profile Image for Patricia Williams.
555 reviews122 followers
January 24, 2022
This was another ARC I received from the publisher and I really enjoyed this book. I've read another book by this author and liked it too. This was a quick ready and I did not figure out "who done it" until it got close to the end. That was a surprise. This was a story about a group of people who had been friends since college and they had actually been involved in more than on questionable incident One of the friends was a representer for an art gallery and also a drug addict. One of his artists who also wanted to be in the group did groups of art work and they were about this group of friends. His latest had been called "Friends Like These". And he had figured out a lot of the incidents that had been hidden for years and depicted the story in the paintings but he was not the "one who did it". YOu will be surprised as I was. Definitely a good mystery/thriller with lots of hidden things going on.
Profile Image for Jamele (BookswithJams).
1,078 reviews53 followers
February 6, 2022
I really loved A Good Marriage and had high hopes for this one, I mean reading that synopsis, it sounds great and had me hooked. However, it did not live up to my expectations, the audio was good as it had a full cast, which was probably the reason I finished. The plot was messy and I did not care about the characters, which usually does not bother me but in this case it mattered. It was slow to start and never really found its way for me, I think if there were less characters and less POVs it would have helped tremendously.
Profile Image for Nicole Kear.
Author 15 books97 followers
May 1, 2021
An edge-of-your-seat read that I couldn't put down, Friends Like These is twisty and gripping from start to finish. It's not just the propulsive plot that pulled me in but the well-drawn characters and rich relationships McCreight illuminates as she explores themes of friendship, loyalty and loss. High recommend!
Profile Image for Angela Staudt.
373 reviews109 followers
September 5, 2021
Thank you SO much to the author for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Friends Like These is an unputdownable thriller that will keep you guessing until the end. I love a good thriller that revolves around a super close knit group of friends that all have a lot of secrets to hide and a murder or two. I love the author’s writing and got completely sucked in right from the beginning.

Five friends that met in college are having a reunion, and a drug intervention for their friend at the same time in a remote little town in the mountains. They were a group of six until Alice committed suicide after something they all did together. She couldn’t handle the guilt and jumped off a bridge. Now years later the group is back together and they all have some dark secrets to hide. When a dead body is discovered and some people missing it leads to absolute chaos and no one will be leaving without every secret being spilled.

I devoured this book in one sitting and had no idea where it was going. I thought I figured it out and then another twist would come out of no where leaving me shook. In my head I kept saying, “How well does anyone really know their friends?”. I really loved the ending and when I say I was shocked, I actually gasped because the ending was insane and took me completely by surprise. I definitely did not expect so many shocking secrets and turns throughout this book. If you’re looking for an amazing thriller that is well written with some complex characters this is for you.
Profile Image for justonemorepage_.
524 reviews22 followers
December 30, 2022
Six college friends, one massive secret kept between them for over a decade. What could possibly go wrong when they all meet up for a weekend away? Wellllll let me tell you, ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING. With friends like this, what more could they possibly need? Jk they were all absolutely HORRIBLE with sooo many friggen secrets, but being stuck together because of the biggest secret of all..

Literally so much friggen drama in this one but I was sooo here for it. Also, that twist at the end had me completely shocked, I did not see that coming.
4,683 reviews48 followers
August 13, 2022
I won this book in a goodreads drawing.

Six fashionably diverse friends go to the Catskills to stage an intervention for their addict friend. They all went to Vassar. I suspect they got in via the Lori Loughlin method.

There's links to a mysterious deaths years ago, another death, embezzlement, and many bad choices. There's also an incompetent detective investigating all this.

The cover says buzz worthy, but I don't really know why.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,011 reviews

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