Title: The New Friends
Author: Daniel Hurst
Publisher: Inkubator Books
My GoodReads Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
The Prologue warns us about a couple’s new friends who turn out to betray them in the worst way.
British couple Becky and Jamie, who’ve been married for ten years, go off on a short budget holiday in the off-season to Spain. There they meet fellow Brits, Phil and Mel, who live a charming lifestyle, having retired after making some savvy financial investments. Jamie is intrigued and wants to know more so he and Becky can also set their financial troubles aside and plan for a baby.
Becky and Jamie are working class people who enjoy their lives but hope for better days. They will learn soon that not all friends have your best interests at heart.
The book, written in the first person present tense PoVs of Becky, Jamie, Mel and Phil, is a quick read.
There are 46 chapters, with the perspective shifting in each chapter from one character to another, moving the story along and keeping us engaged. Unfortunately, each perspective is firmly mired in long narration and indirect speech.
There’s a big lesson here on being wary of scamsters and of get-rich-quick schemes.
I found Becky and Jamie very naïve. Neither one bothered looking Phil or Mel up on social media, or even asking for their full names, falling for their lines completely. Also, it was odd that Jamie would transfer money to another person rather than opting to invest in stocks in his own name.
I began to warm more to Mel than even to Jamie or Becky. She was in a conflict situation, willing to make a huge change in her life but unable to.
This is the second Daniel Hurst book I’ve read, the first being The Promotion. The style of writing is very similar. Both plots were interesting, but I felt let down by the long passages of indirect narration. Dialogue is brief, and all the action is swallowed up by the indirect narration. Also, none of the characters have surnames, which I find annoying.
The repeated foreshadowing becomes a drone when it comes once too often.
(I read this book on NetGalley. Thank you to the author, the publisher and NetGalley.)