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Review: After Nightfall by A.J. Banner

Title: After Nightfall
Author: A.J. Banner
Year Published: 2018

Genre: Adult fiction (mystery)
Pages: 243
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location (my 2018 Google Reading map)USA (WA)

FTC Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book for a fair and honest review

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): Imagine your closest friend utterly betraying you. Years later, when she seeks forgiveness, you invite her to your engagement party as a gesture of reconciliation. But seething hostilities rise to the surface, ruining everyone's evening. After an awful night, your friend's battered, lifeless body is found at the bottom of a rocky cliff.

Newly engaged Marissa Parlette is living this nightmare. She should be celebrating her upcoming wedding, but she can't shake the image of her friend lying dead on the beach. Did she fall? Was she pushed? Or did she take a purposeful step into darkness? Desperate for answers, Marissa digs deep into the events of the party. But what she remembers happening after nightfall now carries sinister implications: the ugly sniping, the clandestine meetings, the drunken flirtations. The more she investigates, the more she questions everything she thought she knew about her friends, the man she once trusted, and even herself.

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Review: I got two offers to review this book, A.J. Banner sent me a copy and then it was on the TLC Book Tour list! So, to be upfront with my readers, I went to high school with A.J. Banner and love to read and review her books. I was really excited to read this one and I love the cover! There is something that really pleases me.

I really enjoyed this book and am going to describe it as a gentle mystery. I can't think of the exact word I want, but gentle will do. This is because there is no scary bits, no needing to read it only during the daytime, and nothing jumps out at the reader. Instead, the story is steady, building up to an ending I did not see coming.

I was pulled in by the characters and their intriguing and overlapping relationships. I wanted to know how they all fit together and who was looking out for little Anna. It seemed like they could all be responsible for the murder, which is a good thing.

I also liked the portrayal of Anna and her problems, that are slowly revealed as the story progresses. Anna is pivotal to the story, but her role is understated until just the right moment. If you like mysteries I definitely recommend this one.

Challenges for which this counts: 

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