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Review: We Were Never Here by Andra Bartz

Title: We Were Never Here

Author: Andrea Bartz
Year published: 2021
Category: Adult fiction (thriller)
Pages: 320 pages
Rating: 4 out of 5

Location: (my 2023 Google Reading map): Chile, USA (AZ, WI)

SummaryEmily is having the time of her life—she’s in the mountains of Chile with her best friend, Kristen, on their annual reunion trip, and the women are feeling closer than ever. But on the last night of the trip, Emily enters their hotel suite to find blood and broken glass on the floor. Kristen says the cute backpacker she brought back to their room attacked her, and she had no choice but to kill him in self-defense. Even more shocking: The scene is horrifyingly similar to last year’s trip, when another backpacker wound up dead. Emily can’t believe it’s happened again—can lightning really strike twice?

Back home in Wisconsin, Emily struggles to bury her trauma, diving headfirst into a new relationship and throwing herself into work. But when Kristen shows up for a surprise visit, Emily is forced to confront their violent past. The more Kristen tries to keep Emily close, the more Emily questions her motives. As Emily feels the walls closing in on their cover-ups, she must reckon with the truth about her closest friend. Can Emily outrun the secrets she shares with Kristen, or will they destroy her relationship, her freedom—even her life?

Review: This book is full of twists and turns that kept me turning the pages until late last night so that I could finish it.

I liked, but didn't like, both main characters. They are interesting women who like to travel the world, meet new people, and have adventures. They also kill people. But it's all in self defense, right? Or maybe it isn't. Bartz does a good job of keeping the reader on the edge and not quite sure of who the "bad" person is, who the real victims are, and what it all means.

I also liked the way Kristen's background is slowly revealed as Emily discovers it through talking to people, finding childhood documents and diaries, etc. I thought this was good as each discovery made me question what I thought the "true" story was.

I enjoyed this thriller and will look for other Bartz novels.

Challenges for which this counts: 
  • Literary Escapes--Chile

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