WARNING: This review contains spoilers!
Not Bad People starts off with an interesting premise – three friends release paper lanterns filled with resolutions on New Year’s Eve. The next day, we learn there was a plane crash nearby and one of our characters is convinced that the lanterns were the cause.
I thought this would be a fast-paced suspense/thriller that focused primarily on the crash and the aftermath (maybe a trial? A more in-depth investigation?) but it’s really about these three friends (Aimee, Melinda and Lou), their lives and how their friendship unravels over the course of a few weeks. It leans heavily into the Women’s Fiction genre (not a negative, just an observation).
The friendship falls apart so fast I found it difficult to believe that they were even good friends to begin with (maybe their friendship is a matter of proximity rather than choice). When dealing with Aimee’s mental issues, Lou and Melinda seemed annoyed rather than worried about their friend.
I also thought the author was setting us up for some sort of confrontation with Peter’s stepson, Cameron. There were also some loose ends regarding Cameron and Aimee’s son, Byron.
The book was a bit longer than it needed to be – at more than 550 pages, I feel there were some storylines or repetitive parts that could be cut out.
The writing is good – this is a debut from Brandy Scott and I think it’s promising. I would be interested in reading another book from her if she continues to write.
Thank you William Morrow for providing me with an ARC of this book.