Friday, July 24, 2015

ARC Review: Somebody I Used to Know by David Bell

Rating: 5/5 Stars
Author: David Bell
Available Formats: eBook, Paperback, Audio
Publisher: Penguin Group Berkely, NAL 
Publication Date: 07-07-15                Pages: 432
Purchase ~ Amazon                               Add ~ Goodreads
When Nick Hansen sees the young woman at the grocery store, his heart stops. She is the spitting image of his college girlfriend, Marissa Minor, who died in a campus house fire twenty years earlier. But when Nick tries to speak to her, she acts skittish and rushes off.

The next morning the police arrive at Nick’s house and show him a photo of the woman from the store. She’s been found dead, murdered in a local motel, with Nick’s name and address on a piece of paper in her pocket.

Convinced there's a connection between the two women, Nick enlists the help of his college friend Laurel Davidson to investigate the events leading up to the night of Marissa’s death. But the young woman’s murder is only the beginning...and the truths Nick uncovers may make him wish he never doubted the lies.

My So-Called Review:
I have long since been a fan of David Bell, his stories are always centered around families and the lies and secrets that are kept within. I love this type of psychological thriller and David Bell is one of the best! When I see his name on a book I get excited because I automatically know I’ll love it, I don’t even need to read the blurb on the back. So imagine my thrilling surprise when Somebody I Used to Know became available on NetGalley, of course I instantly requested it and then crossed my fingers and toes hoping I’d be approved, luckily I was :)

Somebody I Used to Know centers on Nick, an average divorced dad in his early forties. When he sees a young woman at the grocery store who strongly resembles his girlfriend from college he can’t believe it. Not because this girl is so young but because his college girlfriend, Marissa died 20 years ago in a tragic house fire along with her roommates. Nick tries to approach her, thinking maybe she’s related to Marissa, but the girl takes one look at Nick & immediately runs out of the store looking terrified. Nick shrugs off the incident until the next day when the police show demanding answers. The girl Nick saw in the store has been murdered, what’s more disturbing is that she had a piece of paper in her pocket with Nick’s address written on it. While Nick attempts to clear himself from the investigation he’s drawn back into his past where he looks again at the events of 20 years ago. What is the connection between these two women? Why was his address in the pocket of a young woman he’s never met? And what really happened the night of the house fire 20 years ago?

David Bell wastes no time in sucking you into his story, Somebody I Used to Know starts off with an immediate bang that doesn’t let up until the story is over. I loved Nick and really wanted to see him get some sort of happy ending. He’s an all-around nice guy and I really felt for him each time he found himself in another difficult predicament. Lucky for him he still has a few wonderful and loyal friends whom he can trust. Laurel, who he’s known since college is now a cop and begins helping Nick investigate possible leads and connections between Marissa and the murdered young woman. I just adored Laurel and found it refreshing to see a platonic friendship work as well as it did here! Laurel and her husband are happily married and have recently had a baby. When Nick reaches out to her she immediately makes the necessary arrangements in her life so that she can offer Nick her undivided help, what’s even better is that her husband supports her in this decision! I loved that there wasn’t any jealousy, possible adultery or any other weird issues between these three characters.

I was really impressed with how much this story kept me guessing! There are twists and turns at every corner and while I admit I did figure a few things out along the way, the ending and constant revelations blew me away! This is where Bell really shins as a storyteller; he has this ability to lead readers in one direction by leaving little bread crumbs & making us feel confident that we’ve got it figured out when suddenly he switches gears and lays a bomb in your lap.

I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a twisty, fast paced psychological thriller with complex characters! This is a superb story full of secrets, lies, and deceit; Bell has outdone himself here and Somebody I Used to Know is now my favorite of his books. Don’t stop with this one though; The Hidding Place and Cemetery Girl are also fabulous reads!

Thank you to publishers, Penguin Group Berkley, NAL and to NetGalley for providing me a complimentary, advanced reading copy of this book!


  1. Great review... The psychological thrillers with well-developed characters are the best kind.