Book Review

HE STARTED IT by Samantha Downing (Out 7/28/2020)

Publication Date: 7/28/2020

Rating: 4 / 5

I received a complimentary galley of HE STARTED IT by Samantha Downing for an honest review. Thank you to Berkley and Edelweiss for the opportunity to read and review! I was a huge fan of Samantha Downing’s MY LOVELY WIFE last year, so this is a highly anticipated 2020 release for me!

HE STARTED IT begins on the road trip from hell. We are following Beth, the middle child stuck in a van traveling for two weeks. At the wheel is her older brother Eddie and his wife Krista, behind her is her baby sister Portia and at her side is her not so beloved husband Felix. Beth is fairly honest with the reader from the beginning, she makes no claims to be the heroine in her story. She knows she’s the bad guy, but the problem is so is everyone else.

This road trip isn’t a choice for anyone. Their grandfather has recently died and his will dictates that in order to inherit his sizable estate, the family must recreate the roadtrip they made with him when they were all children. We get glimpses of this past road trip through journal entries and Beth’s recollections. It is safe to say the past trip was not exactly a happy family vacation either. As the journey continues, things keep going wrong as someone seems to be following them with ill intent and relationships continue to be more strained. It is soon clear that no one in this family is an open book!

Wow was this a wild ride! I chose to go into this one purely based on the author alone so I hadn’t read the synopsis, but the book really opens with a strong sense of what is to come through Beth’s narration. She openly admits that she isn’t the good guy of the story. The author kept me guessing throughout with how this one was going to wind up. This family is full of darkness and layer upon layer of secrets. I felt like this one was a bit more slowly paced than expected at times, but it did keep me hooked to keep reading and I finished it over the space of two evenings.

Samantha Downing really knows how to write compelling characters who are anything but lovable, but who keep you wanting to read more! She is definitely an auto read author for me! If you need to find a character to root for and a plot that is perfectly reasonable, this is not the book for you, but if you enjoy a thriller full of twists and turns and dark characters I absolutely recommend you pick this one up!

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