Rating: 4.5 / 5
JAR OF HEARTS by Jennifer Hillier was one of my first bookstagram induced book purchases early on in my book blogging days and it has been sitting on my shelf sadly unread ever since. With October being a month for thrillers I was already planning to finally pull it out, but it was also announced as a buddy read for #thrillathonreadathon which was perfect!
JAR OF HEARTS begins many years after the incident this book really centers around. At 16, Angela Wong disappeared and it is only in the present day that her body has been located. Her best friend at the time, Georgina Shaw is now a successful business professional, engaged to be married, but beneath the surface she’s been hiding the secret of Angela’s death all these years. Friend to both girls, Kaiser Broday has grown into an investigator who has always wondered what happened to Angela and he is the one to show up to arrest Georgina and send her to prison.
What Kaiser has discovered is that Angela was a victim of Calvin James, a man guilty for killing more than just her. Georgina was involved in the coverup so even though her testimony helps put Calvin behind bars, she gets sent away for several years as well. Thing is, she still hasn’t told the full story and when Calvin escapes from jail, Kaiser is sure she is the key to finding him again.
In spite of having this book on my shelf for ages, I didn’t actually know much about this book going on, but I knew that I really enjoyed Hillier’s LITTLE SECRETS this year, so I was really hoping JAR OF HEARTS would hold up to the hype and for me it really did! This book is dark (but I think you likely know that I like dark fiction) and there are trigger warnings for rape, murder, body horror, and illness. The depiction of how female inmates are treated in prison is horrifying (and the author/narrator makes a point of saying that this is all coming from a place of racial and financial privledge relative to many).
Georgina is not a perfect character by any means, but she is still a character I could find myself rooting for. Initially she’s very cagy about what she knows and the author isn’t letting anything slip until she wants us in on the secrets. The details of what happened in the past and in the present day slowly come forward to give the reader and those in Georgina’s life a better understanding
JAR OF HEARTS is a well crafted story that takes you on a wild and twisty ride! Partially character driven, but still with a plot to keep things moving, this kept me gripped from the very beginning and I wound up flying through it in less than 24 hours! I will be looking forward to reading more from Jennifer Hillier and looking forward to our upcoming buddy read book chat!!