Her Best Friend by Sarah Wray

Her Best Friend

Two girls. A murder. And a secret that binds them forever. As a teenager, Sylvie Armstrong’s life was shattered when her best friend, Victoria Bland, was murdered. The killer has never been caught – and Sylvie has never spoken about what happened that day. Now, two decades have gone by and after the death of her mother, Sylvie is forced to return to her home town, along w...

Title:Her Best Friend
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Her Best Friend Reviews

  • Eva

    Prepare to start reading, only to look up hours later and wonder where your afternoon has gone. This is one gripping and utterly unputdownable psychological thriller!

    Twenty years ago, Sylvie’s best friend Victoria was found murdered in a lake. Shortly after that, Sylvie moved away and hasn’t been back since. Until now. At the same time, Sam is interested in making a documentary about Victoria’s murder, which is still unsolved. Sylvie will be forced to face the memories of that faithful summer in

    Prepare to start reading, only to look up hours later and wonder where your afternoon has gone. This is one gripping and utterly unputdownable psychological thriller!

    Twenty years ago, Sylvie’s best friend Victoria was found murdered in a lake. Shortly after that, Sylvie moved away and hasn’t been back since. Until now. At the same time, Sam is interested in making a documentary about Victoria’s murder, which is still unsolved. Sylvie will be forced to face the memories of that faithful summer in 1995. Will Victoria’s murder finally be solved?

    Halfway through the book, I had to stop reading due to this pesky thing called sleep. But even while in bed, I couldn’t stop thinking about it as I tried to piece together what had happened. There were a few bits and bobs I figured out quite early on but I suspect that’s because a) I have a suspicious nature and b) I read too much. Be that as it may, it didn’t ruin the story for me at all and the ultimate reveal knocked me for six!

    I thoroughly enjoyed the way the author tackled this story. The chapters switch back and forth between Sylvie in the present and the past but there are also chapters from Sam’s point of view. So not only do we gain insight into Sylvie and Victoria’s friendship back in the day but we also have an opportunity to follow Sam as he interviews various people for his documentary. It made me see connections where there weren’t any, making me change my mind about who I thought the culprit was, only to ultimately reverse back to my original thought and still get it wrong.

    Her Best Friend is a truly compelling and engrossing read. It’s well-paced throughout, has some brilliant twists and turns, a fabulous cast of characters and builds up to quite the shocking ending. You will not be able to put this one down as it’s one fantastic page-turner!

  • Mandy White

    Her best friend died when they were 15. Sylvie returns to her childhood home when her mother passes away. A podcast is digging into the story.. will the truth finally come out?

    This is a great book.. jumping between current day and 1995 telling the story of 2 best friends. I read this in one day... it really sucked me in. Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for a copy of this book to read and review

  • Gary

    Having not previously read any books by author Sarah Wray, I was drawn to this book by the description which left me wanting to know more. I found this book an excellent read and fully intend to read more of this author in the future.

    Two 15 year old girls Sylvie and Victoria were the very best of friends but when Victoria was murdered the killer was never found. Sylvie went to live at her aunt’s and never returned to her parents house. Now 20 years later she has returned following the death of h

    Having not previously read any books by author Sarah Wray, I was drawn to this book by the description which left me wanting to know more. I found this book an excellent read and fully intend to read more of this author in the future.

    Two 15 year old girls Sylvie and Victoria were the very best of friends but when Victoria was murdered the killer was never found. Sylvie went to live at her aunt’s and never returned to her parents house. Now 20 years later she has returned following the death of her mother and to the secrets she has hidden from surrounding Victoria”s death.

    As Sylvie struggles to discover the truth she finds herself in increasing danger from those who will stop at nothing to keep their secrets.

    I would like to thank Net Galley and Bookouture for supplying a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

  • Linda Strong

    Sylvie and Victoria were the very best of friends when they were 15 years old. But Victoria was murdered that year and the killer never found. Sylvie left her parents' house and went to live with an aunt. She never went back ... until now.

    Twenty years later, Sylvie has returned home ... and to the secrets she's been running from since her friend died. A necklace, once worn by her friend, is mailed to Sylvie. Someone knows exactly what happened that night. There are some who will keep their secre

    Sylvie and Victoria were the very best of friends when they were 15 years old. But Victoria was murdered that year and the killer never found. Sylvie left her parents' house and went to live with an aunt. She never went back ... until now.

    Twenty years later, Sylvie has returned home ... and to the secrets she's been running from since her friend died. A necklace, once worn by her friend, is mailed to Sylvie. Someone knows exactly what happened that night. There are some who will keep their secrets ... will she be one of them? Or will she be a victim?

    This is one of those books that grabbed me from the very first and didn't let go. Told in chapters of Sylvie today and Sylvie when she was a teenager, and a cleverly written 'witness' in the form of a TV program.. think Unsolved Mysteries.

    I think the author did a fine job in fully defining characters... especially when both girls were teenagers. I was one once and I lived through two teenagers of my own, so I didn't have to overuse my imagination when the girls did the things they did. The introduction of secondary characters ... Victoria's parents, Sylvie's mother's neighbors, the girl they knew in school that they weren't very nice to. The TV program introduced several others that knew the girls from their childhood.

    The story is very cleverly written and quite easy to follow. There were some twists and turns along the way with a surprise ending.

    Many thanks to the author / Bookouture / Netgalley for the advance digital copy of this Psychological Thriller. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.

  • Louise Wilson

    When Sylvie Armstrong was a teenager her life was shattered when her best friend, Victoria Bland, was murdered. The killer was never caught and Sylvie has never spoken about what happened. Twenty years have passed and Sylvie has to return to her hometown after the death of her mother. Sylvie receives the locket Victoria was wearing on the night she died - somebody knows what really happened to Victoria the night she died.

    The pace of this book is really slow. It seemed to take an age for the stor

    When Sylvie Armstrong was a teenager her life was shattered when her best friend, Victoria Bland, was murdered. The killer was never caught and Sylvie has never spoken about what happened. Twenty years have passed and Sylvie has to return to her hometown after the death of her mother. Sylvie receives the locket Victoria was wearing on the night she died - somebody knows what really happened to Victoria the night she died.

    The pace of this book is really slow. It seemed to take an age for the story to unfold. The main characters i did not like at all. There was not very much suspense but there was something that made me want to keep turning the pages. Whether it was to see if my predictions were right (which they were), I'm not sure as this is not a bad read it's just not a great read. I'm sure there will be lots of readers who will really enjoy this book.

    I would like to thank NetGalley, Bookouture and the author Sarah Wray for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  • Shalini Gopal

    Having read and reviewed Sarah Wray’s debut novel, I was hesitant to read this book. But I requested for this based purely on the blurb which said two best friends, Victoria and Sylvie, one dies and the other moves far away for twenty years till she comes back, a journalist trying to find the truth and make a documentary twenty years hence.

    I did start the book with great trepidation and I was pleasantly surprised. The book does rather stand as a mystery suspense novel. The author, Sarah Wray, h

    Having read and reviewed Sarah Wray’s debut novel, I was hesitant to read this book. But I requested for this based purely on the blurb which said two best friends, Victoria and Sylvie, one dies and the other moves far away for twenty years till she comes back, a journalist trying to find the truth and make a documentary twenty years hence.

    I did start the book with great trepidation and I was pleasantly surprised. The book does rather stand as a mystery suspense novel. The author, Sarah Wray, has done a far better job of writing this book as compared to her debut. Throughout the story, Sarah made my head pop with questions, they appeared like blinking light bulbs in my mind, as I turned the pages.

    Why was Victoria alone on the night the two girls were supposed to be together? Why didn’t the parents wait up for Victoria as they normally did? Who was Victoria’s boyfriend? Why do the parents pretend not knowing him even twenty years later? Why did Sylvie the best friend come back after twenty years? Why were Sylvie and her mother estranged? And the final question —What exactly did Sylvie know? Did she see the killer that night? Or did she kill Victoria?

    As I read through the chapters, there was a lot of added information, new information which comes to light after twenty years, which is kind of surprising. Though the book has a journalist trying to find the truth, but it is ultimately someone else who really does force out the truth into the open.

    Sarah Wray has well thought out the plot line, and she seemed focused in her writing this time round. The pace of the book is rather okay, sometimes fast, sometimes it does drag on. Her characters appear strong yet very flawed. But they are not whom I could root for. Victoria’s mother is the only one who appeared genuine, appear being the key word. She also knew things which she didn’t report to the police.

    Sylvie, the main character is rather odd, she is a new mother with sleep deprived issues, there is another girl on the sidelines, Michelle who calls herself their friend but is never really acknowledged. She appeared like a stalker in the book.

    Inspite of all these niggles, the book does work for a simple reason that once the brain is latched on to the question—who killed Victoria—it does not make sense to leave the book halfway. The fingers turn the pages automatically. I do not think any reader would be able to stop reading this book till the truth is revealed.

    P. S. Reading the last chapter directly does not help as the truth is unveiled somewhere in the last few chapters

    I received an ARC from NetGalley and publisher Bookouture and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

  • Carrie

    When Sylvie Armstrong was a teenager her best friend, Victoria Bland, was found murdered and things have not been the same for Sylvie since that day. After Victoria's body was found and her funeral took place Sylvie's parents sent Sylvie away to school thinking that it would be too hard on their daughter. Shortly after Sylvie's father also died and Sylvie relationship with her mother became non-existent leaving her to not return to her hometown.

    Now, twenty years after Victoria's death Sylvie fi

    When Sylvie Armstrong was a teenager her best friend, Victoria Bland, was found murdered and things have not been the same for Sylvie since that day. After Victoria's body was found and her funeral took place Sylvie's parents sent Sylvie away to school thinking that it would be too hard on their daughter. Shortly after Sylvie's father also died and Sylvie relationship with her mother became non-existent leaving her to not return to her hometown.

    Now, twenty years after Victoria's death Sylvie finds herself returning to her childhood home after her mother's passing when her home is left to Sylvie in the will. Returning with her baby Sylvie finds all those memories of her best friend returning to the surface and now with the killer never being found there is a reporter looking into the long buried secrets of the past.

    Her Best Friend by Sarah Wray to me was an extremely slow build mystery/thriller read. While I'd like to say I loved this one the pacing really had it a struggle to become engaged as it slowly unfolded. There was a decent story within the pages but not one that truly gripped me to rate this one any higher.

    I think also that for myself with as many books that I read this one was also a tad predictable. It seemed to lack the twists and red herrings that I normally love and in my mind seemed to be taking me on a journey to a certain outcome which in the end was pretty spot on. So while the writing is nice enough and the story will be one that engages a lot of readers in the end this one turned out to just be one of those OK reads in my opinion.

    I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

    For more reviews please visit

  • Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*

    EXCERPT: As I step back inside, I see it on the mat and acidic saliva forces itself up my throat.

    Another brown envelope.

    This time I don't wait. I rip the envelope straight open and shove my hand inside. It's cold, metal; a thin chain. When I pull it out and hold it up, the room feels as if it spins like a fun house. It's the gold chain with the heart shaped locket, the one they said Victoria was missing that night, that never turned up.

    My fingers are shaking but I am eventually able to turn it

    EXCERPT: As I step back inside, I see it on the mat and acidic saliva forces itself up my throat.

    Another brown envelope.

    This time I don't wait. I rip the envelope straight open and shove my hand inside. It's cold, metal; a thin chain. When I pull it out and hold it up, the room feels as if it spins like a fun house. It's the gold chain with the heart shaped locket, the one they said Victoria was missing that night, that never turned up.

    My fingers are shaking but I am eventually able to turn it over - the 'VP' engraving is there like I knew it would be.

    Before I wasn't sure. Now I am certain. Someone knows what happened to Victoria that night and this is a message.

    THE BLURB: Two girls. A murder. And a secret that binds them forever.

    As a teenager, Sylvie Armstrong’s life was shattered when her best friend, Victoria Bland, was murdered. The killer has never been caught – and Sylvie has never spoken about what happened that day.

    Now, two decades have gone by and after the death of her mother, Sylvie is forced to return to her home town, along with her newborn daughter – only to be confronted by the secrets that she has been running from for twenty years.

    But then Sylvie receives the locket Victoria was wearing on the night she died – and it becomes clear that somebody knows what really happened to Victoria.

    As Sylvie struggles to discover the truth behind the lies, she finds herself in increasing danger from those who will stop at nothing to keep their secrets. Someone who threatens not only Sylvie, but everything she loves...

    MY THOUGHTS: 'Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain't going away.'

    Her Best Friend by Sarah Wray is deceptive. For around the first third of the book, I thought it was okay, but nothing really special. But what it actually is, is a cleverly crafted, slow burning read. Like one of those fireworks that appears to be fizzing, gives a couple of experimental spurts, then bursts into a beautiful technicolor display of pyrotechnics. The second third of the book had me reading avidly, and the final third? You couldn't have paid me to put the book down.

    You may not like the characters, but they are well drawn and realistic. The story takes place over two timelines, now and twenty years previous. Sylvie, the pivotal character, is no more self assured now than she was then. She revolved in Victoria's orbit, followed her lead, was her acolyte.

    Relationships between the characters are more complex than they first appear. I had several suspects in mind for the death of Victoria. I changed my mind several times throughout the read. I settled on two, but couldn't make my mind up which of them it was, and was wrong. Completely and utterly way off base. Which pleases me greatly.

    4.5 sparkling stars for Her Best Friend by Sarah Wray which came to me in the form of a digital ARC from Bookouture via Netgalley, for which I thank them. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the 'about' page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my blog sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

  • Holly

    This was a semi-decent read. Nothing that will blow your socks off but a good way to spend the afternoon with. We meet Sylvie, who when she was 15, her best friend was murdered. After Sylvie’s mom passes away, she goes back to her hometown of Conley and where the murder is getting back in the news. A podcast has reopened the case of Victoria and Sylvie wants nothing to do with it. You kind of get the feeling that Sylvie can’t be trusted as a character. Which is to throw us, as readers, off. Unfo

    This was a semi-decent read. Nothing that will blow your socks off but a good way to spend the afternoon with. We meet Sylvie, who when she was 15, her best friend was murdered. After Sylvie’s mom passes away, she goes back to her hometown of Conley and where the murder is getting back in the news. A podcast has reopened the case of Victoria and Sylvie wants nothing to do with it. You kind of get the feeling that Sylvie can’t be trusted as a character. Which is to throw us, as readers, off. Unfortunately, this thriller didn’t have the twists and turns I like but I did enjoy the ending. That was well done. An ok read for me but not great and most importantly, not horrible either.

    *Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  • Berit☀️✨

    How hard would it be to go back home after 20 years of being away? Add in the fact that you left right after your best friend was murdered and your father died.... you had little to no contact with your mother after leaving home and now you are returning home after her death.... and on top of all this someone has now decided to make a documentary revolving around the murder of your best friend.....

    Welcome to Sylvie‘s life!

    This book was good, but I did have a few p

    How hard would it be to go back home after 20 years of being away? Add in the fact that you left right after your best friend was murdered and your father died.... you had little to no contact with your mother after leaving home and now you are returning home after her death.... and on top of all this someone has now decided to make a documentary revolving around the murder of your best friend.....

    Welcome to Sylvie‘s life!

    This book was good, but I did have a few problems with it... The pacing was a little slow, and I‘m really not one to complain about this usually.... I really was not completely drawn into the story until probably about 60% and that’s about the point when I started caring about Sylvie....

    Sylvie was hard to get a handle on... I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to like her or not and in the beginning this just lead to complete indifference for me.... but then something happened and I began to like her or at least understand her.... Victoria on the other hand( the best friend who was murdered) was not very likable from the flashback scenes.... so really at some point I didn’t care who murdered her to be completely honest.....

    The end was satisfying if not a little predictable.... I really did want the very best for Sylvie and her baby.... Best of all the very end of this book was much appreciated!

    *** thank you to Net Galley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ***

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