Review of What She Gave Away

Title: What She Gave Away

Author: Catharine Riggs

Rating: 4 Stars

Pages: 348

Days it Took to Read: 1 Day

Genre: Thriller, Mystery

Publication Date: September 4, 2018


Goodreads Synopsis: Imagining the best way to destroy a person’s happiness is Crystal Love’s favorite game. Devious and unpolished, the plus-sized loan analyst couldn’t be more out of place in her new town of Santa Barbara, where the beautifully manicured women never age and the ocean views stretch farther than the million-dollar lawns. And yet her eye for the power dynamics at play in this tony community is dead accurate. Kathi Wright, on the other hand, has made it her life’s work to fit in with the plastic people who surround her. But when her husband—a wealthy bank president—dies suddenly, she’s left with nothing. Then the FBI shows up, asking questions she can’t answer and freezing assets she once took for granted. While Kathi struggles to outrun the mess caused by her husband’s mysterious death, Crystal seems focused on her game. But why? And who are her targets? Spanning two years and told in Crystal’s and Kathi’s alternating voices, this tautly plotted novel reveals the power of choice and the price of revenge.

Review: I enjoyed this book so much I breezed through it in one day. It is written in a way that is easy to read and the chapters are nice and short so I didn’t even realize how quickly I was flying through it on my kindle. I was entertained throughout the book, which made it difficult to put down. I enjoyed the dual narration for Crystal and Kathi as well as trying to figure out how their stories were connected. However, it was a little confusing at times because their personal narratives were not occurring simultaneously until the very end. The addition of Kathi’s old diary entries was also a nice touch because it allows the reader to gain some valuable insight about her past while also adding to the mysterious nature of the novel.

The supporting characters, such as Mimi and Dipak, were well developed and I enjoyed following their personal stories as well. Crystal definitely needed their help to play her game successfully, but I cannot believe she had the guts to do some of the things she did. Seeing just how far she would go was highly entertaining. A few characters dropped off the map towards the conclusion of the book, which left a few loose ends. Overall I really liked the book, but with the slight confusion and unanswered questions, I can only give this 4 stars.

This is Catharine Rigg’s first novel, but I would definitely read more from her. To me, What She Gave Away is a light thriller so I would recommend this to fiction and thriller fans alike.

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