Adult Fiction, Mystery, Suspense

Excerpt + Review: Everything That Follows by Meg Little Reilly

From Meg Little Reilly, comes a stunning thriller that will keep readers up turning pages long into the night, EVERYTHING THAT FOLLOWS! Grab your copy of EVERYTHING THAT FOLLOWS today!

CAUGHT IN THE BACKWASH, THEY HAVE LOST CONTROL OF THEIR LIVES…

For fans of Megan Abbott and Chris Bohjalian comes a novel of moral complexity about friends who must choose between self-preservation and doing the right thing in the wake of a fatal boating accident. Set in the moody off-season of Martha’s Vineyard, Everything That Follows is a plunge into the dark waters of secrets and flexible morals. The truth becomes whatever we say it is…

Around midnight, three friends take their partying from bar to boat on a misty fall evening. Just as the weather deteriorates, one of them suddenly and confusingly goes overboard. Is it an accident? The result of an unwanted advance? His body disappears quickly, silently, into the dark water. The circumstances are murky, but what is clear is that the other two need to notify the authorities. Minutes become hours become days as they hesitate, caught up in their guilt and hope that their friend has somehow made it safely to shore. As valuable time passes, they find themselves deep in a moral morass with huge implications as they struggle to move forward and live with their dark secret.

REVIEW BUTTON (2)

Fiction | Suspense | Mystery

***Received an Advanced Readers Copy for a Blog Tour in exchange for an honest review***

This is definitely a novel I really enjoyed. I have always been a big fan of anything suspense involving a group of characters revolving around one event which means uncovering the truth behind everything. For me it really sets a dark, heart pounding fear as I read, diving into the lives of the fictional characters. As the reader, you live the story with them, almost like the detective looking in. I love suspense reads! 

Everything The Follows has such a gripping synopsis, one that I could not in the right mindset pass up. Three friends, Kat, Hunter and Kyle are continuing their bar party on Hunter’s boat. After some interesting events leading up to the fact that Kyle falls overboard during a storm, leaving Kat and Hunter to deal with the aftermath of what just happened. 

Where is Kyle’s body? Did he swim ashore, did he drown? Did they push him off? Is Kat and Hunter murderers? Do they go to the cops? 

So many swirling questions around this one moment is what starts such a gut wrenching domino effect on their lives. I was definitely hooked at the jump, following mostly Kat’s perspective of her inner turmoil of the event, plus getting Hunter in the mix was enough to ruffle my feathers. Getting tidbits of the night, their secrets growing with each person they interact with, especially Hunter’s best friend who happens to be Kat’s boyfriend, Sean. 

The constant panic paranoia of the characters, especially with Kat really made the most of it for me. I was inside her head the entire time, she really struggled the most from that night. Not only by her own personal demons but the push and pull of Hunter and Sean in the mix was enough to make any person’s head spin. I also really liked Hunter, including his faults. 

Aside from the fact that I did enjoy this novel there are some things that irk me. Some of the supporting cast did not connect for me. One particular was Ashley. Though I do overall understand her purpose, it was just for a better part of the novel I feel she was a means of conflict additive for the purpose of what was really going on between Hunter and Kat. She more or less helped escalate the drama on that front, plus involving herself in the circle with the group felt misplaced. Felt she was more add on character for a convenience of plot, but for me she was really overly involved. 

This of course leads me to the ending. After so many supporting cast were involved climatic drama between Kat and Hunter as well as Kat vs Sean vs Hunter, characters started to drift off to what seemed like a quick ending to such an explosive story. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the ending, but I felt that maybe something else was missing – I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something was in fact missing. I will still admit though I did enjoy the ending placement of where the characters were in their life, just that middle pickle prior to just felt lacking – maybe it was just too put together for an end result. 

Overall, I liked it. I think personally I liked the development of each characters dynamics as the issue continues to become a nagging bitch in their heads. Struggling with their own knowledge of the truth for what really happened to Kyle really took a toll on the group of friends on a massive level. There was closure, and then there wasn’t. Which to me made a huge difference on how I perceived the characters because it was believable. Honestly, when an accident like this happens and you react as Kat and Hunter did, how do you grow, how do you move forward from that? Really the moral compass of the characters is what gripped me the most.

Honestly it had a certain level of irky, twist your gut kind of plot that undoubtedly kept me hooked through the end. I couldn’t put it down. Aside from my pet peeves, I honestly enjoyed it. I was excited to find a new author to keep a look out for! 

Grab your copy of EVERYTHING THAT FOLLOWS here!

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“Taut with moral complexity and a subtly building tension, this is the kind of story that punishes you if you dare to put it down. ”

— Kim Cross, New York Times best selling author of WHAT STANDS IN A STORM

Add it to your Goodreads Now!

“[a] skillfully wrought tale of atonement in a frame of psychological suspense.”— Booklist

Excerpt

Hunter kissed Ashley’s naked legs, knees and thighs, working his way up her body and through his A-game stuff. But she intercepted his advances with her own moves and eventually he was out of his head and totally in the act. They were both drunk, but it didn’t feel like drunk sex in the out-of-body way he usually settled for. She was energized and athletic, a real go-getter. It was almost comical. She insisted on reading the expiration date of the condom, which struck him as hilarious. Ashley was above him, and then below. It was exhausting, but also a relief to have someone really running the show. He was happy to follow.

Ten minutes later, the entire episode concluded in a conventional but thoroughly satisfying missionary position.

And it was exactly three seconds after ejaculation that Hunter remembered all the horrible things he’d been trying to forget. The investigation of Kyle’s death was still open. The boat was still banging against the dock posts. This little adventure had changed nothing. Hunter’s body was calm but his mind wasted no time getting back to its baseline of panic. He needed a drink. He needed Ashley to leave so he could pour himself something tall. He liked her and hoped for an encore one day, but wanted her to get the fuck out at that moment.

“That was fun. I suppose I should go,” she said, moving not a muscle in her body. She was splayed out under the down comforter with her eyes closed.

Hunter got out of bed and walked toward the bathroom. “Yeah, it was fun. Can I call you again?”

If she answered, he didn’t hear her before the bathroom door closed. He peed and splashed water on his face. When he returned to the room, Ashley was halfway dressed, watching local news on a small TV that sat on a dresser.

“Why do they think he was swimming in Katama Bay?” she said, one sock in hand at the edge of the bed.

“What?”

“This guy who died—Kyle Billings. Why do they think he was swimming in Katama Bay?”

Hunter turned his back to her and rifled through drawers. What was going on? Why was she asking these questions?

“Oh, I don’t know,” he said. “I haven’t been paying much attention. Do you want me to call you a car?”

“No, I’m fine to walk.” Ashley continued to watch from the edge of the bed. “I just know for a fact that a Katama Bay swimmer would have been carried further south by the current, if that’s actually where he started from. It doesn’t make any sense.” She pulled her sweater over her head.

Hunter walked to the doorway. “I heard he was on oxy or something, so who knows.”

Ashley considered this information. “Still, the current…it wouldn’t matter. He had to have been further north if it took two days for the body to wash ashore in that place. That’s what the coroner said, that it had been about two days.”

Hunter crossed his arms over his chest. “Kind of a morbid thing to be hung up on, don’t you think? You’re like some kind of citizen investigator. You sure you don’t want a car?”

About Meg Little Reilly:

Meg Little Reilly is the author of the novels EVERYTHING THAT FOLLOWS and WE ARE UNPREPARED. She’s a public radio commentator, essayist, and outdoors enthusiast. Prior to writing novels, Meg worked in national politics and the White House. She holds a B.A. from the University of Vermont and an M.A. from the George Washington University. These days, she lives in rural Vermont with her husband and two daughters.

 

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