Today I am bringing you my review for What You’ve Done by Joyce Schneider. This was released on the 16th of April, published by Amazon Digital Services.
What You’ve Done by J.A. Schneider
Release Date: 16th of April 2020
Print Length: 308 pages
Genre: Romantic Suspense Thriller
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
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A small town divorce lawyer (“I know people’s secrets”) blames herself when a client’s teen daughter is brutally murdered. She investigates and finds herself the killer’s next target.
Grieving the loss of her NYPD detective husband, former defense attorney Mia Peale moves to Grand Cove, Connecticut, desperate for a sense of community and hoping to rebuild her life. Now, starting a family law practice, she’s finally found friends and peace – until the teen daughter of one of her clients is brutally murdered, and the girl’s boyfriend stands accused.
Kelly Payne was an adored high school track star. Brian Hall is a poor boy in a rich town, and the community is outraged. But Mia has known Brian since her arrival and can’t believe he’s guilty, despite strong circumstantial evidence against him. As his defense turns lackluster, she asks Grand Cove police detective Jay Colter for help.
Jay is also skeptical of the police and DA’s case and takes them on, especially when Mia’s friend from her former Manhattan law firm uncovers a frighteningly similar murder in the city. Secretly, Jay helps Mia investigate both murders, but his alarm grows as her life is threatened by a maniac hiding among them.
Joyce has crafted a thrilling and interesting plot that had me instantly hooked and reading well into the early hours of the morning. It is a tale of how easily a community of small minded upper class people are so quick to condemn, point the blame and judge someone who is less fortunate and of lower socioeconomic status.
For me, I found this story to be more character driven than plot driven which I enjoyed. Each have all been extremely well created and nurtured, which is evident in detailed information we are given into each of them. The are a few to keep track of, but Joyce makes it very clear who each are and their role in the story. I like when an author takes this approach as it doesn’t make for a clear cut read.
Mia as the main protagonist was someone I completely resonated with. Emotionally vulnerable over the death of her husband and trying to rebuild her life, she does pull at the heartstrings. In saying that though, it was her strength I was able to resonate with and her tenaciousness to prove Brian’s innocence is what made her most appealing. She really does carry the story on her shoulders well and is a character I would like to read more of.
I enjoyed the structure of the book, that is mainly told through the voice of Mia, but also has dedicated chapters to the killer, which is a great touch and really gets the reader inside their head. The short chapters, which is a personal preference of mine, kept me engaged and wanting more at the end of each one, making it so impossible to put it down!
Joyce has a very unique writing style that I immediately connected with. Throughout the story she cleverly steers you in one direction, only to then pull the rug out from underneath you to then lead you in another. You are kept second guessing as to the motives of each character and there is definitely no time for complacency at all!
While the story is a slow burn to start off with as Joyce sets up the scene and its characters, at no point did this feel too drawn out to me. I actually enjoyed this as I found each character quite fascinating. Once the foundation was laid, the story built up in momentum and along the way, tension and suspense that keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering how it is all going to unfold.
I was so impressed by this book with its well thought out and intriguing plot, its twisty turns, red herrings, some romance and a satisfying conclusion, makes this book such an enjoyable read. This is the first book I have read from Joyce and she will now be on my list of go to authors and I will be eagerly awaiting with what she comes up with next. It was a pleasure to read and review What You’ve Done which I highly recommend.
Thank you Joyce for reaching out and providing me with a free copy of What You’ve Done, which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
This review will be added to, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Amazon Australia & Amazon US. I will also add to NetGalley, Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play, Barnes & Noble & Waterstones if available. As I am from Australia, I am unable to add to Amazon UK.
Let’s Get to Know Joyce
Joyce Anne Schneider is a former writer at Newsweek. She is the author of the EMBRYO medical thriller series, the police/psychological thrillers featuring NYPD Detective Kerri Blasco, and the standalone thrillers Into the Dark, Girl Watching You, and What You’ve Done.
What led her to writing for Newsweek was previous – and sometimes wild – experience studying in Paris, then being an exchange student in the Soviet Union where she promptly got arrested for spreading anti-Soviet propaganda. She next wound up in a Soviet hospital after falling down a ravine during a hike near Sochi. (To find out more, read here on Goodreads.) She thinks the Soviets were glad to see her leave.
Now things are calmer, if you call writing suspense thrillers calmer. When not writing she’s usually thinking about writing and dreaming up new stories, and can rarely be seen without her trusty laptop. She lives with her family in Connecticut, loves gardening, and is working on her next thriller.
Stay up to date with Joyce’s working by signing up the mailing list on her website and following her on these social media accounts.