Not Bad People – Brandy Scott

Happy Friday! Doesn’t this cover just make you excited for a summer day by the water?

Thanks to William Morrow for the free copy in exchange for my honest review.

NOT BAD PEOPLE – Brandy Scott (out now!)

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Book Description:

A clever, compelling debut novel with a unique premise of what happens when three best friends engage in what seems to be a harmless act, but instead results in tragedy, leading the women to confront buried resentments, shattering secrets, dark lies, and the moral consequences that could alter their lives forever.

Three friends, thirty years of shared secrets, one impulsive gesture…and a terrible accident. 

It’s New Year’s Eve, in a small town in the rich wine country outside Sydney. Thirty-something Aimee, Melinda, and Lou are best friends reveling in the end-of-year celebrations. And what better way to look ahead to the coming year than to let off Chinese lanterns filled with resolutions: for meaning, for freedom, for money? The fact that it’s illegal to use these lanterns is far in the back of their minds. After the glowing paper bags float away and are lost to sight in the night sky, there’s a bright flare in the distance. It could be a sign of luck—or the start of a complete nightmare that will upend the women’s friendships, families, and careers.

Aimee is convinced their little ceremony caused a major accident. The next day, the newspapers report a small plane crashed, and two victims—one a young boy—were pulled from the wreckage. Were they responsible? Aimee thinks they are, Melinda won’t accept it, and Lou has problems of her own. It’s a toxic recipe for guilt trips, shame, obsession, blackmail and power games.

They’re not bad people. But desperate times call for desperate measures.

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My Thoughts: 4/5 stars!

I always love picking up books from debut authors! NOT BAD PEOPLE is the debut mystery from Brandy Scott. While this begins as a slower burn, you definitely want to stick with it because the pace really picks up! With most mysteries/thrillers sticking around the 300ish page mark, this 576 page read might be a little intimidating, but it read super quick.

We follow three friends, Aimee, Lou, and Melinda. They’ve been friends since childhood and they are together celebrating New Year’s Eve. They have the idea to let off Chinese paper lanterns with their resolutions for the upcoming year. What starts as a seemingly harmless ceremony between friends turns into tragedy when its reported that a small plane crashed that night. Aimee is convinced that they are responsible for the death of a father and his young son – their lanterns caused the crash. So begins the unraveling of the trio. Aimee is stricken with guilt, Melinda refuses to believe that they were the cause, and Lou is dealing with her own issues.

Scott perfectly illustrates the emotions these women are experiencing. We feel their guilt, their shame, their friendship straining, and their desperation to keep their secrets hidden. I really liked how the stories and secrets were all woven together because we really got to see how intertwined their lives all were. Their experiences felt authentic and like they could happen to anyone you know.

Overall, this is a great debut and I can’t wait to see what Brandy Scott has in store for us next time. If you’re looking for a good mystery, then I highly recommend this one. Remember, there is a slower start but then it really picks up!

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