Wednesday, September 27, 2023

How Did "Friends Like These" by Kimberly McCreight End? What was the Twist? Spoilers!

"But close friends can also let you get away with too much. And what feels like total acceptance, what masquerades as unconditional love, can turn toxic... letting you be your worst self just so you can be terrible together is cruelty, not kindness. And it's got nothing to do with love." - Friends Like These

How did "Friends Like These" by Kimberly McCreight end? Looking for an explanation for all those twists and turns because this thriller was super twisty! "Friends Like These" by Kimberly McCreight had a very busy and character filled plot with a major ending twist! Keep reading and remember, spoilers ahead!

Friends Like These

by Kimberly McCreight

goodreads // amazon // library

Six college friends have reunited for a glamorous weekend in the Catskills, a decade after a fatal accident that nearly destroyed them. Keith, once the ringleader of the group, was a handsome charmer on the fast track to success. Now he’s spiraling into addiction and stands at the edge of losing it all. This weekend is the last chance to save him But Keith, it turns out, is not the only one who needs saving By dawn on Sunday morning, a car has been found deep in the woods—one of the friends is dead, another is missing. When a local detective turns up to investigate, it’s clear the group is hiding something ominous Haunted by her sister’s murder years ago, Detective Julia Scutt has her own share of problems. But she’s a skilled detective, and knows a rehearsed story when she hears one. It is up to Julia to untangle a decade-long web of friendship, lies and betrayals to discover the truth. But first she needs to face her own past—including the secrets that could, in the end, offer the key to everything A story of unconditional love, obsession, and the sometimes-impossible choices we have to make in the name of loyalty, Friends Like These is a relentlessly twisty, roller-coaster of a novel ( from ).

How Did "Friends Like These" by Kimberly McCreight End? Book Review and Spoilers

What Worked For Me
Lots to Follow While this element of the book ended up being a double-edged sword, I do have to give the author credit for creating a thriller filled to the brim with plots to follow and characters to learn about. I was never bored reading "Friends Like These". There is so much to digest and different characters to quickly catch up with as soon as the book begins. I definitely felt challenged as a reader and on my toes while reading.

Grown up PLL vibes I think the strongest parts of "Friends Like These" really lean into the friendships at the heart of the book. I was really attached to the intital premise of the book : an insular friend group who through perhaps no fault of their own, was party to a crime, and has to rely on their friendship to get through. There are so many ways an event like that could change a friend dynamic for the better and worse. At it's most engaging moments, "Friends Like These" had a Pretty Little Liars the later seasons vibe to it, and I was all in. 

What I Struggled With
SO many characters and plots I was not more than ten pages in before I had to grab a piece of paper and start taking notes. There are so many different plot threads, red herrings, and characters to follow in this book. And while that can sometimes feel rewarding, initially it was just frustrating. The various plot lines and shifting perspectives did not seem to serve a purpose and as a reader it was frustrating and discouraging and pulled me out of the story. 

The twists are just beyond chance I really had to suspend disbelief to enjoy this book, and for me that's a huge stretch out of my comfort zone. I had a hard time buying that someone could really pull off what each of these characters did. But also, that all of this happened in such a small area and the coincidences that would have to line up in order for all of this to happen! It was just this constant stretch that took me out of the story. 

Plot Twists and Spoilers

First things first, who is the murderer and what's the big twist - Maeve! Quiet and unassuming Maeve who seems only interested in getting back to her boyfriend in the city has quite the double life that she has been living!

Many years ago, Maeve was a girl named Bethany. Bethany lived in the same small town as the Detective on the case, Julia. Julia was much younger so she did not initially recognize Maeve as Bethany. However, when she begins going through Dericks belongings she finds an old college photo. In the photo, Maeve (Bethany) is wearing the sweater her sister Julia was wearing the day that she was murdered. This connects Bethany, who had previously been assumed dead, as the murderer.

Alice didn't commit suicide - that one was Maeve, too!

Which characters did Maeve/ Bethany murder and why? The murdering streak started with Jane. One day, when they were in the woods together, Jane suggested to Maeve that if she changed the way she looked Jane felt that she could be much more attractive. This perhaps unkind but otherwise unremarkable comment, triggered Maeve to commit murder. Which frankly, seems pretty far fetched in my opinion, and we are not given much more of a reason. Bethany disappears to become Maeve and it is assumed that she was murdered as well.

Next is Evan, the boy whom she pushed off the roof when they were at a party during college. Maeve killed Evan because he recognized her as Bethany. Evan's mom was interested in Jane's murder because he too was from this small town. When Evan mentioned this to Maeve she snapped and took the first opportunity to push him to his death.

Next up was Alice. Alice felt incredibly guilty about Evan's death. She thought Evan's death was truly an accident, but was unable to let go of the feelings she had because the friend group had chosen not to report the accident. As such, the authorities assumed that Evan was breaking and entering and fell from the roof. Alice wanted to clear things up with Evan's parents and apologize to clear her conscience. Obviously, Maeve felt that she needed to stop Alice from doing that, murdered her, and posed it as a suicide by leaving her car near a bridge, though her body was never found. 

Derrick, her last victim, Maeve murdered because she was worried that he would reveal that she purposefully pushed Evan off the roof. Derrick reveals to Maeve that he knows she pushed Evan but that he loves her and would never share that information with anyone and has secretly helped to keep her secret for years. Maeve kills him to try to keep that secret hidden.

And that's a wrap on "Friends Like These" by Kimberly McCreight! Let me know below if I missed any twists and share it below! Thanks for reading, readers.


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