“…Honestly, I wish I’d listened to my instincts and insisted. None of this would have happened if I had.”
Published: August 28, 2018
Publisher: Kensington Publishing
Pages: 374 (Paperback)
Series: Hester Thursby Mystery #1
“They always say that. But you never know people, do you?”
In a brilliantly twisted debut set among Boston’s elite, Edwin Hill introduces unforgettable sleuth Hester Thursby—and a missing persons case that uncovers a trail of vicious murder…
Harvard librarian Hester Thursby knows that even in the digital age, people still need help finding things. Using her research skills, Hester runs a side business tracking down the lost. Usually, she’s hired to find long-ago prom dates or to reunite adopted children and birth parents. Her new case is finding the handsome and charismatic Sam Blaine.
Sam has no desire to be found. As a teenager, he fled his small New Hampshire town with his friend, Gabe, after a haunting incident. For a dozen years, Sam and Gabe have traveled the country, reinventing themselves as they move from one mark to another. Sam has learned how trusting wealthy people can be—especially the lonely ones—as he expertly manipulates his way into their lives and homes. In Wendy Richards, the beautiful, fabulously rich daughter of one of Boston’s most influential families, he’s found the perfect way to infiltrate the milieu in which he knows he belongs—a world of Brooks Brothers suits, Nantucket summers, and effortless glamour.
As Hester’s investigation closes in on their brutal truth, the bond between Sam and Gabe is tested and Hester unknowingly jeopardizes her own safety. While Gabe has pinned all his desperate hopes of a normal life on Hester, Sam wants her out of the way for good. And Gabe has always done what Sam asks…
Trigger Warning: Sexual abuse, child sexual abuse, pedophilia
Before I Begin: I wanted to make sure I included the trigger warnings in this review because this novel does have some darker themes that I think other readers should be warned about. I know that there was a big debate about this on Twitter, but I’m going to put it out there for those who might have some deal breakers and wouldn’t want to read a novel with those themes or plot points. This novel is really well written and I think these plot points weren’t just brushed over, but it was a touch darker than I thought and I felt my friends should be aware of that!
First and foremost thank you to my friends over at Kensington for sending this novel my way! It was actually my first piece of book mail in the new house, so I was so excited to receive this! This was such a great mystery and a really smart debut, so I will for sure be emailing my contact at Kensington to ask for a copy of book two!
This was such a knockout debut that I often forgot that I was reading the author’s first novel. It was handled better than some other books I’ve read from the same genre, and I cannot wait to see where else Mr. Hill takes this series because I think with a debut like this, the only way to go is up. It’s such an interesting premise; an ex-Harvard librarian uses her research skills to track down lost or missing persons. A good disappearance has always piqued my interest, so I knew right away that the mystery aspect of this was going to entice me. What I wasn’t expecting? All the murdery, twisted small-town goodness that came with it.
Little Comfort was like the perfect mix of wealthy elite drama and small-town dirty little secrets and once I got into the meat of the story it was addictive. It’s written in the third person omniscient and so we get to experience everything this book has to offer, which works so well. It flips a lot so we get to see things from Hester’s side and things from Sam and Gabe’s side, which really helps to propel the plot because we get to see Hester uncover something and then see Gabe and Sam reminisce on it. Hester was just a great protagonist to follow and I loved when her POV came up because she was so witty and smart and just so fun to interact with. Plus, I love when thrillers give us the viewpoint of the killer, it’s always so dark and interesting.
This novel is much more than what is says in the blurb, and I was always surprised and left guessing and was genuinely shocked at times. The plot was intense and interesting, the characters were dynamic, and the writing was skillful. It actually reminded me a lot of You by Caroline Kepnes in the writing and atmosphere, especially in Gabe and Sam’s POV. I really enjoyed this novel and thought it was such a great debut, which shocked me a little because thrillers this intricate can be hard to pull off. I’ll for sure be recommending this to my mystery loving friends and I cannot wait to see where Hester Thursby goes next!
Side Note: The only thing I disliked about this book had absolutely nothing to do with the actual story, I just hate books that are this size. They have the same height as a normal paperback and the width of a regular mass market and I just find them so awkward to hold. That’s just a personal issue, though. Also, the cover art for this isn’t as gripping as the actual content of the book, so it wouldn’t be something I would gravitate towards otherwise. I think it could have been just a touch better.