No Bad Deed: A Novel,
by Heather Chavez
Publication: William Morrow; February 18, 2020
About the book:
Driving home one rainy night, Cassie Larkin sees a man and woman fighting on the side of the road. After calling 911, the veterinarian makes a split-second decision that will throw her sedate suburban life into chaos. Against all reason and advice, she gets out of her minivan and chases after the violent man, trying to help his victim. When Cassie physically tries to stop him, he suddenly turns on her and spits out an ominous threat: “Let her die, and I’ll let you live.”
A veterinarian trained to heal, Cassie can’t let the woman die. But while she’s examining the unconscious victim, the attacker steals her car. Now he has her name. Her address. And he knows about her children. Though they warn her to be careful, the police assure her that the perpetrator—a criminal named Carver Sweet—won’t get near her. Cassie isn’t so sure.
The next day—Halloween—her husband disappears while trick-or-treating with their six-year-old daughter. Are these disturbing events a coincidence or the beginning of a horrifying nightmare? Her husband has been growing distant—is it possible he’s become involved with another woman? Is Cassie’s confrontation with the road-side attacker connected to her husband’s disappearance? With all these questions swirling in her mind Cassie can trust no one, maybe not even herself. The only thing she knows for sure is that she can’t sit back while the people she loves are in danger.
As she desperately searches for answers, Cassie discovers that nothing is as random as it seems and that she is more than willing to fight—to go the most terrifying extremes—to save her family and her marriage.
I have been on a pretty good streak lately reading things I’ve liked a lot and even loved. Today was no different as I dug into Heather Chavez’ debut thriller, No Bad Deed. The best way to describe it is an amazingly fun and addictive roller coaster ride!
I don’t want to just repeat the blurb, so the basic premise is one night Cassie stops on the side of the road to help a woman that is being attacked. Her attacker is not happy about Cassie’s interference and threatens her. Even worse, he steals her car with her purse, keys, personal info, etc. Then the next day her husband Sam disappears while trick-or-treating with their six-year-old daughter, Audrey.
Did I mention that Cassie and Sam’s relationship had been quite strained for a while due to her long hours working as a veterinarian??
Strange things start happening all over the place after Sam goes missing. Audrey is telling Cassie all sorts of weird things that are being said, it looks like people are trying to cause a ton of trouble for their fifteen-year-old son, Leo, Cassie can’t figure out if Sam left her voluntarily, and the detective assigned to all of this seems very odd most of the time.
One aspect that l loved about this novel is that I truly had no idea who could be trusted throughout the entire novel. Hidden agendas, guilt, and dishonesty were suggested and hinted at with almost every single character (except the 6-year-old). I love not knowing who the good guy is and who the bad guy is! There were times I felt like Cassie had completely lost all sense of reason. There were several times that I doubted her friends. Then, she suddenly decides to call her father, Red, whom she hasn’t spoken to in six years and I started to wonder about him.
Honestly, there were times that this book was exhausting, but only because my brain was on fire trying to figure out what in the hell was happening. I am so happy that I decided to give this one a try and even happier that I discovered a new and very talented author. My only criticism (and it’s very small), is that the last 20% of the novel didn’t seem as tight and well-written as the majority of the book, and some things were a bit too far-fetched. I will admit to some eye rolls from time to time and the occasional, “seriously???” Nevertheless, I highly recommend this to thriller fans! It’s fast-paced, original, and will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat.
*Thanks to NetGalley and William Morrow for providing this review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.