All the Broken People,
by Leah Konen
Publication: G.P. Putnam’s Sons; June 30, 2020
A woman in search of a fresh start is about to get more than she bargained for in this twisty and addictive domestic thriller for fans of The Couple Next Door.
Fleeing Brooklyn with little more than a suitcase and her trusty dog, Lucy King heads to rustic Woodstock , New York, eager to lose herself in a quiet life where her past can never find her. But when she meets Vera and John, the alluring couple next door, their friendship proves impossible to resist. Just as Lucy starts to think the worst is behind her, the couple delivers a staggering bombshell: they, too, need to escape their troubles–and the only way they can begin their new life is if Lucy helps them fake John’s death.
Afraid to lose her newfound support system, Lucy reluctantly conspires with them to stage an “accidental” death on a hike nearby. It’s just one little lie to the police, after all, and she knows a thing or two about the importance of fresh starts. But what begins as an elaborate ruse turns all too real when John turns up dead in the woods the morning after their hike. Now, Lucy must figure out who she can trust and who’s pulling the strings of her tenuous new life . . . before she takes the fall for murder.
All the Broken People is the first suspense thriller from author Leah Konen, who usually writes young adult fiction. This novel is about a twenty-something woman named Lucy, who is relocating to Woodstock, NY for a fresh start with her little dog Dusty. All that’s really known in the beginning is that Lucy is alone and is obviously running from a very unhealthy relationship. Not long after moving into her rental cottage, she meets her neighbors Vera and John. Although initially leery of the strangers, soon Lucy finds herself eating dinner with them every evening and spending most of her time in general with the fun and artistic couple. Although she’s constantly looking over her shoulder expecting her ex (Davis) to show up, Lucy’s life seems to be carrying on pretty well until she agrees to help them fake John’s death.
Lucy is a not my favorite character that I have read about lately. In the beginning, I was rooting for her and her new start, hopeful that she could find peace after getting away from Davis and settling into her new life. Then I started to question her sanity and of course, started to realize how unreliable of a narrator she was. This book was really slow for me in the beginning, but about the time they get to the proposal of faking John’s death, things start to pick up. This is also the turning point where, moving forward, Lucy makes nothing but horrible decisions.
I applaud Konen’s character development in this novel, successfully making me both trust and doubt every character in the novel. All the Broken People is also full of endless twists and turns, completely throwing me off every time I thought I had it all figured out. The thing I love most about thrillers is thinking I know “whodunnit” and later being proved wrong, however, this happened so many times in this novel that I started getting frustrated with the whole thing. Every time I thought I had reached the ending, the author would add more. I was kind of over the entire thing by the end, but I definitely applaud the creativity and imagination that went into the resolution.
I can’t say I absolutely loved this novel, but it was a good read. Fans of thrillers that keep surprising you over and over again will enjoy this novel. What I loved most was the character development and the author’s methods of instilling doubt. What I loved least was the initial slow pace and too many far-fetched occurrences towards the end.
*Thanks to NetGalley and G.P. Putnam’s Sons for providing this review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.