Review: One of Us Is Dead

One of Us Is Dead by Jeneva Rose

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The wife wanted something we could listen to while doing a bunch of driving last weekend. I don’t remember how we found this particular book, but she said it sounded fun. And she was right!

The book centers around a bunch of alcoholic women who are married to rich men. (Although some of them are also entrepreneurs in their own right as well as being married to rich men) They tend to often meet up at an exclusive hair salon and the proprietor of the salon is another protagonist. Each chapter is told from the POV of one of the women and is narrated by a different voice actor. This provides a bit of meta-fun as we get to hear how each voice actor narrates the others characters who are speaking in their chapters. I may have been imagining things, but I felt that they put different inflections into the other characters’ voices depending on their relationships to one another.

The women are involved in a large relationship that I would describe as Mean Girls meets Sex in the City. In other words, there are a lot of toxic relationships going on here and yet the women are tied together by the needs of their husbands to all work together. They also work together on a committee that throws various charity balls.

I didn’t put two and two together until nearly the end of the book, but the verb tense of the book’s title is important. Jeneva Rose builds a lot of extra tension in the story because, even though there are chapters that take place after the events of the book, the reader doesn’t know until 3 or 4 chapters from the end who was killed. And so the wife and I spent each break from the narrative wondering which of the women was going to end up murdered. It’s extra tricky because each chapter is written as if the protagonist is telling their side of the story to a listener. So we end up with at least one of those POVs being Posthumous Narration. I loved this choice because everyone except one (and it’s clear from the way the book is structured) is a potential target for the dead person.

It’s trashy, but it’s a lot of fun – more fun than I expected it to be. Recommended!

potential triggers: mentions of spousal abuse, including due to inebriation.

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