Greenwich Park by Katherine Faulkner

Helen and her husband Daniel have been trying to get pregnant for years. Although able to conceive, Helen has been unable to take a child to full-term. So, when Helen becomes pregnant again, there is a cautious optimism. Then she and Daniel find out her brother Rory and his wife, Helen’s best friend Serena are expecting as well. What could be better for this foursome who have been friends since college and with Daniel and Rory who are working together in the architecture business, which was Helen and Rory’s father’s.

Although the other three have vibrant personalities, Helen is a timid wallflower who blends in with the background, is unable to stick up for herself and always feels when something goes wrong it is because of her. She has a difficult time making friends thus her limited circle.

With the pregnancy going so well and being told due to her history, she should begin her maternity leave early, she and Daniel decide to take the prenatal classes that have been suggested. Unfortunately, Daniel cannot attend the first class and Helen is stuck there alone. There she meets a young woman, alone as well, with a very boisterous personality who seems to be drawn to her. She agrees to go out with her after the class and proceeds to watch as the young girl drinks and smokes even though she is pregnant. Although not Helen’s cup of tea, Rachel seems to pop up at different places she is at. Helen, feeling bad for Rachel who seems to not have any friends and with Helen having so much time on her hands tries her best to be there for her, although she feels something is very off with the young girl.

Suddenly her husband seems to be withdrawing. She believes it is because of the work they are doing on the house Helen inherited from her parents and the stress of Daniel working with her brother Rory who has never been very motivated. As Helen sees more of her new friend, the uneasiness of their relationship continues. Rachel doesn’t have a job, yet she has a lot of money. She refuses to talk about the father of her unborn baby and seems to continue to drink and smoke without guilt She seems to want to meet all of Helen’s family and friends and even invites herself to a family get together.

But their relationship takes a bad turn when Rachel turns up at their door one day with bruises on her neck and says she fears for her life. From whom, she will not say, but begs Helen and Daniel to let her stay with them. Reluctantly Daniel agrees. As Rachel’s time with them seems to drag on, Helen begins to think Rachel is at their house for another reason. But what?

While all this is going on, Helen is just trying to maintain a sense of calm as she has never been this close to having a healthy baby. Daniel wants Rachel gone, and when Helen begins snooping in Rachel’s room, she discovers items which should not be there. How can she tell this young girl she needs to go?

Helen and Daniel have a last hurrah party before their baby is born. As the party seems to get out of control that night Helen has an argument and kicks Rachel out of her house. Unable to remember much about the night itself, when the police show up informing them that Rachel has been reported missing, Helen’s life begins to fall apart. What happened that night? Did she hurt Rachel? Where is Rachel?

What is discovered will blow the reader’s mind! How this tight group of friends for so many years could have harbored so many hidden secrets from each other is beyond belief. Then as the skeletons begin to be exposed the reader will be in awe up to and including the last sentence of the book!

This book is mesmerizingly exciting and would make an incredible beach read!

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