**5 Goodreads Stars**
“The past is always with you, whether you choose to think about it or not, whether you take responsibility for it or not. You carry the past with you because it transforms you. You can try to bury it and pretend it never happened, but that doesn’t work.”
“Because buried things can, and do, come back.”
Jennifer Hillier’s Jar of Hearts is a twisted, heart-pounding thriller that examines the life-long consequences of a crime a teenage girl, Geo, commits out of fear and misguided love.
The book is written from the perspectives of Geo and Kaiser, a young boy who was Geo’s good friend now turned cop. Geo’s best friend in high school, Angela, went missing after attending a party with Geo and Kaiser. Geo and Kaiser were always the second and third wheels to Angela, who was stunningly beautiful and the envy of her entire high school. Fingers were pointed at numerous suspects, including many of the teenagers at the party, but Angela’s case remained cold until her body surfaces 14 years later.
When Angela’s remains are found, Geo is accused and found guilty of killing and dismembering Angela. Friends, family, and coworkers are shocked at the trial’s accusations and revelations. From all appearances, Geo was a successful, compassionate, and charitable CEO of a high-profile company in Seattle. According to the court, Geo assisted her much older boyfriend, Calvin, in the horrific crime when she was 16 years old. Calvin is accused of additional murders and is painted as a serial killer involved in other gruesome murders. Geo is sent to prison where she is forced to atone for her sins. There, she is the picture of a perfect inmate (if there is such a thing).
How, one wonders, could the seemingly put-together and kind Geo also be a hardened killer who took the life of her very best friend?
The book’s timeline shifts between the past and present, giving a picture of the events leading up to Angela’s death and the motivations behind Geo, Kaiser, and Calvin. The tension builds with each turn of the page, offering clues as to what happened that fateful night Angela was killed and how someone who had been a fastidious friend could be a part of her friend’s untimely death. The book raises some difficult questions. For example, how long must one pay for a terrible crime they committed out of fear? How can someone be both a loyal friend and a killer?
If you enjoy character-driven thrillers with sensible twists and turns, Jar of Hearts is definitely for you. This was such a quick, exciting read for me, and I hope that Jennifer Hillier enjoys much success when the book is published this summer! Thank you to the author, Jennifer Hillier, the publisher, Minotaur Books, and NetGalley for an advanced reader copy of Jar of Hearts and some candy hearts to go with it 🙂 Jar of Hearts will be available for purchase on June 12, 2018!