Best Friends Forever by Margot Hunt
ISBN: 9780778331131 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9781488027970 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781488203947 (audiobook)
ASIN: B06Y5RLJN9 (Kindle edition)
Release Date: January 23, 2018
How well do you really know your best friend?
Kat Grant and Alice Campbell have a friendship forged in shared confidences and long lunches lubricated by expensive wine. Though they’re very different women—the artsy socialite and the struggling suburbanite—they’re each other’s rocks. But even rocks crumble under pressure. Like when Kat’s financier husband, Howard, plunges to his death from the second-floor balcony of their South Florida mansion.
Howard was a jerk, a drunk, a bully and, police say, a murder victim. The questions begin piling up. Like why Kat has suddenly gone dark: no calls, no texts and no chance her wealthy family will let Alice see her. Why investigators are looking so hard in Alice’s direction. Who stands to get hurt next. And who is the cool liar—the masterful manipulator behind it all.
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“It’s probably one of the neighbors,” I said. “Maybe someone has a dead car battery and needs a jump.”
Todd nodded and went off to answer the door just as the toast popped up. Whoever was at the house, they were arriving just as breakfast was ready. I checked the toast and decided to drop it down for further browning.
I heard the low murmur of Todd as he spoke, but I didn’t recognize the voices that responded. One male, one female, I thought. I couldn’t hear what Todd said in reply, but something about his tone sounded off. The smell of burning bread filled my nose. I popped the toast up. It was now charred black. I swore softly, feeling another flash of irritation at the interruption to our morning routine.
“Are you okay, Mom?” Bridget asked, appearing in the kitchen.
“Gross,” Bridget said. “Burned?” “Burned,” I confirmed.
“I’m not eating that,” Bridget said, pointing an accusatory finger.
“No one’s asking you to.” I plucked the bread out of the toaster and tossed it in the garbage can. “I’ll make some more.”
“Who are those people Daddy’s talking to?” “I’m not sure,” I said. “Why?”
“He looks worried,” Bridget said.
I inserted a few fresh slices of bread into the toaster and put a lid on the pan of eggs to keep them warm.
“I’ll find out what’s going on,” I said. “Are your hands clean? No? Go wash them. Breakfast is almost ready.”
I passed through the open-plan living room with its well-worn brown leather sofas and floral wool rug, all overdue for replacement, out to the front hall. Todd was standing slightly to one side of the open door, so I had a clear view of the man and woman on our front step. Both were dressed in suits that looked too warm for a sunny April Florida morning. The automatic sprinklers switched on then and began spraying water across the browning lawn with rat-a-tat-tat efficiency.
“Who is it?” I asked.
Todd turned to me. Bridget was right, he did look worried. “They’re police officers,” he said. “Detectives…” Todd’s voice trailed off as he turned back to look at our visitors.
“Sorry, I’ve forgotten your names.”
“I’m Detective Alex Demer.” The detective was tall and bulky and had dark, pockmarked skin and a closely cropped beard. “And this is Sergeant Sofia Oliver.”
“I’m Alice Campbell,” I replied. Neither of them offered a hand to shake, so I followed their lead.
Oliver was the younger of the two. She was petite and fine-boned, and her auburn hair was cut short in a pixie style. Her lips rounded down, and her eyes were flinty. My best friend, Kat, would call it a “resting bitch face.” In Oliver’s case, it was an accurate description.
“Th-they want to talk to you about Howard Grant,” Todd stammered.
Howard Grant. Kat’s husband. Or, to be more accurate, her late husband. Howard had died three days earlier. The shock of his death still hit me anew every time I thought of it.
“Oh, right. Of course. You’re with the Jupiter Island Police?” I guessed. Kat and Howard lived—or in Howard’s case, had lived—on tony Jupiter Island. While their home was close geographically to where we lived, in the Town of Jupiter, the island was its own separate and quite exclusive municipality. “The Jupiter Island Public Safety Department,” Sergeant Oliver corrected me, her tone needlessly officious.
“Actually, Sergeant Oliver is with the Jupiter Island Public Safety Department,” Detective Demer said. “I’m with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement based in Tallahassee. I’ve been temporarily assigned to look into Howard Grant’s death.”
“I thought Howard’s death was an accident,” I said. Detective Demer gazed down at me, his expression inscrutable. “That’s what we’re looking into. And that’s why we need to speak with you.”
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