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This book is Desperate Housewives meets Big Little Lies. If you enjoyed either of those shows, then let’s chat about One of Us Is Dead by Jeneva Rose, because I have some thoughts.
This story centers around four women in the town of Buckhead. A place of luxury and opulence. Expensive cars, enormous houses, and friendships built on competition.
The previous queen bee of Buckhead, Shannon, is now an outcast after being unceremoniously left by her politician ex-husband Bryce. Who traded her in for a much younger woman, Shannon has her eyes set on revenge.
The woman who replaced Shannon? A woman named Crystal. A young woman from Texas with shoes that may prove just too big to fill.
We then meet Olivia. Possibly the nastiest of the group, who is more than happy to snatch the crown off Shannon’s head to make herself the unofficial queen of Buckhead. She finally feels her time has come and stops at nothing to keep her power. No matter how backstabbing, manipulative, or underhanded it may be.
Last but not least is Jenny. The owner of Glow, one of the most exclusive salons in town. Jenny knows everything about everyone.
There is also Karen, the only other woman to hold a job in the group. Karen is a top-earning estate realtor whose business has grown so big, Karen merely just shows up to close deals and collect her money.
The real question, however, is who among these women will be clever enough to survive Buckhead? And who will wind up dead? Friendships can be complex, but no one ever said they could be this deadly.
Wow. Just wow.
I really enjoyed reading this book. At first, I was nervous that the five narrators would be confusing, but these women each have such strong personalities. After a few transitions, it became clear who was narrating.
This book is also marketed as a mystery/thriller but don’t expect to be on the edge of your seat. While this story did have intrigue and a “who done it” kind of vibe sprinkled in, it is definitely not a thriller.
Despite that, I loved every juicy second of this story. From the catty-ness to the genuine moments in between.
You read that right. There are some really genuine moments in this book. Most of them are provided by Karen. The only character seemingly left out of the summary of this book on sites like Goodreads and Amazon.
I think what I loved most about this book, is how nicely everything wraps up in the end. The motivations for what the ladies do in the end makes sense.
I also did not see that twist coming. Again, it isn’t a big thriller twist. But it is a big twist nonetheless that answers the “who done it” questions earlier in the book.
This book review would fall completely flat without discussing the characters. The characters are what drive the story forward.
The women of Buckhead are complicated. But despite their complications, it is very clear what each character is after.
Shannon wants her old life back. Crystal wants to feel like she belongs. Olivia wants to hold all the power. Jenny wants to have a life outside of Glow. And Karen seemingly just wants to be happy and live a life that feels like her own.
I really enjoyed how much depth each of these characters had. Olivia may be power-hungry, but we are given reasons for that. We sympathize with Shannon and at times want to grab her shoulders and shake her back to reality.
Crystal was an underdog character in my opinion. Initially introduced as the other woman. Crystal makes it her mission to not make the same mistakes she did in Texas. Prior to meeting Bryce.
Speaking of Bryce, we can’t leave out the husbands of the group.
There is Bryce, Crystal’s husband. Dean, Olivia’s husband, and Mark, Karen’s husband.
These men play crucial roles as they are entirely the reasons why these women are able to run around Buckhead like they own the place.
(This does exclude Karen, because as I said, Karen doesn’t need a man and can hold her own financially.)
All of the characters are working on their own hidden agendas while simultaneously saving face in public. I really enjoyed this group of messy people and had fun guessing which would end up dead. (That came out more morbid than I intended. Whoops.)
I really recommend this book. Not because it is a thriller or a “who done it” kind of story. But rather because despite what it’s touted as, this book has a cast of complicated characters who do embrace each other when it matters.
Despite the vain and competitive nature of what it meant to not only live in Buckhead but to be a true part of Buckhead. There is a sense of community. And there is a group of women who will go to serious lengths to protect their little town.
If you do decide to read this story, I highly recommend listening to the audiobook version. It’s just as fun as the audiobook narration of Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid.
Overall, I rate this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.