Title: Just Between Us
Author: Rebecca Drake
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date: January 9, 2018
Genres: Mystery, Psychological Suspense
Alison, Julie, Sarah, Heather. Four friends living the suburban
ideal. Their jobs are steady, their kids are healthy. They’re as
beautiful as their houses. But each of them has a dirty little
secret, and hidden behind the veneer of their perfect lives is a
crime and a mystery that will consume them all.
Everything starts to unravel when Alison spots a nasty bruise on
Heather’s wrist. She shares her suspicions with Julie and Sarah,
compelling all three to investigate what looks like an increasingly
violent marriage. As mysterious injuries and erratic behavior
mount, Heather can no longer deny the abuse, but she refuses to leave
her husband. Desperate to save her, Alison and the others dread the
phone call telling them that she’s been killed. But when that call finally
comes, it’s not Heather who’s dead. In a moment they’ll come to regret,
the women must decide what lengths they’ll go to in order to help a friend.
Just Between Us is a thrilling glimpse into the underbelly of suburbia,
where not all neighbors can be trusted, and even the closest friends
keep dangerous secrets. You never really know what goes
on in another person’s mind, or in their marriage.
A Few Words from the Author
The Power of Language or Things Aren’t Always What They Seem
When I was 13 years old, and living in Indiana, I took over a friend’s paper route. I’d done a lot of babysitting, but this was my first “real” job. In those days, carriers for the Bloomington Herald Telephone collected the paper’s fee directly, carrying a book that had each customer’s name and address along with tear-off receipts. The daily paper cost a grand total of $4.30 a month. Laura, the girl whose route I’d taken over, had written notes next to the name of every customer. Most of them were innocuous comments about where customers liked their papers to be placed, but sometimes they carried warnings about mean dogs or their owners, and in one case she’d written next to a man’s name: “Exhibitionist!”
That customer was an old man who always seemed to be home when I delivered his paper, inviting me inside to see his “collections” with a seemingly friendly smile. I would always politely decline, hustling away from his house as fast as I could. But he was persistent, repeatedly inviting me in. Sometimes I’d catch a glimpse of his wife and I was aghast that he’d try this with her no more than a few feet away. She seemed perfectly harmless, but her husband was a creepy old man and I wasn’t about to become his latest victim.
However, it had been drilled into me by my mother to be polite and respectful to adults, and by the paper company that the customer was always right, and so the day finally came when I could no longer refuse the old man’s offer. I was frightened as I stepped over the threshold, but I could see his wife puttering about in the kitchen at the back of the house and I figured I could scream or outrun him if he tried anything. The old man was thrilled I was there, showing me a button collection displayed on his walls, but then he said I had to see the “surprise” in his basement. I tried to say no, insisting that I had to leave, but he was adamant, blocking my exit and shooing me toward his basement door.
I wrapped a spare newspaper tightly in my hands as we descended the dark stairs, filled with the delusion of the desperate that I’d whack him with this “weapon” when he attacked me. I could see nothing as we reached the bottom; the basement was completely black and I was terrified. I heard fumbling behind me, and I wheeled around, paper raised, just as the entire basement suddenly lit up. There, spread out across multiple display tables, was an enormous model train village. The old man waved his hand proudly at it as he excitedly told me about plans to show off this labor of love at his next “exhibition.”
That’s when I learned the power and importance of language.
About the Author
Rebecca Drake is the author of the novels Don’t Be Afraid, The Next Killing, The Dead Place, which was an IMBA bestseller, and Only Ever You, as well as the short story “Loaded,” which was featured in Pittsburgh Noir. A graduate of Penn State University and former journalist, she is currently an instructor in Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction M.F.A. program. Rebecca lives in Pittsburgh, PA, with her husband and two children.
Photo credit Joseph Mertz
“A twisty, domestic thriller […] tense, bombshell-laden,
and action-packed.” — Publisher’s Weekly
“Female friendships flourish, then falter, under the weight of
chance events underlaid by secrecy and deceit […] Drake
shows a sure hand in spinning suburban thrillers.” —Booklist
“Fans of Liane Moriarty and B.A. Paris are going to love this twisty,
diabolical suburban thriller. Clear your evening, you won’t be able to put
it down.” — J.T. Ellison, New York Times bestselling author of Lie to Me