Book Review / Nora Murphy / Reviews with Spoilers

Nora Murphy | The Favor

The Book: 

The Favor by Nora Murphy
Published May 31st 2022 by Minotaur Books
Date read: June 15, 2021

The Characters: 

Leah and her husband Liam

McKenna and her husband Zachary

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Buy it on | Amazon

The Plot (from Goodreads):

Staying is dangerous. Leaving could be worse.

Leah and McKenna have never met, though they have parallel lives.

They don’t—ever—find themselves in the same train carriage or meet accidentally at the gym or the coffee shop. They don’t—ever—discuss their problems and find common ground. They don’t—ever—acknowledge to each other that although their lives have all the trappings of success, wealth and happiness, they are, in fact, trapped.

Because Leah understands that what’s inside a home can be more dangerous than what’s outside. Driving past McKenna’s house one night, she sees what she knows only too well herself from her own marriage: McKenna’s “perfect” husband is not what he seems. She decides to keep an eye out for McKenna, until one night, she intervenes.

Leah and McKenna have never met. But they will.

Click here for book spoilers for The Favor
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read The Favor, I suggest you turn back now.

The Twist:

Leah killed Zachary, so McKenna killed Liam. A favor for a favor.

The Ending:

That’s pretty much it. They were both better off after their husbands died. The detective wasn’t able to pin it on either one of them.

The Review: 

Thank you to Minotaur Books for this complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review, and to Macmillan Audio for the ALC.

TW: Spousal abuse

Before we get started, I’m confused about the blurb, because the whole story starts when Leah and McKenna DO find themselves in the same shop! They don’t talk, but still, the first line of the blurb is false.

I really enjoyed this quick, engaging thriller. Leah and McKenna were both interesting characters. Both were well-educated, successful professionals until their husbands took that away from them. Fortunately, I’ve never been in their position, but the author did a great job of making them relatable and making their actions seem somewhat understandable to the reader.

I’m a big fan of obsession/stalker novels. In the vein of The Woman In The Window, an alcoholic woman is obsessed with saving another woman she believes is being abused. Unique to this story, though, is the fact that Leah finds herself in the exact same position as McKenna.

I don’t want to spoil anything, so I don’t want to give my specific thoughts on the ending–but if you’ve read it, expand the link below for my thoughts on how things turned out. 

Overall, I was pleased with this debut novel, and will be watching out for more from this author in the future. It won’t be for everyone, given the theme of domestic abuse, but if you can handle a difficult theme then it is worth the read.

Click here for spoilers
Nothing really surprising happened–I could guess the whole thing just from the blurb. I was glad that these women were better off, but the ending felt a little unfinished to me. This is probably because no one was found responsible for the murders. I didn’t want either woman to get caught and understand why they couldn’t have met, but I did want a little more resolution.

Audio Review: I loved these narrators: Dylan Moore, Leon Nixon, and Sarah Mollo-Christensen. McKenna’s narrator was my favorite–her voice was so pleasant! As always, this audio production from Macmillan Audio was top-notch. Audiobooks do such an amazing job of drawing me into the story and keeping me engaged.

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