Book Review: Jar of Hearts

JAR OF HEARTS | Jennifer Hillier
06.12.2018 | Minotaur Books
Rating: 5/5 stars


This is the story of three best friends from high school and how the events of one night have shaped their lives. One was murdered, one went to prison, and one became a cop who is determined to find the truth. Angela Wong was the head cheerleader, the girl everyone worshipped, the girl everyone wanted to be. One night she disappeared after last being spotted at a party. Georgina Shaw was inseparable from Angela until she started dating Calvin James. Their friendship was on the mend just as Angela disappeared. Geo fought through the loss and went on to become a highly successful executive at a pharmaceutical company. No one ever suspected she was involved with Angela’s disappearance, especially not their closest friend, Kaiser Brody.

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.

Fourteen years have passed and Kaiser has finally unearthed the truth about what happened to Angela. She was murdered, dismembered, and buried in the woods near Geo’s house. She was a victim of Calvin James, now a notorious serial killer known as the Sweetbay Strangler. Things get worse as Geo is charged in connection with the murder of Angela. Thanks to a plea deal she manages to end up with a reduced sentence of five years in prison. The truth about what happened to Angela Wong is finally out, right? Something is still lurking in the shadows of this case. How far will Geo go to keep the truth hidden?

Everyone has a single defining moment in life, something that thrusts them irrevocably into a new direction, something that affects them at their core, something that changes them forever.

Jennifer Hillier just killed it in the thriller genre with JAR OF HEARTS! I can’t remember the last time I’ve been this glued to the pages of a book, eagerly anticipating the next reveal that will blow my mind. There were a few times I managed to guess parts of what would happen or bits of what happened on the fateful night in question, but that didn’t stop me from loving the way Hillier revealed the facts. I actually enjoy being able to guess parts in books I read when they aren’t predictable, just as much as I like being surprised. Hillier has a magnificent way of building a story in layers. What I mean by that is every time I thought I knew everything that happened the night Angela disappeared, Hillier told me there was more. The past was woven through the present as flashbacks in a way that flowed with the narrative and what was happening in the present day. I want to keep details of the story as vague as possible because part of what makes this book so great is the experience of learning more about Angela, Geo, Kaiser, and Calvin on your own. This is my first book by Jennifer Hillier and the minute I shut this one I hopped on Amazon and loaded my cart with more of her work. With short, heart-pulsing chapters, that leave you wanting more, JAR OF HEARTS is the perfect read for thriller fans! Be prepared to stay up late with this one bookworms!

A special thank you to Minotaur Books and St. Martin’s Press who sent me a free copy to review.

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