This is the beginning of a new series I’ll be doing on the blog. Warning, don’t read these posts if you either haven’t already read the book, you’re planning on reading the book, or you don’t like spoilers. You’ve been warned lol. So, in this series I will be giving my commentary on whatever book I’m currently reading.
“A Simple Favor” by Darcy Bell
This book is about a disgusting heifer, a plotting and low key evil woman, a silly husband, a blog, and a little fraud.
Alright. Let’s jump in. Happy reading!
So, we have Stephanie and Emily. Best friends forever. They know everything about each other. Or so Stephanie thought. For us, the reader, this whole story starts off with a seemingly simple favor. Emily asks Stephanie to pick her kid up from school because she has to work late. Stephanie easily and quickly obliged. I mean, wouldn’t you? It’s your best friend asking! So a day or so goes by and Stephanie is now concerned. Her best friend hasn’t shown up to pick up her son and that’s not like Emily to do such a thing. Stephanie calls Emily’s husband, Sean, who happens to be out of the country for work who says eh, she’s traveling for work she’ll be gone a couple days. I could almost hear the sigh of relief. Cool. No worries. Psh! Fast forward a couple days and Sean returns home to realize his wife hasn’t come home. He rushes to his son, Nicky, who has been with Stephanie and he calls the police. Two detectives show up and they don’t really seem that concerned. Eh. Maybe she just needed a break. Moms need breaks 🤷🏽♀️ Sean is worried. Stephanie is pissed. SHE KNOWS HER BEST FRIEND WOULDN’T JUST RUN OFF!!! Who does that?!!?!?
So, I’ve already said the book is about a disgusting heifer. Let’s talk about it. That disgusting heifer is Stephanie. Once her best friend goes missing, she starts blogging about it. Idk y’all. If my besties went missing, I don’t think I’d use it for content. Maybe one post? Maybe one “someone help me find her” plea? I mean this is the age of social media and her posts do start this way but she always manages to remember to talk about herself. It’s slightly strange. As she sits contemplating what she’s going to post so starts to reveal things about herself that make me side eye her. Like, finding out she willingly chose to sleep with her half brother the day she found out he existed. And it continued for forever. Girlllllllllllllll. Cringe curtain (as my God daughter would say 😂) she tells us, the book reader not the blog reader, to show that everyone has secrets. This is just the beginning of her disgustingness.
Sean has started spending a lot of time with Stephanie. She’s been so supportive of him and so helpful with his son. She’s the picture perfect best friend. She’s making sure her besties family is okay during this difficult time. Sounds innocent enough. She’s still making blog posts about the situation and she’s still trying to figure out what’s going on. Some time later, they get the news that Emily’s body has been found and DNA confirms that it’s her. The best friend is…dead. The autopsy shows severe liver damage from alcohol and drug abuse. It points to past and present substance abuse problems. Stephanie and Sean are in disbelief. Emily had a period of time in her 20s when she experimented with drugs and alcohol but not today! Why is there signs of current abuse?!? Sean and his son hold a small service and sprinkle her ashes about. Where’s Stephanie you ask? She’s stayed home. Know why? Because it was inappropriate to go and be present when she may be in love with her now dead best friends husband. *please hold as I go gag* Sis…what?!?! In love?? With her husband?? Ma’am. Nope. No! Noooo!!! Disgustingness continues!!!!!!
At this point, Stephanie hasn’t blogged in a while. She’s been so wrapped up in what’s going on in her personal life that she took a step away from her mommy blog. Totally understandable. She returns to blogging to clear up so things that the news had reported. Sean had became a person of interest in the investigation into the death of his wife, Emily. Why? Because, it was found out that there was a $2M life insurance policy payable to him. Oooooo y’all. Did he kill his wife for the insurance money???? Of course not, remember he was out of the country when all of this happened. Stephanie took to her blog to scream his innocence. What she left out of the blog post was that she was sleeping with him!!!!!!!! Couldn’t let her blog readers know that now could she?!
So, remember I told y’all Stephanie had this habit of revealing things about herself under the guise of telling us about Emily? Stephanie tells us the story of how her husband and half brother died. The way she tells the story on her blog it’s tragic and makes you feel for her. She speaks of a friendly disagreement between them in reference to the model of a car that leads to a bet. The bet is if I’m right you’re buying dinner, if you’re right I’ll buy, & if we’re both wrong we’ll split it. Husband was wrong. Half brother was right. They high five, hop in the car headed to the meat market, & then die in a car accident. Awful. Here’s the real story. They HATED each other. They did from the minute they met. They argued all of the time!!!! I’m pretty sure that her husband figured out that the siblings were more than just siblings but also lovers! The day they died they argued. They argued bad and Stephanie suggested that as a way to cool down why don’t they go for a ride. They did. They got into a car accident and died. After Stephanie is notified she speaks of finding a letter that says “I’m tired of the lies” taped to her bathroom mirror along with a picture of her and her half brother ripped in half. I’m 100% sure her husband killed himself and took her brother with him. The ultimate middle finger. She’s so gross.
Ok. Back to Emily. Guess what? SHES NOT DEAD. But honeyyy she’s pissed!! Wouldn’t you be? Your “best friend” is shacking up with your husband!! Heifer. This is when we find out exactly what the hell has been going on. Emily had an insatiable need to be challenged and to take risks. She got the idea to fake her own death, collect the insurance money, & leave the country with her son and husband. She made all the plans. She put everything into motion. We found out that Emily is full of secrets. More on that later. So, remember I said that to us this starts with a simple favor? Well, for Emily this plan started with picking out the perfect character witness. She couldn’t stand Stephanie but, she was the perfect unassuming pawn to help move her plan along. She met her at her son’s school and it just so happened that their kids were best friends. Stephanie had no friends and Emily picked up on that. They became besties. Stephanie told Emily all of her secrets and listened to Emily when she complained about work or her husband. Stephanie was chosen because when the plan unfolded she would be there while Emily was away making sure her son was okay. She just didn’t count on her sleeping with her husband 🤷🏽♀️
By this time, Sean has asked Stephanie to fully move into his (and Emily’s) house and they’re pretty much a couple. Emily has been watching. Emily has gone to the school where their sons go and has made sure to be seen by both boys who reports this back to Stephanie. Then one day, Emily calls the house and speaks to Stephanie. She is freaked out y’all!!!!!!!! Stephanie starts looking around the house trying to find more clues to piece together who this woman really is that she’s been calling her best friend. She finds mail from her mother who has dementia and decides to go pay her a visit. At this visit, Stephanie learns that Emily has a twin. A twin that had a really really bad substance abuse problem. Remember that autopsy from earlier y’all?? Well come back to it.
Emily is so calculating. But there were parts of her plan that she couldn’t figure out. Until her junkie twin sister called and said I want to know I’m going to our childhood cabin and I’m going to kill myself. Emily says no please wait for me! This is the morning that she calls Stephanie and asks for that simple favor then she gets on a plane to go to her sister. Once she gets to her sister she realizes that if her sister was to die…it would actually be beneficial to the plan. She quickly see how crazy this sounds and talks her sister out of it. Well, in the process she tells her sister about her and Seans plan for insurance fraud. They drink and pop a couple pills and her sister drinks even more and pops more pills. Her sister, Evelyn, doesn’t even realize that Emily is pouring her twice the amount of liquor she’s pouring herself or that Emily isn’t taking her pills. Evelyn says I’m tired so I’m going to go for a swim and the cold water will wake me up. Emily knows that’s not what’s getting ready to happen so she takes her ring off and gives it to her sister and says ok I’ll see you soon. The sister dies. Her body eventually washes up on the shore and it is reported that Emily is dead and the ring (which use to belong to Seans mom) is returned to Sean.
Emily confronts Sean. They meet for dinner and she explains the rest of the plan. The morning she left to go see her sister she told him it was go time. He was to head to London to create his alibi. She told him no matter what you read I am not dead. Do not trust any reports you may read. I’m not dead. He had one job!!! DONT TRUST THE REPORT. Nowhere in that job description did it say “go sleep with my best friend”. Emily is pissed and tells Sean he will pay for what he did to her. She went through all of this for their family and he didn’t even care. She gets up and leaves him at the table. He sits there looking dumb.
So an insurance investigator visits Sean and Stephanie to tell them he doesn’t believe that Emily is dead. He reveals that she had a twin. Stephanie knows this already. Sean doesn’t. They both know she isn’t dead cuz she’s reached out to both but they don’t know that. They can’t trust each other. Things have gotten cold between them. Stephanie moves out of the house.
One day Emily calls Stephanie playing the best friend card and telling her she really needs her help. Because Stephanie is scared of Emily since she knows all of her secrets (like how her sons dad is really her brother not her late husband) and because she’s an idiot who needs a friend she agrees to speak with her. Emily tells Stephanie this whole thing was Sean’s fault because he had been whooping her ass and threatened to keep their son away from her if she didn’t go though with the plan of insurance fraud. Stephanie eats this all up! Emily asks Stephanie to come to her and bring Seans hair brush and that ring.
So, the investigators had been following Emily and once confronted she agreed to a meeting with him to tell him everything. Poor guy. She ends up killing him and uses Stephanie to help dispose of the body AND plant Seans hair at the crime scene you know, just in case. What she doesn’t realize is her ring falls off in the car during the body disposal.
Emily and Stephanie end up confronting Sean. Sean is like wth!? Stephanie writes a blog about how the mystery is solved and her bestie is back. Sean moves outta the house and asks his job for help where they show him the blog. He explains everything and his boss believes him. Sean is a British citizen so to help him the boss assigns him to work in Ireland cuz who’s gnna send him back to the states??
Fast forward some time.
Detectives show up at the house and tell Emily they found the body of the inspector along with the hair and her ring. She then throws Stephanie under the bus!!!!! These are the same detectives that met with Sean the grieving/worries husband and Stephanie the panicked best friend at the beginning of the book. Emily goes do you know that he gave that ring to Stephanie and they intended to get married? You can read about them on her blog and then gives them her address and phone number. The book ends with her getting passports for her and her son just in case they need it. She’s like if the detectives had any sense they would’ve walked in here and arrested me on suspicion but since they didn’t I think my son and I may be making a couple trips. The end.
Alright so, here’s my thoughts on the book. It was a hard read. There were parts of the story that seemed to drag on and on. There were parts of the story that just weren’t needed. This book reminded me of a knock off of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. If you have nothing better to do go ahead and read the book. If you have something better to do, wait on the movie (starring Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick) while you’re reading Gone Girl.
Until next time,