Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier ~ A Dark, Twisty Tale #PsychologicalThriller #AudiobookReview @JenniferHillier

Author: Jennifer Hillier

Performed by January LaVoy

Released on Audible: June 2018 by Macmillan Audio

Category: Psychological, Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Audiobook, Review


This is the story of three best friends: one who was murdered, one who went to prison, and one who’s been searching for the truth all these years . . .

When she was sixteen years old, Angela Wong—one of the most popular girls in school—disappeared without a trace. Nobody ever suspected that her best friend, Georgina Shaw, now an executive and rising star at her Seattle pharmaceutical company, was involved in any way. Certainly not Kaiser Brody, who was close with both girls back in high school.

Fourteen years ago the community of Sweetbay was rocked when sixteen year old Angela Wong went missing, never to be seen again. Now all these years later her remains have been discovered near her best friend, Georgina (Geo) Shaw’s childhood home where Geo’s father still lives. Geo and Angela, along with Kaiser Brody, now a Detective with the Seattle PD, were as close as friends could be in high school. Until Calvin James came on the scene. His presence changed, not only the dynamics of the trio but also their lives. What Geo carries with her from then on will affect her for years to come with devastating consequences.

Calvin, also known as the Sweetbay Strangler, is on trial for Angela’s murder as well as the murder of three other women. Geo is giving evidence because she  was complicit in disposing of Angela’s body. She will begin a five year prison sentence as Calvin gets life.

Her fiancé doesn’t know what she’s done. He’ll soon find out. Geo looks down at her hands, folded neatly in her lap. Her diamond engagement ring, a three-carat oval with an additional carat of smaller diamonds encircling the centre stone, is still on her finger. For now.

The story is told in several parts, past and present, the first covering Geo’s time in Hazelwood Correctional Facility. The descriptions of life behind bars is probably very near the truth, if not totally, and it was chilling. The repercussions of her relationship with Calvin are still reverberating through her life, as she finds out just as her sentence is over and she is released. Once a successful business woman with a lifestyle to match, she is now unwelcome in her old neighbourhood.

It’s a dark story with layer upon layer waiting to be peeled back. The characters are well defined and most definitely flawed, showing how one decision taken can cause such a deep impact on so many people. I couldn’t make up my mind about Geo, why she let things go as far as she did. But then she was only 16 and in a situation that I can even imagine, as well as being manipulated by someone she thought she loved. Even so, some things do stretch belief. There are several unexpected twists which kept me guessing.

A Jar of Hearts is well written and detailed, all about secrets, lies, friendship and evil. It’s only just before the final reveal that things start falling into place and you realise the clues were there…

Great narration by January LaVoy.

Book links~ Amazon UK | Book Depository | Waterstones | Hive 

About the Author

Jennifer Hillier writes about dark, twisted people who do dark, twisted things. Born and raised in Toronto and a proud Canadian, she spent eight years in the Seattle area, which is where all her books are set.
She loves her son, her husband, the Seahawks, and Stephen King. Not equally, but close. She’s the author of six novels, including JAR OF HEARTS, which won the Thriller Award, and was shortlisted for the Anthony and Macavity Awards.
Her newest psychological thriller, LITTLE SECRETS, was published on April 21, 2020 from Minotaur Books.

Author links ~ Website | Facebook | Twitter

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