Joe Goldberg is no stranger to hiding bodies. In the past ten years, this thirty-something has buried four of them, collateral damage in his quest for love. Now he’s heading west to Los Angeles, the city of second chances, determined to put his past behind him.
In Hollywood, Joe blends in effortlessly with the other young upstarts. He eats guac, works in a bookstore, and flirts with a journalist neighbor. But while others seem fixated on their own reflections, Joe can’t stop looking over his shoulder. The problem with hidden bodies is that they don’t always stay that way. They re-emerge, like dark thoughts, multiplying and threatening to destroy what Joe wants most: true love. And when he finds it in a darkened room in Soho House, he’s more desperate than ever to keep his secrets buried. He doesn’t want to hurt his new girlfriend—he wants to be with her forever. But if she ever finds out what he’s done, he may not have a choice...
Hardcover, 439 pages
Published February 23rd 2016 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Keep the past in the past….keep the bodies hidden! What was back then was different, and that is not now. Now there is love, blueberry stained sheets and Amy…with her prickly legs and unshaven bush.
Joe Goldberg lives in NYC. He tells his story of how he fell for Amy in her thrift store alumni sweater. She is a free spirited, earthy girl and does not care for social media. Thrifting is her thing and all this simple easiness is new to Joe. She is enticing in so many different ways. Her body is made for his. Yes, they fit so well. Making out like bunnies here and everywhere, around the clock and crazy good…he feels love. Love that becomes obsession. Obsession that is fueled with rage when he finds himself fooled by perfect little Amy.
Betrayed and alone, Joe heads across country to California on the quest to find HER among starter up actresses, movie makers, hippies and the rich! Pseudo social media accounts in hand, he hunts, stalks, calls and casts any Amy he can find. And there are so many other girls that just want to be THAT girl for Joe. But Joe becomes ruthless and frustrated. Before he happens to be remotely near Amy, people have to die!
Then he meets Love and she is as her name says, very lovely. Love drives fast cars and swims in money. Houses, vacations and the movie biz are her business, AND she is smooth all over, unlike Amy. Love’s parents care about her and her drug addicted brother who has been trying himself at Hollywood screenwriting for years. If Joe wants to or not, he is going to be his next best friend! One could say the family is ‘intact’ or perhaps oblivious to the ‘normal’ way of life. This could be Joe’s ticket for the future…if there weren’t a few more hidden bodies to lose!
What will Joe get away with this time? Will he meet Amy? Does he get away with murder?
Joe has this messed up way of thinking that adjusts to every current moment of his situations. Every action and reaction in his life is thought through and analyzed several times until he convinces himself that the things he does are for the better or justified. Like a domino game, cause and effect ripple outwards as Joe keeps justifying his actions with the idea that it is always other people’s fault. And yet, he is so close to a likable character, childlike, naive and tense.
How Caroline Kepnes could pull this off in first person narrative, I have no idea. To put oneself into the mindset of a killer that goes on with his life with these thought patterns for an entire novel must be exhausting!
This novel is fast paced and easily readable with raw and explicit language at times. While the plot took place in CA, the writing produced all the vibes I sort of envision of the area. Kepnes captured the highs and lows of society and cultural differences from East to West brilliantly under the microscope. I felt the people, heard the streets, smelled the ocean and made friends in new places.
This was very entertaining and I am off to check out her next novel. NOW!