Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier Book Review
The lowdown from Goodreads
Publication Date June 12, 2018
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.
But fourteen years later, Angela Wong’s remains are discovered in the woods near Geo’s childhood home. And Kaiser—now a detective with Seattle PD—finally learns the truth: Angela was a victim of Calvin James. The same Calvin James who murdered at least three other women.
To the authorities, Calvin is a serial killer. But to Geo, he’s something else entirely. Back in high school, Calvin was Geo’s first love. Turbulent and often volatile, their relationship bordered on obsession from the moment they met right up until the night Angela was killed.
For fourteen years, Geo knew what happened to Angela and told no one. For fourteen years, she carried the secret of Angela’s death until Geo was arrested and sent to prison.
While everyone thinks they finally know the truth, there are dark secrets buried deep. And what happened that fateful night is more complex and more chilling than anyone really knows. Now the obsessive past catches up with the deadly present when new bodies begin to turn up, killed in the exact same manner as Angela Wong.
How far will someone go to bury her secrets and hide her grief? How long can you get away with a lie? How long can you live with it?
Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier Book Review
Jessica: Sarah was raving about this book, telling me how she read it cover to cover in about a day. She figured if she couldn’t put it down, then I wouldn’t be able to either.
Sarah: For real. I saw this book EVERYWHERE on Instagram. When so many book-loving friends love something, I take notice. I was shopping at the mall, (big surprise, I know!) & came across Jar of Hearts at Amazon Books. As soon as I read the synopsis I bought it. Murder, serial killer, female best friends, secrets long buried, I’m sold! I read it in 2 days – late at night no less. If you’re easily creeped out, I recommend a daytime read for this one.
Jessica: When Sarah came to visit, she brought me a hardcover copy. I don’t know about anyone else, but I do a fair amount of reading in the tub and, while it is relaxing, it is a dangerous game. Five chapters in, I didn’t simply drop the book in the tub, it fell in while the water was running. I came back in the bathroom to find it swirling in the water! I was so into the book, I had to immediately download it. I did not have time to go get another copy!
Jessica: For me, this book was all about secrets. Secrets we keep from others, and those we try to keep from ourselves. In this book, all of the secrets eventually come to the surface, and the biggest lesson is that you cannot hide from your past. Geo spent her entire adult life trying to leave her old relationships and death behind, but it caught up with her. I don’t know how anyone could live with what she was hiding.
Sarah: There are SO many secrets in this book. In an instant, everything comes to a head for Geo. I mean, she knows how her best friend died & she said NOTHING! This tells readers what kind of person Geo is. I worked to understand her motives & wanted to know her story.
Jessica: Sarah did not prepare me for some of the goings on of this book. There was definitely a lot more violence than I anticipated – nothing I couldn’t handle, but be prepared.
Sarah: Jar of Hearts is what I imagine an adult Fear Street novel to be. It’s got mystery, vivid sex scenes, murder & some crazy ass characters. This book hit me at the right time. While I’m not always down to read about prison sex & serial killer first boyfriends, I can handle it if I’m in the right mind frame. I will say, I picked some lighter fare for my next read.
Sarah: I am Really Into This book! I can’t shut up about it. For me, it had enough of a horror element to stand out amongst my usual mystery/suspense fare. Jar of Hearts is creepy, dark, intense & memorable. I’m looking forward to reading more of Jennifer Hillier’s work.
Jessica: I agree, I am Really Into This book as well. It was gripping, full of suspense and drama, and I never quite felt like I had a handle on what the real truth was. I enjoyed the way the story unfolded, where little by little the reader realized the full picture. It is definitely what made Sarah and I each finish it in a matter of days!
Let’s connect with books! We have all of our reviews on Goodreads!
Really Into This a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Hi there, I’m Jennifer Hillier. I write about dark, twisted people who do dark, twisted things. My newest psychological thriller, Jar of Hearts, is now available from Minotaur Books. I’m also the author of Creep, Freak, The Butcher, and Wonderland, which were published by Gallery Books and are available now.
I was in born in Toronto, but I spent eight years in the Seattle area, which is where all my novels are set. I’m a Seahawks fan but I married a Packers guy. We have a young son who looks most like me when he’s crying. My favorite author is Stephen King (but whose isn’t?). I’m afraid of the dark and can’t sleep unless I’ve checked the locks on the doors several times. I love writing when it’s raining, sleeping when it’s sunny, and reading after everyone else has gone to bed. I cherish my family (those who read, and those who don’t), and my friends (those who write, and those who don’t).
I’m a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and Crime Writers of Canada. I’m also a regular columnist at The Thrill Begins, where I talk a lot about my writing journey and dispense advice you may or may not find helpful.