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In her sensational new novel, A Friend Indeed, Elka Ray delivers a darkly atmospheric tale of lifelong friends—Dana and Jo—whose trust in each other gets tested when Dana’s husband turns up dead. A nifty nod to noir played out between two women, Ray keeps the writing acid-sharp. Dana and Jo may be grown-ups with children of their own, but their deceptions hearken back to those of the teenagers they once were. Ray—in a masterful tick, tick, tick like a metronome—exposes the secrets each woman keeps from the other. As the characters’ mutual suspicions ratchet up, they each begin to unravel. Or so it seems. A Friend Indeed—like its writer—is devilishly smart with twists that are more delicious to unwrap than a box of chocolates.

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