A Book Spy Review: ‘This Is Not Over” By Holly Brown

51xpupn-eal-_sx330_bo1204203200_When two women square off over a silly disagreement, things take a life-shattering turn in Holly Brown’s latest psychological thriller, This Is Not Over.

Dawn Thiebold lives a very simple life. To escape her mundane, low-key lifestyle, she and her husband take vacations and pretend to be like the people whose homes they are renting. They act like money is no object, forget about all their worries and stress, and relax.

Dawn and her husband opt to spend their latest getaway weekend in a rental house owned by Miranda, a doctor’s wife, who uses the house to make additional money on the side, which she sends to her drug addict son. However, Miranda’s scheme of ripping people off doesn’t work against Dawn, who is furious when she receives an email stating that she won’t receive $200 of her deposit back because the bed sheets had a stain on them. 

Offended at the insinuation of her being unclean and mad about the loss of two hundred bucks, Dawn lashes out with a terrible review on the website she used to book Miranda’s rental house. And just like that, a fuse was lit, and both women wage war against each other.

What follows is a look into each woman’s past, present, and mindset. Obviously, both feel they’re in the right, and refuse to let the dispute go. Dawn is hellbent on teaching Miranda a lesson and goes as far as to reach out to her drug addict son, which in turn strains her own marriage. Miranda refuses to drop things because she needs a good reputation online to essentially ensure she can rip off other people and keep making money.

Eventually, things take a dark turn that, when you consider that this entire ordeal all started over $200, seems ridiculous. It’s made clear that Dawn doesn’t have a lot of money, but is a couple hundred dollars worth all the trouble she goes to? No, it’s not.

Likewise, it’s not plausible that Miranda would go to such great lengths and be so offended over a bad review just to keep the money. After all, her husband is a doctor. Yes, it’s made clear that she needs the side cash so he doesn’t find out what she’s using it for, but $200 isn’t worth destroying her whole business venture over. The plot would be far more believable if Dawn lost, say, $1,000-$2,000, which would cause much more financial hardship in her life.

The bigger issue, though, with Holly Brown’s latest novel is that neither lead character is particularly likable. In the end, readers won’t care what happens to either of them, which makes it awfully difficult for the plot to take off.

Even with the plot’s shortcomings, Brown does manage to drum up enough suspense to keep readers flipping the pages. Readers might not care if either character lives or dies, but once you’ve invested in the story, you’ll want to know how it ends. 

Book Details

Author: Holly Brown
Pages: 400 (Paperback)
ISBN: 0062456830
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Release Date: January 17, 2017 (Order Now!)


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