A Book Spy Review: ‘Blame’ By Jeff Abbott


Set in a small suburb near Austin, Texas, readers meet Jane Norton on the three-year anniversary of the worst day of her life. A day that, though she cannot remember a single detail from the accident, still haunts her day and night.  

Three years prior, Jane–then a seventeen-year-old–was in a horrific car accident that killed her next-door neighbor, David Hall. At first, everyone was sympathetic towards Jane, who sustained a head injury that left her with amnesia.

But after police found a hand-written suicide note from her at the scene of the accident, the public’s perception quickly turned negative, with most people believing that Jane is faking memory loss due to the guilt she must feel from killing David. 

Even her friends, including her best friend, Kamala–who was dating David at the time of his death–abandoned her. Sadly for Jane, losing loved ones is an all-too-familiar feeling, having already dealt with her father dying under somewhat suspicious circumstances a few years before her accident.

Because her mother still lives next door to the Hall family, Jane doesn’t visit home often. Instead, she’s holed up in Adam’s dorm room–the one friend who has tried to help her– while still trying to put the puzzle pieces back together. 

Against her better judgment, Jane logs onto social media to see what her former classmates are posting about three years after the most tragic day of her life. Predictably, her timeline is flooded with posts remembering David, which she expected. What she didn’t expect, though, and was shocked to see, was a message from someone named Liv Danger threatening to expose the “truth” about what happened, and ending their post with a warning that “all will pay.” 

The mysterious Liv Danger also toys with Perri Hall, David’s mother, who especially hates Jane for killing her son. As the story unfolds, Jane continues searching for answers by trying to unmask Liv Danger. In the process, she finds reasons to suspect everyone from Adam, Kamala, and the rest of her old gang of friends, to family members and even her therapist. 

While still struggling to see the full picture, Jane’s investigation into her past leaves her confident of two things–that she didn’t intend to kill David, and that everyone around her has been keeping something from her. Proving that, though, when she can’t trust anyone–including herself–seems next to impossible. Especially with Liv Danger, whoever they are, circling overhead and tormenting her every step of the way. 

Last year, Harlan Coben’s Fool Me Once was our highest-rated thriller of 2016. Abbot’s Blame is every bit as good and packs even more surprises along the way, leading up to a shocking ending that nobody, not even veteran readers of the genre, will ever see coming. 

Abbott’s lightning-quick pacing and constant twists and turns make his latest offering impossible to put down. A one-sit read that’ll have readers up way past their bedtimes, Blame is Jeff Abbott’s best novel so far–and a strong contender for best psychological thriller of the year. 

Book Details

Author: Jeff Abbott
Pages: 375 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 1455558435
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: July 18, 2017
Book Spy Rating: 8.5/10
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