Reviews for We were never here

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

A backpacking trip gone awry tests the relationship of two best friends. Emily and Kristen, now almost 30, have been close since college, and as neither are close with their families, they’re more like sisters than friends. Now it's time for their yearly trip to somewhere adventurous and off the beaten path, trips that have become even more important since Kristen moved to Australia for work a few years ago. Last year's trip was a disaster, though, ending when Kristen killed a man who'd been sexually assaulting Emily; now, on the last night of their trip to Chile, Emily finds Kristen standing over the body of the cute guy she'd brought back to their room, saying he'd been rough with her. Taken aback by the similarities to what had happened the year before, Emily helps her friend cover it up and heads back to Wisconsin, unsure how to deal with her newly reignited trauma. Just when she thinks she’s ready to move on with her new boyfriend and therapist, Kristen appears on her doorstep as if nothing has happened. Bartz's latest thriller is full of twists and turns as Emily discovers new things about the friend she thought she knew so well. The dread creeps up slowly on both Emily and the reader as more and more comes to light and the truth slowly reveals itself. Up to the unexpected climax and beyond, Bartz’s writing will keep readers on their toes, questioning everything and looking for hidden meanings in every communication between Emily and Kristen. While the last 10 pages or so may not quite live up to those that precede it, the overall plot is exhilarating. A slow-burn thriller that gradually suffocates both the protagonist and the reader—in a good way. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.