Under the right set of circumstances, perhaps anyone is capable of murder. Or maybe the truth is, everyone is capable of murder. With his new book, Who to Believe, Edwin Hill uses a creative structure to expose readers to the idea that point of view is the key element in almost every aspect of our lives.
Picking up an Edwin Hill novel is a bit like jumping off a high cliff knowing that the safety of water waits below, but not knowing exactly what the fall itself will be like. Whether it is one of his novels featuring Hester Thursby or one of his more recent stand-alone suspense books, readers can expect that nothing will be what it seems and the path to the truth will be a labyrinthine path of unexpected revelations and ever-shifting allegiance.
Case in point, “Part One” of Who to Believe. In this section, Edwin Hill introduces readers to Farley Drake, a psychologist who is just a bit too interested in his client’s problems. Readers immediately get a sense of who this man is and what he is thinking—only to have that grounded security completely ripped out from under them with, first, an interesting, but not totally unexpected revelation; only to have that surprise followed by a truly seismic shift that suddenly alters the entire novel that is about to unfold. And all of this before page fifty.
Once “Part Two” is started (followed by five other “Parts”), readers begin to pick up what Edwin Hill is laying down with Who to Believe. Inspired by the classic film Rashomon and more recent works like Showtime’s The Affair, the author here is going to present seven different viewpoints on the same events in an effort to illustrate that who is telling the story drastically changes how and what is told. Even without any lies, the same situation told by two different people will be vastly different—but when you up the ante to six or seven characters and then realize that almost every one of them has something to hide, things get incredibly convoluted very quickly.
This is not to say that Edwin Hill loses control of his plot. In fact, just the opposite. Who to Believe is a masterpiece in structural execution—readers always know who is telling their version of events and how those scenes dovetail into the overall storyline of the novel. On the surface, the book is about a group of friends who gather for a birthday celebration shortly after the murder of a local restauranter’s wife. Over the course of drinks, party games, and dinner, the various points-of-view perspectives allow readers to glimpse what is going on within the minds of each of the characters.
The stakes get even higher when another death occurs after the party has ended. Figuring out who died, who did it, and how it all connects to the death of Laurel Tribodeau is the task laid before the reader. Edwin Hill has planted many shocks into this story and readers will be racing to the end to fit all the pieces together.
We are only in the first month of 2024 and already we have a book that everyone will be talking about all year long. Don’t miss Edwin Hill’s Who to Believe.
Disclaimer: A print galley of this title was provided to BOLO Books by the publisher. No promotion was promised and the above is an unbiased review of the novel.