Jar of Hearts – Jennifer Hillier

The past is always with you, whether you choose to think about it or not, whether you take responsibility for it or not. You carry the past with you because it transforms you. You can try to bury it and pretend it never happened, but that doesn’t work. Geo knows that from experience.

Because buried things can, and do, come back.

When Geogina Shaw is just sixteen years old, she is pulled into the horrific disappearance of her best friend, Angela Wong. At the time, she doesn’t say anything about what she knows and it comes back to haunt her years later when Angela’s body is found and Geo’s old boyfriend turns out to be the serial killer know as the Sweetbay Strangler.

I was insanely excited to read this book weeks ago when I originally requested it from NetGalley and of course other books got in the way. All I can say is if there is anyone else out there with a copy of Jar of Hearts that you just haven’t gotten around to yet, you should definitely bump it to the top of your pile. I’m so glad I finally read this one because it was fantastic.

I love a good creepy murder mystery and Jar of Hearts delivered all the grime, nail-biting, murder & heart pounding thrills that was missing from Ruth Ware’s The Death of Mrs. Westaway – which I had just finished reading the day before.

Right from the beginning, I knew this was something special. Told from the point of views of Geo Shaw & Seattle PD detective Kaiser Brody, the story bounces back and forth from the past – where we learn about Angela’s murder – & the present – where Geo is dealing with the late consequences of her actions as a teenager & Kaiser is searching for serial killer, Calvin James. It so often happens that if there are multiple story lines, one of them is clearly stronger than the other but in Jar of Hearts, this isn’t the case. Neither of the story lines or POVs dragged – in fact, they were all super engaging.

Hillier did such a good job of developing the story. She didn’t give away too much and you feel all the “ah-ha” moments right along with the characters. If I were to fault anything about it, I would say that I did not love the relationship dynamic between Kaiser and Geo as adults. I don’t want to spoil anything but I had a hard time believing how their relationship stood at the end of the novel.

This was my first Jennifer Hillier book and she is definitely now on my radar! If you are a fan of thrillers, I couldn’t recommend it more.

Living a life that isn’t meant for you is its own version of hell.

4 Murder-y Spades

4 spades

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an advanced reader copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. Jar of Hearts was released on June 12, 2018.


21 thoughts on “Jar of Hearts – Jennifer Hillier

  1. Oh what a great review!!! I have to say I haven’t been reading this as much. I’m enjoying it but I just feel it’s because it’s a ebook and I rather read the physical copy. This review is giving me the motivation to pick it up and continue reading. I am not very far into it and I honestly can’t wait to see what happens. Plus I am super interested in seeing what you’re talking about when you mention Kaiser and Geo’s relationship at the end.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I just ended up finishing it a couple days ago. I ended up really enjoying it. I was not expecting that outcome. I realized after I had another book by the author on my TBR. I am really excited to check that out now.

        Liked by 1 person

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