Title: The Dilemma
Author: B A Paris
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: June 30, 2020
Page Length: 342
Genre: Mystery, Suspense
Age Range: Adult
CAWPILE Rating: 7.79/10
Goodreads Synopsis: It’s Livia’s fortieth birthday and tonight she’s having a party, a party she’s been planning for a long time. The only person missing will be her daughter, Marnie.
But Livia has a secret, a secret she’s been keeping from Adam, her husband, until the party is over. Because how can she tell him that although she loves Marnie, she’s glad their daughter won’t be there to celebrate with her?
Adam is determined everything will be just right for Livia and the party is going to be perfect… until he learns something that will leave him facing an unbearable decision.
Content Warning: death of a loved one, grief, terminal illness (not in great detail and a side character), infidelity (cheating)
I have only read one other book by B A Paris and had assumed this would be more of the same – a domestic thriller, but that was not the case. The Dilemma was not what I had expected at all. The Dilemma was more of a domestic suspense then anything. At no point was I concerned for anyone’s life or felt that “at the end of my seat” feeling. Through most of the story I was pretty sure – and it was basically known by the main character throughout most of the story – what had happened. We were merely there to experience the stress of knowing and not sharing that knowledge.
This by no means that this was a bad book! In fact, I really enjoyed it. It has been a while since I’ve read a book like there – where the main stress is trying to find out things for sure and being along for the ride while the main character debates on what’s the best course of action.
The characters were written realistically, and I felt the actions were realistic in the situation as well. The mystery of the second main character was interesting, and really the only part where you were trying to guess who the culprit was. I admit I had suspected a few people for that one. The secondary characters were interesting and reacted to the two main character’s actions realistically. I know I’m saying “realistically” a lot, but there are so many mystery/suspense/thrillers/horrors where the characters do things that only serve the plot and never seem like something a real person would do.
Paris’ writing was enticing and had me devouring the story quickly. Just like the other book I read of her’s, Behind Closed Doors, I completed it in one sitting. Although I didn’t find it to have any big mystery, I still had to find out what happened with the family and how everything was resolved.
If you liked Paris’ writing in the past then I highly recommend this one, just bare in mind that the story is nothing like the others (or at least nothing like Behind Closed Doors). If you want an entertaining book that you can finish quickly because of it, then I highly recommend this one.