Because You're Mine by Rea Frey
I remember a year ago or so, I read Rea Frey's Not Her Daughter and was left with mixed feelings. I liked the kidnapper a lot. I promised myself that this author was not one I would miss in the future. Because You're Mine did one thing very well. Despite my having a feeling part of what happened, I found myself mildly shocked when I read the final page. Kudos to Rea Frey for leaving me feeling pleasantly surprised that she managed to slip something by me.
Lee is a single mom to a seven-year-old son who is on the spectrum. Her best friend, Grace, seems to have a much better bond with Mason than she does, and that often leaves her feeling sad and uncertain. When she's offered a chance to get away with the rest of the moms, she hesitantly accepts. After all, Mason's tutor, Noah, agrees he'll stay with Mason while she's away.
Before the weekend is over, someone will be dead and several in the community are reeling. Many questions arise and the reader is left with a trip between past and present to learn the truth.
I have never been a fan of books that do a lot of quick flips from past to present. It worked in Because You're Mine. In fact, it ended up being essential. The story starts at a slow, yet realistic pace, but when it takes off, it flew. It rushed to the ending and had me on the edge of my seat for most of the chapters.
Here's the thing. I never really liked any of the characters. I had parts of the "mystery" figured out. Yet, there is that one moment where something happens that I wasn't expecting and I loved that aspect. It left me incredibly happy that I became part of the characters' lives for a few hours. It was a quick read that left me delighted I'd picked it.