THE REQUEST by David Bell

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From the publisher:

When a man agrees to do a favor for a friend, he gets more than he bargained for as he becomes embroiled in a woman’s murder in this new thriller from the USA Today bestselling author of Layover.

Ryan Francis has it all—great job, wonderful wife, beautiful child—and he loves posting photos of his perfect life on social media. Until the night his friend Blake asks him to break into a woman’s home to retrieve incriminating items that implicate Blake in an affair. Ryan refuses to help, but when Blake threatens to reveal Ryan’s darkest secret—which could jeopardize everything in Ryan’s life—Ryan has no choice but to honor Blake’s request.

When he arrives at the woman’s home, Ryan is shocked to find her dead—and just as shocked to realize he knows her. Then his phone chimes, revealing a Facebook friend request from the woman. With police sirens rapidly approaching, Ryan flees, wondering why his friend was setting him up for murder.

Determined to keep his life intact and to clear his name, Ryan must find the real murderer—but solving the crime may lead him closer to home than he ever could have imagined.


I began reading this novel at 11:00 pm. Several hours later I was able to put it down for the very good reason that I had finished it. The book was mesmerizing, completely compelling, and one fantastic read.

Ryan Francis and his best friend Blake had a close relationship for many years taking them through college and then out into the business world. Ryan married Amanda and in due course, the couple had a son they named Henry.

Blake came to visit them and see the baby but committed an error. Holding Henry up he allowed the child’s head to be hit by a decoration causing a red mark. The protective Amanda was angered and practically threw Blake out of their house stating that he should not return there.

Rushing home as was normal, one evening Ryan was called by Blake and asked to do a big favor for him. He asks that Ryan break into a girl’s house and retrieve a packet of incriminating letters that Blake had allowed her to get while they were going together. During their college years, Ryan had committed a crime when driving drunk and had killed a young girl. Blake, driving with him prevented Ryan from being arrested by changing the setup of the drivers in the then wrecked car and putting another man who was with them into the driver’s seat. Blake indicates that he had been going with the girl and inadvertently given her letters outlining Ryan’s crime during their relationship. Blake met another girl, fell in love, and told girl #1 that he was leaving her to get married. He did not get the letters held back, for some reason could not reenter her house and convinced Ryan that it was in his interest to break in and get them.

Ryan had to agree, but when he entered the girl’s home he found her dead on the floor, obviously a murder victim. Ryan flees the scene, realizes that he has probably set himself up as the murderer and makes the determination that it is up to him to find the real killer.

Bell, in a fine piece of writing, takes his readers through a series of events that will cause them to constantly change their minds about who the killer is, and arriving at a logical ending drained. I’m sure that readers of this book will be lined up like I am awaiting David Bell’s next novel and just keep a pot of coffee boiling for that occasion.

7/2020 Paul Lane

THE REQUEST by David Bell. Berkley (June 30, 2020). ISBN: 978-0440000907. 416 pages.

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