Following the intense, toxic friendship of two kindred spirits across their lifetimes, The Best Friend is a dark, suspenseful novel and first standalone from Jessica Fellowes, New York Times bestselling author of the Mitford Murders series and the companion Downton Abbey books.
Bella and Kate. Kate and Bella. From childhood they were bosom friends, Bella sensible and cautious, Kate gregarious and just a little dangerous.
Yet in spite of their intimacy, their trust is fragile. Men came into their lives and things changed: a black seed was set in the heart of their relationship. Over decades, acts of both cruelty and love ferment until one shocking event tests them more than ever. Neither will escape unscathed.
Reminiscent of Elena Ferrante and Sally Rooney, and for readers of Leila Slimani’s The Perfect Nanny and Ashley Audrain’s The Push, The Best Friend explores the darkest corners of female friendship, a place where loyalty and betrayal intersect with deadly consequences.
JESSICA FELLOWES is an author, journalist, and public speaker. She is the author of The Mitford Murders novels as well as the New York Times bestselling official companion books to the Downton Abbey TV series. Former deputy editor of Country Life, and columnist for the Mail on Sunday, she has written for the Daily Telegraph, the Guardian, The Sunday Times, and The Lady. Jessica has spoken at events across the UK and US, and has made numerous appearances on radio and television. She lives in Oxfordshire with her family.
"Riveting."—PopSugar, "Best Thriller and Mystery Books of 2022"
"This is a gripping story of a decades-long friendship that hints at obsession, dark secrets, and desperation and yet is also joyous, moving, and heart-breaking. A gripping, unsettling page-turner."—Booklist
“The Best Friend takes an unusual route to illustrate a destructive friendship leading to fatal turns along the way. Fellowes’ use of revealing dialogue lends an eavesdropping vibe that delves into the girls’ personalities as they age and, finally, become women in their 80s."—South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"The most complex of bonds is explored in this startlingly original and finely drawn portrait of female friendship, with all its uplifting and destructive intensity."—Ellery Lloyd, New York Times bestselling author of The Club
"An absolute jewel of a book which puts seven decades of complicated female friendship under the microscope – and reveals dark truths. It’s a masterclass in things unsaid, in both form and content."—Erin Kelly, bestselling author of He Said, She Said
"Straight-from-life characters and knife-sharp insight into the ties that bind us. The best book on female friendship I have ever read."—Celia Walden, international bestselling author of Payday
"An absorbing tale of the intricate tangle of friendship both dark and human."—Alexandra Shulman, former Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue
"Searing domestic noir . . . The tragic tale unfolds largely via revelatory snippets of conversation between the keenly drawn characters, lending a voyeuristic air. Fellowes paints an unflinching portrait of female friendship that should appeal to fans of Julie Mayhew and Leïla Slimani."—Publishers Weekly
Praise for the Mitford Murders mysteries:
“Downton Abbey meets Agatha Christie in this witty and twisty mystery.”—In Touch Weekly on The Mitford Murders
“With nearly as much period detail as an episode of Downton [Abbey], this delightful romp satisfies like a cup of strong nursery tea accompanied by a Battenburg cake.”—The Washington Post on The Mitford Murders
"A real murder, a real family and a brand new crime fiction heroine are woven together to make a fascinating, and highly enjoyable, read. I loved it."—Julian Fellowes, creator and writer of Downton Abbey and Belgravia on The Mitford Murders