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July 13, 2024

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Five Reasons To Read Five Bad Deeds By Caz Frear

Five Bad Deeds By Caz Frear- Summary

Goodreads Summary Of Five Bad Deeds By Caz Frear (Review Below):

A gripping tale of revenge, loyalty, and the secrets hidden between the walls of the most beautiful home in town. Ellen Walsh has done something very, very bad. If only she knew what it was…

Teacher, mother, wife, and all-around good citizen, Ellen is juggling nonstop commitments, from raising a teen and two toddlers to job-hunting to finally renovating her dream home, the Meadowhouse. Amidst the chaos, an ominous note arrives in the mail: People have to learn there are consequences, Ellen. And I’m going to teach you that lesson right under your nose.

Why would someone send her this? Ellen has no clue. She’s no angel—a white lie here, an occasional sharp tongue there—but nothing to incur the wrath of an anonymous enemy. She’d never intentionally hurt anyone. But intention doesn’t matter to someone. Someone blames this supposed “good person” for all the bad they’ve experienced. And maybe they have reason to? Because few of us get through life without leaving a black mark on someone else’s. Could the five bad deeds that come to haunt Ellen explain why things have gone so horribly wrong? As she races to discover who’s set on destroying her reputation and her future, Ellen continues to receive increasingly threatening messages… each one hitting closer to everything she cherishes.

*Disclaimer- There are a lot of quotes pulled from the book, but there are no spoilers. I couldn’t help it. Caz Frear is just that good.

Reason #1 Writing

Five Bad Deeds is the first book by Caz Frear I’ve read, and it absolutely won’t be my last. Caz Frear’s writing isn’t a jack of all trades and a master of none. Oh, no. She is a multi-faceted master writer. Let’s tick off just some boxes that Caz Frear attacks and writes the hell out in Five Bad Deeds. Admittedly, this isn’t a complete list because I try not to write reviews longer than the book I’m reviewing. 🫢

  1. Dark Humor- No, seriously. The dark humor is strong with this one. There are a multitude of laugh-out-loud moments that are never absurd or over the top. They don’t take away from suspense or mystery. It is just spot on.

‘Don’t you have studying to do?’ I say, my tone more don’t you have traffic to go play in? 

2. Stark Reality/Social Norms- Caz Frear fearlessly writes about the impact of social media (usually for the worse). Also, what is expected of people from society, and sometimes more specifically, a circle of female friends. Moreover, she hits on the reality of people’s thoughts, no matter what kind of person you are. And as she points out in Five Bad Deeds, none of us are all good or all bad.

Surely your goodness should be right there in the shop window? What good is being good if all others see is the bad?

Because people don’t really want to help. What they want is to feel good about themselves. And Kristy believes it’s high time that some of those people started feeling bad.

3. Suspense- Well, dayum. Not only does the structure of Five Bad Deeds lend itself to tension, but the writing ups the stakes. It isn’t just the note(s) that Ellen receives, but all the ways someone uses to destroy her. Even within the note, there isn’t just a threat but a pulled quote (a classic; I won’t spoil who originally wrote it. It is all in caps). This lends a clue, although good luck sussing out where Caz Frear is going.

SOONER OR LATER EVERYONE SITS DOWN TO A BANQUET OF CONSEQUENCES.

Do you know who said that, Ellen? I bet you do. Bcause you know everything. You have everything… But I know things, too… And I know that people have to learn there are consequences.

4. Family Dynamics- I’ll get more into this under the “Teenagers” section, but I’ll give some generalities here. Although Ellen and Adam are the central family, each household has different family dynamics. This includes the inter-dynamics of how each household interacts with the other homes. Thus pointing out the differences between different families and marriages.

‘I’m going to tell her <about another’s husband’s cheating>, though. I have to.’

‘No.’ Adam shook his head vehemently. ‘No, leave it, Els. It’ll blow over.’

Blow over? As though cheating on your wife was just a passing fad, like carp fishing or learning the trumpet.

What one marriage tolerates, the lines it crosses are very different than other marriages. Just as children and their parental relationships also differ. Moreover, it goes into the long-term trauma a family can cause.

And she knows… how it feels to be rejected by a parent. The hole it leaves. The damage it can do.

Reason #2 Characters/POV

Maybe I’m biased, but Five Bad Deeds has my favorite kind of character. They are morally grey to downright unlikeable. And the well-executed kind of unlikeable. So, much like my last review, The Weekend Retreat by Tara Laskowski (review linked), if you don’t like unlikeable characters? Move on.

There are multiple points of view, which give us a deeper look into the character of each person. Most are self-centered, lack self-awareness and awareness of those around them, and are just downright oblivious. The only character I’ll give a pass to is Orla because she’s a teenager. And aren’t aren’t all teenagers pretty much first-world, insufferable mini-mes? Not all, but you get my point (I hope).

Through the different points of view, we not only go deeper, but we get a peak into the why or how many characters could be the who behind Ellen’s disintegrating life. By learning their possible motives, the pace keeps moving. It especially hooked me in the early part of Five Bad Deeds. Add the dark humor to some of them, and you have a recipe for fun and twisted.

Reason #3 Mystery/Thrill/Suspense

I was hooked from the beginning (I’ll go into the prologue more at the end of the review). This is because of some reasons I already went through.

However, the mystery started kicking into gear nearly right away. And that is just the central mystery. It quickly becomes apparent that there are mysteries to sort out with family/neighbor dramas, as well. And oh boy, is it all connected. Good luck sussing it out. I know, I know. But it bears repeating. None of this in the “it is so jaw-dropping, it doesn’t fit kind of way.” Nope. It all makes sense. You just never see it coming. The set-up, follow-through, and climax are cunning and sly.

The mystery centers on revenge and is not just aimed at Ellen. So, if you love a good revenge story that is twisted, darkly humourous, and has despicable characters? Settle in and buckle up, buttercup.

Five Reasons To Read Five Bad Deeds By Caz Frear Summary Review

Thank you to HarperCollins and HarperCollins Audio for an advance arc of Five Bad Deeds by Caz Frear, which will be released on December 5th.

Reason #4 Teenagers

Five Bad Deeds By Caz Frear Review Summary

What? You think I can talk about teenagers and not stick a My Chemical Romance reference in it? No way. Lifestyles are explored from the posh teenager to the teenager growing up without anything. Five Bad Deeds is also poignant at times, showing how teenagers can often be wise beyond their years.

Life isn’t hard to manage if you’ve got nothing to lose…’I saw an opportunity and I took it, Ellen. Don’t hate the sinner, hate the sin.”

Caz Frear also demonstrates their biting side.

…Maybe if I let Orla go to Frankfurt, she might dial down her disbelief (‘A study guide? On a Sunday? They’re either paying you top dollar or the dad’s hot as hell’).

Reason #5 Prologue (doesn’t spoil but sets up so much)

*Nothing below is a spoiler. It is all in the prologue and a general look at its impact. Hence, the shortness of this section.

The prologue is perfect. It leaves you hanging with the knowledge that someone is in jail and someone is dead. This leaves readers in suspense right from the beginning, trying to figure out who is who. Then Caz Frear brings Five Bad Deeds full circle by returning to the prologue.

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