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Review by Liveforchrist51
Killing Your Best Friend

17 Jan 2021

[Following is a volunteer review of "Killing Your Best Friend" by Valda Taurus.]
4 out of 4 stars


Killing Your Best Friend, written by Valda Taurus, is a wonderful take on an enthralling murder mystery. This novel takes you on a wild adventure through a murderous relationship, broken marriages and brand-new beginnings.

The story takes place in a small village in Alaska. Alexander Gray, the town drunk, is accused of murdering his best friend, Ivan Kortnev, on Mother’s Day of 1999. This event occurs many years after Gray is convicted of a previous murder which took place on Mother’s Day of 1985. Taurus sends us on a brutal journey through the depths of Alexander’s childhood and marriage in order to determine a motive and to figure out if he is in fact, the true killer. After Detective Andy Mohr finds interest in the case, he decides to pay a visit to the small village. He uncovers many family secrets, some of which reside just next door to Mr. Gray. After many visits and late nights of contemplation, the mystery unfolds into an appalling revelation. Nothing is as it seems.

The use of multiple characters providing their take on the event, stages a very intriguing storyline that holds the reader’s attention throughout the entire book. We are taken through several complicated, entangled relationships in order to build the anticipation of what is to come. Such relationships would include those of Alexander and Marta Gray and Dustin and Tammy Bartow. These are just two of many that Taurus shares. Without these mind-boggling discoveries amongst the relationships, the story would not be as thrill-seeking as it is. Every detail that is uncovered is just as shocking as the last. The entire storyline was very well thought out.

I did not find any negative attributes to this book. There is profanity involved, however, I find it necessary in order to portray the personalities of certain characters. There were hints of sexual content as well, but none of which were explicit or dwelled upon for too long. No editorial issues are present. Everything is grammatically correct. Considering all aspects, I would rate Killing Your Best Friend, four out of four stars. This is a must-read novel.

Most murder mysteries, including this one, should be for mature audiences. For those who enjoy a good unsolved murder, this would be the perfect story. I would not limit the audience to merely murder mystery readers. I also feel that this could be included in the genre of a perplexed romance novel as well. Valda Taurus can reach a large variety of readers with this storyline. It was truly a great read.

Killing Your Best Friend
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Post by Mounce574 » 15 Apr 2020, 19:21

The title Killing Your Best Friend, The Mystery of Our Psyche and Hidden Romance caught my attention rather easily. After checking the information on the book and the author, Valda Taurus, I expected a story about the inner workings of a character's mind. This book was exactly that and so much more.

The narrative is told in various perspectives of the main protagonists: Tammy, the neighbor; Marta, the wife of murder suspect Alexander, and Detective Andy Mohr. The story starts with Tammy awake with insomnia, looking out her bedroom window. She sees light from the neighbor's workshop and knows something is wrong. From this point, Taurus starts implementing twists and turns of suspense that kept my attention to where I couldn't stop reading. The morning after Tammy sees the lights, the police are knocking on her door. Her neighbor, Alexander has been accused of murdering his best friend. The automatic guilty label is placed upon him as he had just been released from prison for a previous murdering his best friend over fifteen ago. 

Automatically, this seems like a conspicuous detailed insight into what made Alexander snap. Then add the private attorney/Detective Mohr, causing a change of direction. He advocates for the man that states "I did not do it" by diving into a full-fledged investigation, despite the disbelief of the local police captain, Hogan.

This is definitely a book that would be thoroughly enjoyed by readers that like mystery and suspense. The supporting characters that jump in and out of the story were more additions to the twists and insights of what happened the night of the murder. One moment I would think Tammy had possibly had an affair with Marta's husband, only to find another detailed revelation that changed my mind. Taurus effectively kept the pace of the story so it flowed smoothly. Each character was described in detail where it was easy to relate to their experiences without being overly wordy. 

There are instances of profanity and a reference to BDSM, so I wouldn't recommend this for young readers. I recommend this great thriller to any mature reader that likes being kept on their toes with plot twists. I hope that Taurus continues writing as she had all the elements of a great mystery novel captured in this book.

Killing Your Best Friend 

Post by Eva Lazar - Goodreads - 2 Oct, 2020


When I read books, I generally take notes at the same time. I average about one A5 page per book. With this book, I barely reached half of that! I was far too busy reading the story to be able to take many notes. 

My main concern when reading a thriller, is that it will be gory and cause nightmares and a lasting sense of unsettlement that escapes the confines of the reading experience. That was not the case here. There were no detailed, bloody scenes but the theme of the book was not affected by that lack; rather, I would say that it was improved by it. 

While I felt that some of the characters were a little two-dimensional and the motivation behind their behavior was not very logical, the author did endeavor to make the situation in which all characters were positioned as genuine as possible. I could definitely imagine this book being based on a true story. 

One final comment that I want to add to this review is the following: the ending ties up the story very well, without being all too "happily-ever-after". It adds to the realism of the novel, and is something which I feel lacks in many books of this caliber. A good read, despite my ordinary reservations when it comes to the genre.

Eva Lasar