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Friendship frays in new novels

A friendship breaking apart is shown in Jessica Strawser’s “Forget You Know Me.”

Molly and Liza used to be best friends, before distance and kids gradually drove them away from each other. Molly, married to Daniel with kids in the suburbs, finds her relationships strained. Liza, away in the Big City and finding life not what she expected there, is just wanting to reconnect. They decide to have a video chat night while the kids are in bed and Daniel is away on business. Everything may be a bit strained, but is going well, until Molly has to go attend to one of the kids. Leaving the webcam on, Liza sees a masked man enter the house and then the camera turns off. She frantically tries to contact her friend, but gets no answer, and when she finally does, gets a terse goodnight text message. Fearing the worse, she calls police and makes an all-night trip with a friend to drive to Molly’s house and find out what happened. There she is greeted with a chilly Mollly who acts as if Liza is crazy and the two have an awful fight. Both are left trying to come to terms with their friendship, their reactions and what really happened that night. Who was the man in the mask? Will he return?

This is a gut-punch of a story, that takes a hard look at friendships as women age and change, and the things that separate us from friends and spouses.

“Forget You Know Me” is published by St. Martin’s Press. It is $27.99.

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Adele Parks tells a story of a friendship gone awry in “I Invited Her In.”

Mel has forgotten all about Abi, an old friend from college, since she had to quit school and become a single mom. Abi was once the bright spot of that time, but now is going through a divorce and just wants to visit and old friend. Mel, feeling generous, offers her a stay at her house, for a weekend, and then a few days. Little does she know that Abi has never really let her out of sight and knows about a few things from Mel’s past. And now revenge is on her mind. At what lengths will she go to get it?

A story of jealousy and revenge, this one will haunt readers when pages are done.

“I Invited Her In” is published by Mira. It is $16.99.

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The anniversary of the death of a friend causes a woman to look back at that time of her life in “The Lost Night” by Andrea Bartz.

Lindsay put her past — and her friends — behind her after the suicide of her group’s leader, Edie. 10 years later, a whim causes her to reconnect with one of the friends from that time period, and a comment she makes causes Lindsay to really look back at her behavior during that time. Did she attend the last party Edie was at? Did she get black out drunk? And did she say or do something to Edie? Lindsay calls in the help of her new friend, Tessa, to look over her emails and old technology of the past to get a clue as to what really happened that night, and if Lindsay had a hand in the death of her friend. What it really suicide or is there a murderer in their midst?

This is a story that takes a look at ever-changing friendships and frienemys and has a twist the reader will never see coming.

“The Lost Night” is published by Crown. It is $27 and 311 pages long.

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Contact Amy Phelps at aphelps@newsandsentinel.com.

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