Author: Kelley York
Book Depository | Goodreads
Received from NetGalley; this has no effect on the outcome of this review.
He’s saved her. He’s loved her. He’s killed for her.
Eighteen-year-old Archer couldn’t protect his best friend, Vivian,
from what happened when they were kids, so he’s never stopped trying to
protect her from everything else. It doesn’t matter that Vivian only
uses him when hopping from one toxic relationship to another—Archer is
always there, waiting to be noticed.
Then along comes Evan, the only person who’s ever cared about Archer
without a single string attached. The harder he falls for Evan, the
more Archer sees Vivian for the manipulative hot-mess she really is.
But Viv has her hooks in deep, and when she finds out about the
murders Archer’s committed and his relationship with Evan, she threatens
to turn him in if she doesn’t get what she wants… And what she wants is
Evan’s death, and for Archer to forfeit his last chance at redemption.
First off, I have to say that this book is definitely not for everyone. There are some heavy themes involved, and it reminds me a lot of the Dexter series by Jeff Lindsay, simply because we focus on Archer, who is something very close to a sociopath, but so sympathetic that it makes the book work.
What makes Hushed work so well is how Kelley York works through not only Archer dealing with being a monster and a killer, but explaining how his extremely toxic, co-dependent relationship with Vivian works. Everything Archer does or has done is explained and while it's never justified, we still understand.
Then Evan comes along just as Archer's relationship with Vivian (who jumps from bad boyfriend to bad boyfriend) starts to unravel, and the addition of someone new in his life brings a whole new level to the novel. The romance here is fantastic, as we see it entirely from Archer's perspective; Archer, who's never known someone who simply wants to be with him, wants to know him, doesn't want anything but his company. The development of the relationship juxtaposed with the pain of his and Vivian's friendship coming apart is fantastic.
I recommend Hushed for anyone who might find it interesting, but with the warning that it's a very either/or sort of novel.