Joni, Eden, Trina and Deb have been best friends since high school, but for the last couple of years children, husbands, and work means they haven’t had as much time together as they would have liked. Joni decides to book a short holiday, like they had in their younger days, and to reconnect they decide on the first night to write an anonymous letter each telling the others a secret which they do not know. On reading the letters and the secrets and confessions within the girls start to question their friendships and how well they really know one another. When Joni finds a fifth letter its contents could threaten and destroy their friendship for good. What started out as a bonding exercise turns into something that could tear them apart rather than bring them closer, and Joni must find out who wrote that fifth letter.
The Fifth Letter is a fast paced mystery that is full of secrets, lies and deceit. The story is told from Joni’s point of view; in the present Joni is reflecting on what happened in confession, hoping the priest can help her understand the events on the holiday and in the aftermath. The flash backs to the holiday are also told from Joni’s part of view. My only complaint of the book is that there wasn’t a clear distinction between the past and present in the narration so it was a bit confusing at times.
The characters are well developed and believable in their relationships with each other and others. Joni, Eden, Trina and Deb are all vey different in personality and background, it makes for interesting interaction between the as they all have something different to bring to their friendship and thus the plot. The characters display a vast range of emotions, you will find yourself laughing and crying along with them. Nicola Moriarty has a good understanding of how people interact and relate to each other, she writes as if she knows whose these people are; there is an empathy to her writing.
The Fifth Letter is well written with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing; which one wrote the anonymous letters and more importantly the fifth letter? It is an engaging read full of suspense, intrigue, scandal and its fair share of dark humour.