Book Review: Or Else

Or Else by Joe Hart

Genre: thriller

A secret love becomes a fatal affair in a twisting novel of suspense by Wall Street Journal bestselling author Joe Hart.

When novelist Andy Drake returns to his hometown to care for his ailing father, a reconnection with his childhood friend Rachel escalates into a secret love affair. For Rachel, struggling to maintain the facade of a picture-perfect life, it’s an escape from an emotionally abusive marriage. Then Andy receives an anonymous note warning him to end the affair. Or else.

Whoever’s been watching is going to make Andy pay. Weeks later, Rachel’s husband, David, is shot to death. Rachel and her two young sons vanish without a trace. One misstep, one careless reveal, and Andy could look as guilty as sin. Clue by clue, as his investigation into the mystery unfolds, Andy discovers that he and Rachel weren’t the only ones keeping secrets.

Nothing in this quiet neighborhood is as it seems. No one peeking from behind the curtains of their homes can be trusted. And the worst is yet to come. Because David isn’t the only one who will die.



I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for a voluntary honest review. Thank you Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer!

I was instantly attracted to this book by its title, something about it just seemed very intriguing and after reading the blurb, I was sure it’s something I would like to read.

Or Else is a thriller about Andy Drake, a novelist who came back to his old neighborhood in order to care for his dad (who is in the beginning stages of dementia). He ended up meeting people from his childhood, Rachel being one of them. Rachel was–still is--his crush, though she’s now married to an emotionally abusive man–David–and has two kids.

One evening, their re-connection led to a secret love affair. Several months later, Andy receives a note stating that he should end the affair, or else. Then, David is murdered and Rachel and the kids are missing. Are those events connected?? Who was watching them? What do they want?! Read Or Else to find out!!!

This is the first of Joe Hart‘s books I’ve read and I’m looking forward reading more from him. I really enjoyed reading Or Else, it was thoroughly engrossing and–mostly–hard to put down!

The pace started fast then got slow in the middle then picked up again near the end. I enjoyed how things were led out then pieced back together at the end. Though I must say that the end is a bit–can’t find an appropriate word for it–weird, like that just made me laugh real bad for some reason because like: Huh?!??

Overall, it’s an enjoyable, gripping read that I would recommend to all thriller fans!!

4 stars

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