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He Started It: Book summary and reviews of He Started It by Samantha Downing

He Started It

by Samantha Downing

He Started It by Samantha Downing X
He Started It by Samantha Downing
  • Readers' rating:

  • Publishes in USA 
    Apr 28, 2020
    400 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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About this book

Book Summary

From the twisted mind behind mega hit My Lovely Wife comes the story of a family—not unlike your own—just with a few more violent tendencies thrown in....

Beth, Portia, and Eddie Morgan haven't all been together in years. And for very good reasons—we'll get to those later. But when their wealthy grandfather dies and leaves a cryptic final message in his wake, the siblings and their respective partners must come together for a cross-country road trip to fulfill his final wish and—more importantly—secure their inheritance.

But time with your family can be tough. It is for everyone.

It's even harder when you're all keeping secrets and trying to forget a memory, a missing person, an act of revenge, the man in the black truck who won't stop following your car—and especially when at least one of you is a killer and there's a body in the trunk. Just to name a few reasons.

But money is a powerful motivator. It is for everyone.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Wholly original. Scarily clever. Completely mesmerizing. You will never look at family road trips the same way again." - Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"A twisty, sneaking tale of greed, lies and betrayal, with each character as conniving as the next and an ending that will make your heart stop.  This one needs to be on the top of everyone's to-read list!" - Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Girl and The Other Mrs.

"A thrill ride through the darkest parts of the American landscape —funny, scary and twisted until the explosive final page." - Michele Campbell, internationally bestselling author of A Stranger on the Beach

"My Lovely Wife was one of my top books of 2019. He Started It is even better! Following a dysfunctional—to put it mildly—bunch of siblings on a bizarre and deadly road trip with their grandfather's ashes, He Started It is deliciously twisted, laced with Downing's trademark black humor and packed with one grisly twist after another. I loved it. All hail the new Queen of the psycho thriller!!" - C.J. Tudor, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Chalk Man

"Downing ups her game in this deliciously twisted tale of family deception. He Started It has layers upon layers of clever, shocking twists that begin in the first chapter and never let up. Breathless pacing and terse, impeccable writing create a phenomenal reading experience. I am obsessed!" - Wendy Walker, USA Today bestselling author of The Night Before

"A wicked-fun read with razor-sharp wit and a killer twist, He Started It is compelling, captivating, and deliciously dark. Samantha Downing writes with a wry, sparse elegance that steadily entangles you until you're utterly addicted." - Christina McDonald, USA Today bestselling author of The Night Olivia Fell

"A diabolical drive into a dysfunctional family's past. The story is chillingly twisted, perfectly paced. Once I started reading, I couldn't put it down." - Kaira Rouda, USA Today bestselling author of Best Day Ever

"I absolutely loved it: whip-smart, lean, deliciously dark and addictive. One of the best thrillers I've read in a long time" - Ali Land, bestselling author of Good Me, Bad Me
 
"He Started It is a dark, twisting road trip into hell with a family you wouldn't want to live next door to. I've never read anything like it!" - Mark Edwards, bestselling author of Here to Stay

"Sibling rivalry reaches new and downright despicable heights...Creepy, unnerving and deliciously evil, Samantha Downing is one of the boldest authors I know. A must read!" - Hannah Mary McKinnon, national bestselling author of Her Secret Son, and The Neighbors.

"Samantha Downing is an absolute genius at creating twisted characters you're desperate to follow...A psychological thriller like none other, this addictive read is impossible to put down." - Samantha M. Bailey, author of forthcoming Woman on the Edge

"Samantha Downing has done it again! With her second novel, He Started It, this master of sarcasm and suspense brings us a story that is impossible not to relate to. Initiated by a dead grandfather's will, we find ourselves trapped in a car journey with siblings that loathe each other's presence. As the miles pass, secrets and deceptions abound, and we are kept guessing until the very last line. Downing's style remains in a league of its own, with to-the-point crisp language and snappy dialogue readers are taken on a gripping and edgy adventure." - Maureen Joyce Connolly, author of Little Lovely Things

The information about He Started It shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Reader Reviews

Write your own review

Ruthie A. (Jersey City, NJ)

What is Happening??!!
This book really grabbed me by the throat! It is part road trip, part family drama, part mystery, and part psychological thriller! The writing is very fast paced, never lags at any point, and the story kept me up well past my bedtime!
The author slowly lets the reader get to know the characters, their past, and the present scenario that is unfolding. The sibling are all very secretive and their recreation of a childhood road-trip brings all their baggage to the forefront - not fun when you are all stuck in the same car. There are multiple twists and turns, all leading to a crazy "what just happened?" ending. Really fun and well crafted!

Mary G. (Greensboro, GA)

One Crazy Ride!
Wow. I just finished reading "He Started It" by Samantha Downing and it was a wild and crazy ride from start to finish. The estranged Morgan siblings are tasked by their recently deceased grandfather to recreate a road trip he took them on when they were children, as a condition for inheriting his estate. The story is told by the third child, Beth, and she parses out the history of the original trip—in one surprising and demented snippet after another—while also narrating the current trip, which isn't much more sane than the original. This is definitely a family that should stay far, far away from one another.

As each new snippet was revealed I was caught completely off guard each and every time. It was hard to put this book down. I still feel emotionally spent but it was so worth it!

Laura C. (Tulsa, OK)

Just Wow!!
From the beginning to the end I kept asking myself what am I reading???!!! At first I thought this is a road trip book and something must happen along the way, but then you actually read the book. It took me just over a day to read this book and at just under 400 pages it's not that short of a read. It's a fast ride across the country with Portia, Eddie, and Beth. I loved every minute of it and all the twists and turns it took.

Portia A. (Monroe Township, NJ)

The shortest review I ever wrote...
Wow!

Jamie K. (Berkeley, CA)

Fun, but ultimately unsatisfying
He Started It is a lot like reading Hansel and Gretal, except the author uses carefully placed plot bombs instead of breadcrumbs to lead you down a tangled trail of deceit, greed, violence, and revenge. Even with the cannibalistic witch, H and G's walk in the woods was preferable to the family road trip, or should I say trips, from hell a group of siblings embarks on— first somewhat unwillingly as children and later driven to as adults to fulfill their grandfather's dying wish— and claim their inheritance.

With millions at stake, alliances are made, plots are twisted, and secrets are revealed, little by little. It's hard to know who to trust. And that was my problem with the book. While it was cleverly written, and the story did keep me guessing, the ending was unsatisfying and the characters were so conniving and unlikable that in the end, I didn't really care who started it or for that matter, who won.

Jennie W. (Denver, CO)

He Started It
This was a page turner. I could not put this down. There were so many twists and reveals. The author does a great job of building up the suspense and keeping you guessing. I did not find many of the character very likable, however, they keep you wanting to know more about them and their past circumstances. I was thinking about the ending for days after finishing.

...9 more reader reviews

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Author Information

Samantha Downing Author Biography

photo: Jacqueline Dallimore

Samantha Downing currently lives in New Orleans, where she is furiously typing away on her next thrilling standalone. My Lovely Wife is her first novel.

Author Interview
Link to Samantha Downing's Website

Other books by Samantha Downing at BookBrowse
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