Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda #thriller #HQstories

35299166A loving husband. The perfect killer?

‘I wonder if Mia thinks I have a dark side. Most likely as far as she knows, I am just her dear loving husband.’

Paul Strom has spent years building his perfect life: glittering career, beautiful wife, two healthy boys and a big house in the suburbs.

But he also has his secrets. That’s why Paul has promised his wife a romantic weekend getaway. He proclaims this day, a warm Friday in May, will be the best day ever.

Paul loves his wife, really, he does. But he also wants to get rid of her. And with every hour that passes, Paul ticks off another stage in his elaborately laid plan…

Source Format Pages Publisher Genre Publication Date
HQ paperback 384 HQ Psychological thriller September 7th, 2017

May I interest you, dear reader, in a 24 hour sesh inside a sinister mind? I may? How wonderful. Here’s our specimen- Paul Strom. Successful at work, lives in a great house, married for 10 years and a father to two young boys. Charming, as well, with that special smile and a wink.

Paul has promised his wife THE best day ever. He will be a doting husband (but then again he always is!), wine and dine her and make sweet sweet love to her. Romantic souls *cue swoony sigh*  And get this! Paul also has a surprise up his sleeve and he has been planning it for a long time.

And thus, our story begins. Husband and wife packing their car to drive to their lake house to spend some quality time together. I am so sorry to say this, but this was absolutely the longest car drive I have had to sit through. I considered jumping out. As far as captivating starts to a book go, this was not the best example, [NOTE] if I do say so based on my personal preference. And yet, it was necessary, because we are, after all, in Paul’s head. Page after page, I found I don’t particularly like Paul nor his wife. All highty-tighty with their first world problems. But Paul tries… he tries to excuse himself and his wife who has been poorly. Let’s not get all judgy yet.

If I was to describe this book as a cake (yes, we all love cake!) it would be a chocolate cake. Double chocolate cake, with chocolate cream filling and chocolate glazing and chocolate sprinkles on top. Yum! But what I’m saying is- it’s good, but sometimes you just don’t want too much of it. This is how I felt about Paul’s thoughts at times, especially when I was still getting into the swing of the story. I felt there was just way too many descriptions at time and the glimpses to past scenes just made me falter in my reading pace. And awful as I am, I did end up skipping a paragraph here, another one there, when he started to drone on about the history of the lake, or some such. Thriller! Give me more immediate action, or more ominous dialogue, or more foreshadowing… I don’t need to know about Lakeside history. Not really…

Now! Having said all that, there was still something about it that kept me reading. Maybe because no matter how LONG it took for me to finally get to the pivotal point of the best day ever (or you know, we finally got to the lake house!), it was interesting to read just how Paul’s mind really works. He truly kept surprising me with all those revelations… It just comes to show you, it is really hard to know a person thoroughly unless you’re them! It’s also brilliantly delivered up to a certain point in a way that maybe Paul isn’t really made up to be a killer after all? Why would he kill his wife whom he so thoroughly loves? He really does…

Looking at the overall picture, I can’t fault the writing. And even with all the descriptions and occasional jumps into scenes from the past, which slightly disturbed my reading pace, I have to admit that the feeling of being completely in the setting for the span of the book was real. You can feel it’s building up to something big. I had my guesses around the conclusion, as well, but honestly, the way the book actually ended, I hadn’t considered.

Will Paul manage to deliver his wife the best day ever? Even if it’s through gritted teeth, he shall… Because he’s the best husband out there who provides for his family and everything is under control. As for who’s going to end up more surprised by the end of the day- Paul or his wife- I will leave for you to find out on your own. Just know this- we’re dealing with a psychological thriller, some events and scenes in the book can be disturbing.

Best Day Ever on Goodreads | Amazon UK | USA


  1. I’m sorry to hear you had some issues with this novel.. hearing about the lake’s history doesn’t sound like a must for me either but on the plus side, it did manage to give a surprise ending so it did end on a high note :-). I wanted to really read this but the slowness makes me hesitate now 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ah, Maybe it’s just me, you know, wanting something a bit more fast paced. I can see though how being in someone’s head, in a first person POV, has its own ways and means to work to give that thorough picture… I do hope you decide to give this a go just so we can compare notes and you can come back to me and say I’ve been to critical 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! Do check the book out- you may enjoy it, never know… I just hoped something a bit more racey/pacey, but I know some readers like the nitty grittys and really getting stuck into descriptions… I’d be interested in your thoughts if you do decided to read it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. hahaha yes, you may interest me 😉 hahaha that chocolate cake metaphor really reminded me of that moment in matilda when the boy is forced to eat a whole disgustingly sweet chocolate cake! so I get what you mean 😉 This sounds like it was good overall though!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I do love your analogy with the cake 😛 Have you considered creating a cake scale to rate books with? 😛 The narrative style kind of puts me in mind of ‘American Psycho’ with Patrick Bateman. It’s fresh and innovative and sometimes it can be both fascinating and stomach churning to get inside the head of someone so twisted…but, like you said, sometimes it’s just too much. Kudos to you for sticking out the long car ride, though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you 🙂 Everyone does love cake as the comments have come to prove as well 😀 Cake as rating system? Nah, what would that do to my bad girl image? 😀 I was more thinking like skulls and grim reapers 😀 hahaha… You know, ‘American Psycho’ is still one book I need to read…

      Liked by 1 person

      • What if they were, like, badass cakes, though? I once saw a recipe book with cakes based on heavy metal bands 😛 You could use those cakes and still maintain you’re bad girl image 😛
        I haven’t actually read ‘American Psycho’. I’ve only seen the movie, but my mum read it and I remember her saying the narrative was too much. It was just too much description and half the detail was pointless and unnecessary apparently!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Great review!! Loved the chocolate cake comparison haha. But you’re right, sometimes something is good but only if you stick to a limited dose. Sounds like Paul would probably bother me a lot. xD

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I recently read a book that had three or four extended scenes which by the end of the story had no real correlation to the storyline, so I get where you are coming from with the lake history. I always get ticked off when I finish a book I thought was too slow or too long and discover there were things that could have been ommited to fix that problem. Thanks for sharing your review. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! I wonder what has been happening in the author’s mind when adding such details? Is there some background thoughts that make them feel compelled to add them to the story? Is there a personal connection with the places/scenes/characters they’re paying tribute to? It’s a funny thing… and sometimes.. is it only just to get the word count? Even though as I write it, it sounds mean of me to think so…


  6. A super long car ride in a description-heavy thriller sounds weird to me hahah It’s good to see that it wasn’t all bad though. I like how you kept the suspense high and make us want to pick up the book to find out who’s going to get the biggest surprise by the end of the book too. I do wonder, who. 😛


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