Emily and her best friend, Kristen, are in the mountains of Chile. Every year, they get together for a trip, and this time they feel more connected than ever. The fun is too real for Emily. But everything changes when she returns to their hotel suite on the last night of their trip to find blood and broken glass on the floor. Kristen has a simple explanation for that: the handsome backpacker she’s brought to their room attacked her and she killed him in self-defense. Emily is in shock and is well aware it is not the first time this is happening. A similar experience happened a year ago when Kristen killed someone. The sight is gory. When she returns home to Wisconsin, she suffers from the trauma, taking flights in her work and in a new relationship. A surprise visit from Kristen stirs up the memories and threatens everything Emily has built for herself. Kristen’s friendship is far more dangerous than she has ever imagined. Who is she, really, and can Emily handle the secrets she shares with her friend or will they destroy her?
We Were Never Here: A Novel by Andrea Bartz is a psychological thriller that features memorable characters. They are real. They are human, and they are genuinely flawed. Emily has a lot to deal with; she is stressed out and she is learning to cope with so much that is going on in her life. The author’s skillful handling of character development shines through this compelling narrative. There are moments readers will feel some disappointment in Emily, because she doesn’t seem to have a will of her own. But she is well-imagined and written to fit that role. The prose is dazzling and the plot is replete with twists that readers can’t predict. We Were Never Here: A Novel is affecting and a story that is immersive and creepy at times. I was literally captivated and submerged in the inner worlds of the characters. This is one of those books for fans of psychological thrillers with strong inner conflict and unforgettable characters.