Review: The Two Lila Bennetts by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

by Heather Caliendo
The Two Lila Bennetts Review Cover

Editorial note: I received a copy of The Two Lila Bennetts in Exchange for a review. 

The Two Lila Bennetts by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke is a unique thriller/mystery that will make you think. Breathing new life in the genre, this is one unpredictable ride.

Last year I read Liz and Lisa’s Girls’ Night Out and the story was so vivid—I could not put it down. I love their writing style—the characters are interesting, flawed and just feel so real. That’s not an easy concept to achieve by any means. So you all definitely must add these talented authors to your TBR list (BTW, check out my Q&A with the authors here)! And The Two Lila Bennetts is a perfect one to start with as it focuses on one fateful chance but two unexpected endings.

The story Lila Bennett, a defense attorney ignoring her moral compass. And one particularly bad choice has split her life in two. In one life, she’s taken hostage by someone who appears to be a stranger but knows too much. In an alternate life, she eludes her captor but is hunted by someone who is dismantling her happiness, exposing one secret at a time.

Lila’s decorated career as a criminal defense attorney, her marriage, and her life are on the line. She must make a list of those she’s wronged—both in and out of the courtroom—to determine who is out to get her before it’s too late. But even if she can pinpoint her assailant, will she survive? And if she does, which parts of her life are worth saving, and which parts must end?

A Twist on Choose Your Own Adventure

Do you remember those choose your own adventure stories as a kid? I LOVED those stories! I thought it was so fascinating about how one choice can absolutely change the direction of everything. So it’s really neat that the writers took this concept to the adult stage. Throughout the entire story the chapters alternate between the two timelines: capture and free. When Lila is captured, it’s downright terrifying at times. And just because she’s “free” in the other timeline, it’s no cake walk either. Lila has done some bad stuff. Period. And sometimes karma really does catch up to you.

Lila Bennett: Unlikeable?

“Oh Lila, what are you thinking? Why did you do that? How can you hurt the people you love?” I definitely thought each of these statements as I read the book. But, while I would not want to be friends with her, Lila is quite compelling. It’s rare that we read about a woman who just plain does the wrong thing. A lot. Usually men are given this kind of “freedom” in storytelling. So I definitely appreciate that the author created a very flawed woman who does quite a bit of growing and evolving as the story goes on. Despite it all, I would not call her unlikeable just because she’s so interesting and the authors do provide a bit of backstory for why she is this way.

I will also say that this one will make you think about your own choices and how one move (or several) can have a huge impact on your future.

Add this entertaining story to you list! And for book clubs, check out my discussion questions here.

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