From the blurb for this book you all know the basics estranged siblings have to reunite for a road trip in order to gain their inheritance They have to exactly duplicate the road trip none of them will ever forget, with their Grandpa, decades before They all found out about the road trip the same way, a conference call with his lawyer when he died He read Grandpa s words exactly as stated Go on the road trip Scatter my ashes at the end Once I m in my final resting place, my estate will be equally divided between you THE ROAD TRIP, not A ROAD TRIP There had only been one Your grandfather stipulated that anyone who ends up in jail, who does ot complete the trip, or deviates from the original trip in any way, will get nothing The inheritance was a lot of money that they all needed, of course they would do it To say that this family is dysfunctional is a gross understatement The original road trip with Grandpa wasn t something that was planned, he gathered them together one summer and off they went in his grayish green minivan Their parents weren t consulted or even advised of the plans but you ll get to that in the story Grandpa had some pretty crazy ideas of what were the sites to see on the trip, no fun amusement parks for this group There was a cadillac graveyard where everyone got to paint the rusting cars the Bonnie and Clyde museum complete with replicated bloodied dummies and the car with hundreds of bullet holes just what every child wants to see.I know that this is a thriller but I still require some amount of believability in any book and this one had none The characters were all unlikable and unreliable narrators The book plodded along at the same pace as the road trip, I grew tired of the wait Many find this book very entertaining but I felt bored during at least three quarters of the book, it s a long time to wait for a POW ending It s a great book to read along with a friend, which I did, which made itinteresting The ending was so far fetched it was as though the author could have just thrown anything at us I m giving it 3 stars for originality and craziness but I can t say that I would recommend it I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss.The book publishes April 28, 2020. There is a quote in the book about families being the least forgiving of them all Would you agree I bet Eddie, Beth, and Portia would The siblings are on a road trip where they are recreating a road trip they previously took with their grandfather when they were children Their grandfather has died and has left instructions in his will that they must finish this road trip in order to collect their inheritance Sounds easy, right Except for this time, Eddie and Beth have their spouses with them and the three siblings are hiding a secret s The one secret is a BIG one Something that neither Eddie nor Beth have shared with their spouses there is a member of their family who has been missing for years Plus, a black truck is following themAll the siblings have their quirks, none are entirely who they initially present themselves to be As the book progresses, we learnabout them, their secrets, their rivalries, their personalities and just how dysfunctional they all are Beth is our narrator and she is quite the character She admits in the beginning that she is a cheater and one might wonder, is she a reliable narrator She gives us family history, insight well, coming from her POV , and adds to the drama.I ll admit, the beginning was a little slow for me but soon picked up and I did feel as if I was on this road trip right along with them They made me appreciate my normal, easy going sister a lotThis book had some twists, turns and reveals Samantha Downing did surprise me on several occasions while reading this book Will she surprise you This book went from slow to interesting Put me in the camp that enjoyed the ending I found it to be clever Just what will Downing come up with next I look forward to readingbooks from her in the future Thank you to Berkley Penguin Publishing Group and Edelweiss who provided me with a copy of this ARC in exchange for an honest review All the thoughts and opinions are my own. 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 Importantly Secure Their InheritanceBut Time With Your Family Can Be Tough It Is For EveryoneIt 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 ReasonsBut Money Is A Powerful Motivator It Is For Everyone 4 StarsFamily You can t Pick em, but Sometimes, you sure which you could Ah, the nostalgia of family road trips Unfortunately for Eddie, Beth and Portia, they don t exactly have fond memories of the road trip they took with their dear old Grandpa when they were young Nightmares arelike it So why, pray tell would they be willing to relive the experience all over again An inheritance of course Dear sweet Grandpa bequeathed them each with lots of dough on one condition, they must take that exact road trip onetime Sounds easy enough right Eddie, Beth and Portia, should have figured that it would be dangerous, treacherous even After all, each prides themselves on keeping secrets Whoppers, if you will. and let s face it, if you aren t going to keep secrets from your family, who are you to keep secrets from He Started It by Samantha Downing has an oddly addictive quality to it I kept turning page after page even when I knew I needed to put the book down It s compelling and engrossing and all of those dastardly little secrets got me and got me good After having read Ms Downing s debut novel, My Lovely Wife which was one of my favorite reads of 2018 and now this, I can say that Samantha Downing is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors and I will read anything and everything she writes For those of you who haven t haven t read anything by her, it s about time you changed that As far as family road trips go, thanks for the lesson, I plan on steering clear This was another fabulous buddy read with Kaceey.Thank you so much to Elisha at Penguin Publishing Group for the arc and to Samantha Downing as well Published on Goodreads on 12.8.19To be published onupon its release.Excerpt to be published on Instagram upon its release. Hot Diggity Dang I am back in the groove I loved this one and can t wait to chat with Samantha Downing who is joining us March 2, 2020 7 00 pm EST in our Behind the Pages group for a spoiler free Q A. Road trip WHEEEEEEE Remember those unbearable road trips you took when you were a kid Stuffed into the backseat with your annoying siblings So busy fighting you missed all the bizarre roadside attractions Well, what if many years later you had to retrace those steps That s right boys and girls It s another road trip Only now you re all grown up And guess what if you make it to the end There just might be a surprise waiting for you Bonus Buckle up When grandpa died, the instructions in his will requested his grandchildren to retrace the trip he took them on as children If they can pull it off while adhering to a few specific rules along the way, they will all inherit from his estate Good luck kids Cause you re all going to need it Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines Samantha Downing writes a clever thriller that will keep you flipping the pages as the sibling rivalries are re ignited, ramping up to full throttle Secrets Lies Maybe even murder How terribly juicy Quick question How is your relationship with your family members Think you could all survive the Highway to Hell road trip Happy trails I m glad I read this one alongside Susanne as it created quite a conversation at the end I think it will for you too I ll be curious to see what you all think Thank you to Elisha at Berkley Publishing and Samantha Downing for an ARC to read and review. Grandfather s Will has been read, and the instructions are clear Eddie, Beth and Portia must go on THE road trip, that he had taken them on when they were just kids, and scatter his ashes at the end Once he is in his final resting place, his assets would be divided equally between the three His liquid assets alone come in at 3,453,000 with a house, car and furnishings yet to be sold Of course, there are a few final conditions Anyone who ends up in jail, who does not complete the trip, or who deviates from the original trip in ANY way, will get NOTHING.Is this their Grandfather s way of reuniting the siblings who have not spent time together in years This is Samantha Downing So, you KNOW it Isn t With their eyes on the prize the 14 day road trip beginsTo survive Each will need a Strategy Each will need an Alliance.Each will need a little Luck Good thing they learned about all three while growing up and playing the board and dice game RISK, as a LOVING familyOh Samantha Downing, you are SO VERY CLEVERI THINK I know the answer to your question..But, MAYBE I don t A terrific buddy read with Marilyn and Kim..LOTS to discuss TRUST ME..you will want to read it with a friend so you can talk about the ending Thank you to Edelweiss, Berkeley and the author for the digital ARC I received in exchange for a candid review This will be available on April 28, 2020 and I am already looking forward to seeing what Samantha Downing has in store for us next From the outside, looking in, the Morgan family looks so normal The 1999 version of the family has a mom, dad, kids, and a grieving grandfather, who has just lost his wife But the mom and dad fight often, so Granddad decides to take the kids on a road trip It s a bit confusing for the kids when their nightly calls to mom and dad indicate that they don t seem to be onboard with this road trip and granddad closely censors each child s conversation with their parents Not only that, Granddad is taking the kids to some very questionable tourist spots such as a museum flaunting the murders and deaths of Bonnie and Clyde and their victims Granddad seems to have the trip all planned out, and when they all stay in a seedy motel each night, he plants his cot in front of the door, giving the impression that the kids are prisoners on his demented road trip Twenty years later, the siblings are recreating the road trip due to the demands of Granddad s will They must hit each tourist spot and reach the final destination to scatter Granddad s ashes There are some extra stipulations that should be easy to follow but prove hard for one of the siblings It doesn t help that the adult siblings can t stand each other, maybe hate each other, and would be willing to stab any of the others in the back, given the chance In the early days, Dad made the kids play a family game of Risk each night, honing their skills of strategy and alliance, but in the end, putting oneself before all others The kids learned the lessons of Risk very well and live their lives based on what they learned Things didn t go well on the first road trip and they aren t going to go well on the adult road trip Beth, the narrator of this story is sarcastic, self demeaning, funny, and admits she is a cheater, liar, andI loved seeing this story through her eyes, through her deceptions, through her manipulations At first, I was unsettled that the ending of the story is so ambiguous, but once I gave itthought, I realized I just needed to see the entire adventure in the way that Beth teaches us to see itall the clues are there and then I knew what happened next, right after the final words of the story.This very clever story, requires some thinking and paying attention to what is presented to us Trust nobody, nothing is as it seems, this family is dysfunction personified And if possible, read this book with buddies, it makes for a fabulous buddy read I had so much fun reading this book with my friends Jayme and Kim Thank you to Berkley Penguin Publishing Group and Edelweiss for this ARC. There is no sopho slump here None At all I read 300 books last year and My Lovely Wife was my favorite I loved this EVERY SINGLE BIT as much I loved being in Beth s head as she was forced to take this road trip from hell with her dysfunctional siblings, nerdy husband and new sister in law She is wily, wry, hilarious, snarky, sad and a teensy bit crazy.The ending blew me away Brava I just cannotReading this book made me feel like I got to hang out in Samantha Downing s head for a few days and it was a super fun place to be We both appreciate double battered onion rings and therefore should be besties, but I digress Grab this the second you can Do not pass Go, do not collect 200.Thank you Goodreads for selecting me as a winner for this giveaway I couldn t wait for this road trip to end 3 siblings are forced to reenact a childhood road trip in order to claim their inheritance The drive to their final destination leads them into danger, as all are plotting behind one another s back Secrets are unearthed, betrayals revealed, and relationships implode.I don t have much to say The plot is convoluted and the narrative drags and drags and drags Beth the narrator is a toneless bore who keeps telling and telling and telling FOR THE ENTIRE BOOK. I would have enjoyed thishad I been able to see what was going on vs being constantly told by boring Beth what was happening I loved My Lovely Wife, and it pains me to write this review, but, wow, what a disappointment I received an ARC of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.