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

Have you ever read a novel and asked yourself questions about how the author went about writing it? Well, that’s how I felt after finishing this book and luckily, I got the chance to meet Lisa and Liz and discuss the book with them.

My real life book club received this book from Lisa and Liz and we decided to make it our July book. Over the weekend, Lisa and Liz invited us to their book launch party where we got to meet the authors and talk about the book. It was so excellent because Lisa and Liz decided to run the event like a book club meeting chatting about the book, its pros and cons, and getting really deep with how their process looks like. No topics were off the table and I left the event feeling like I knew these authors better than before.

43236278The Two Lila Bennetts follows Lila Bennett, a criminal defense attorney in LA who is bad ass at her job. Perhaps a little too bad ass as she’s helped many suspected criminals walk away innocently. She’s also the villain in her own life having an affair with her best friend’s husband and really not being a great partner to her own husband. She’s got a lot of secrets she needs to keep and she’s not ready to reveal them all despite her feelings about them.

But when Lila is kidnapped by a mysterious person in a black ski mask, her life splits creating a “Sliding Doors” style story where one side she’s captured by someone who is determined to oust her and the other side she’s free but still being chased to tell the truth.

The two sides of this story will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat while you piece together who the kidnapper might be. You’ll draw info from the “captured” side and from the “freed” side to see how Lila’s truly messed up her relationships with the people around her. Lila was a very difficult character to like mostly because she’s such a villain in her own life. I wouldn’t say she had the ruthless personality you would imagine a criminal defense attorney to have, but it definitely seemed like she saw opportunities in her life for her own advancement and she took them without any remorse.

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I honestly felt the suspense in Lila’s “captured” chapters and her “freed” chapters felt like a redemption story. I loved how Lisa and Liz juxtaposed the two sides of this story creating a mega thriller that uses two kinds of thriller tropes. First being a forced redemption where she’s captured and forced to not only face the secrets and lies she’s told, but also watch as the people affected are told. The other felt more like Lila learning on her own that redemption is possible and requires her to be brave and face the ugly truth.

Lisa and Liz’s writing is great as well. This was my first book from the duo and I loved how the story flowed so well between the two narratives as well as the two authors. It’s obvious that they’re passionate about what they do and create really intriguing stories that capture readers attention.

In the end, her two split sides meet very different endings and the book makes you really think whether or not Lila’s actually changed. I think this is the best part. The question that the book leaves at the end may come off a little confusing, but after hearing that Lisa and Liz intended to keep the ending open-ended for interpretation made it a bit more interesting!

I received a copy of this book from the authors for free in exchange for an honest review. My opinions have not been influenced by the publisher or the author.

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