The Coworker by Frieda McFadden review: Great until the very end

The Coworker by Frieda McFadden takes us on a wild ride to figure out what happened to Dawn Schiff. The story is great all the way up to the last couple of chapters.
In this photo illustration, Amazon Kindle Store logo seen...
In this photo illustration, Amazon Kindle Store logo seen... / SOPA Images/GettyImages

Frieda McFadden brings us another murder mystery that leaves us with all sorts of twists and turns to navigate. What is The Coworker by Frieda McFadden like, and is it worth reading?

There is no doubt that McFadden can write mystery and thrillers. If you loved The Housemaid, you’ll want to check out others. Never Lie and Ward D have offered some great storytelling and the endings weren’t what you would think they should be.

The Coworker is her most recent thriller. The story is great, all the way up to the end. The ending for various characters is just a little too fairy tale.

What is The Coworker about?

This is a story that is told via different time periods and forms of storytelling. We get a lot of it via emails that Dawn has sent to her friend Mia when it comes to the story of the past. Then the present day focuses on the search for Dawn Schiff.

Natalie works in the cubicle next to Dawn at Vixed. It’s clear that she isn’t the nicest person, but there’s nothing to suggest that she would go in and murder someone. That’s where the emails come into play. Suddenly, there is this different view of Natalie, showing us that some people are unreliable narrators.

Throughout the course of the novel, we follow Natalie has she tries to piece together what’s happened to Dawn. Then there’s the detective who is sure that Natalie did it, especially when she lies about who she was with all night on the night that Dawn went missing.

Did Natalie do it? Is someone framing her for murder? What did happen to Dawn Schiff?

The Coworker by Frieda McFadden review

The leadup to the big reveals at the end is great. I love seeing Natalie tell her story but then get Dawn’s view of Natalie through the emails. We see that someone isn’t completely telling the truth about Natalie. And you’re likely to believe the story that Dawn is telling in her emails. After all, people rarely want to admit that they’re bullies.

There are some great twists and turns along the way. How does the turtle keep ending up on Natalie’s desk? Where is the detective getting all his information from? What exactly happened to Dawn Schiff?

Then it gets to some big reveals. Now, there is one twist that I adore. I’m not going into it because it’s a huge spoiler that will ruin the rest of the story. However, keep in mind that Natalie was a bully in high school and she’s not the nicest person now even though she initially seems it in her storytelling.

It’s the part all the way at the end. As the truth comes out, you would think that characters would hate each other. You’d think that there would be fights, another death, or at least a real arrest. Instead, we get this sweet happily ever after that just doesn’t make a lot of sense after all that went down. It’s the first time with McFadden’s novels when I’ve really disliked the ending and it ruined the great writing up to that point for me.

If you want the fairytale ending, though, this is a book for you.

Stars: 2 out of 5.

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The Coworker by Frieda McFadden is available on Amazon.