BOOK CLUB: The Pact

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The Pact is a very easy quick to read book by Dawn Goodwin.  The thriller is full of suspense, family dynamics, cheating, blackmail and friendship.

Maddie is newly separated from her husband Greg, after 20 years of marriage, he has an affair with his employee, Gemma that results in a baby. Maddie moves into a new flat and becomes friends with her upstairs neighbor Jade. Jade has a young son, Ben which draws Maddie in as she is desperate for a baby.  

Jade is facing a custody battle with her ex, Mark.  One night after too many wines Jade jokes that they should kill each other’s exes and a pact was made; I’ll kill yours if you kill mine. Jade takes the pact seriously while fragile Maddie thinks it’s a joke. 

The majority of the novel is based around Maddie’s past; her life with her husband and their high school romance, her struggles with fertility and IVF, the deceit and betrayal from Greg yet still accommodating him while he lives in the house they once shared being a happy family she longed for.  Maddie makes some questionable decisions due to her naivety whilst Jade has secrets and is sly and cunning when it comes to revenge and getting what she wants. Jade speaks of the pact casually when they catch up but Maddie continues to think that nothing will come of it.  

I found the novel frustrating at times; usually the beginning of a thriller there is action, suspense and whodunit moments but nothing happens until the last few chapters where the pact comes to conclusion.  The characters are bearable, Maddie seemed very needy and gullible whilst Jade had some get up and go even though she seemed crazy.   

If you are after a non-brainer novel for a lazy day on the couch this is a book for you!

ISBN: 9781788549356 / https://headofzeus.com/books/9781788549356

Thank you B&L and Head of Zeus for the opportunity to read this book. A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading it with us, and they will leave their feedback in the comments section below.

19 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The Pact

  1. The Pact – Dawn Goodwin
    The Pact starts with main character Maddie Lowe moving in to a small appartment block.
    She is sad, lonely and miserable after splitting from her husband Greg.
    Greg was the only real partner she had ever had, after meeting at Uni when they were young. Maddie’s life revolved around Greg, their business and her desperate need to become a mother.
    After many devastating miscarriages and disappointing attempts to get pregnant Maddie feels very isolated and depressed. Meanwhile Greg turns to his PA Gemma, starting an affair that results in her becoming pregnant. Greg chooses to leave Maddie to start his new life with Gemma and baby Jemima, continuing to live in his and Maddie’s luxurious house.
    Greg then sets Maddie up in a the new apartment.
    Maddie meets her upstairs neighbour Jade and her son Ben. She becomes obsessed with Ben and does her best to befriend Jade so she can spend more time with him.
    At first she enjoys getting to know Jade but she does notice some strange behaviours.
    When Jade suggests that she would kill Greg if Maddie kills her ex, Maddie thinks surely she must be joking – but is she?
    This was an enjoyable book with some twists near the end. Thanks to Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read this book.

  2. The Pact, an e-book by Dawn Goodwin is full of tension, family conflict and unexpected twists and really draws you in. I read it in a few hours!

    The protagonist of the story, Maddie, is a newly separated, emotionally fragile and lonely woman. She is at a real low point in her life and seems to have given up. Her dream of a happy family life now broken. Greg her ex (but still husband) has moved her out of their beautiful family home and into a small flat which is just around the corner. He now lives in their palatial family home with his glamorous new girlfriend Gemma( his former PA) and their sweet young baby Jemima. Gemma drives a Range Rover, Greg drives a Porsche, and Maddie now drives a Fiat 500. Maddie has also lost (or given up) her role in the business that she and Greg started together…

    Downsized and downtrodden Maddie, is the perfect prey for her calculating and cunning new neighbour Jade. She quickly takes advantage of Maddie’s vulnerabilities. Maddie’s desperate loneliness cancels out her initial misgivings and doubts about Jade.
    The fact that Jade has a young son, Ben and is worried that the baby’s father is going to try and get custody of him, also pulls at Maddie’s heartstrings.
    So it is that after a night of way too much wine, they jokingly agree that Jade will kill Maddie’s husband if Maddie kills Jade’s ex. Just a joke right? Or is it?

    A story of heartache, complicated family situations, maternal yearning, betrayal and greed, The Pact is an easy to read, entertaining thriller.

  3. “The Pact” is an unoriginal novel that is well enough written to be quite entertaining. However, the basic story is one that I’ve seen many times in movies, TV shows, and novels. Even the subplots are familiar.

    The novel opens as Maddie Lowe moves into her new flat. The ultimate doormat, Maddie has allowed her husband to move his new girlfriend (and their daughter) into the home Maddie and Greg shared. She’s let them keep the pick of the household goods. Indeed, she even seems to have let Greg dictate where she will live now.

    Doormat or no, Maddie is definitely traumatised. Her marriage to Greg became deeply damaged after multiple miscarriages and her depression over their inability to have children. The fact that Greg’s affair produces a child almost by accident is no help. However, many would say that Maddie’s desperation to spend time with that child is unhealthy.

    Now exiled to a small flat (close enough to still spend a lot of time with Greg and his child, though), Maddie needs to pick up the pieces of her life. Perhaps her brash new neighbour, Jade, will be a help with that. Jade isn’t really Maddie’s kind of person, but her toddler Ben most definitely is. And Maddie is desperate to form a relationship with a child – any child. And Jade, so different to Maddie, prompts her to look at things differently.

    Jade suggests that they can help each other: she will kill Greg for Maddie, and Maddie can kill Jade’s ex-boyfriend. Maddie greets this suggestion with the drunken hilarity and enthusiasm it deserves… but Jade is strangely persistent.

    This exact plot is familiar from multiple movies, some decades old. And the subplot about a woman fixated on children to the point of being crazed is hardly new either. There were no real twists, and much of the plot was telegraphed well in advance. As a result, I didn’t find this particularly gripping, and nor did it have much tension.

    However, Goodwin writes well enough that this was enjoyable even without any surprises. The characters are well drawn and believable. Maddie is a doormat, but it’s fairly understandable given what she’s gone through. Jade is a little over the top, but not unbelievably so.

    I keep coming back to the word enjoyable. This was an enjoyable read, but not one that had any tension or surprises for me. It’s probably best read as a character study rather than a thriller. Looked at like that, it’s a good, if shallow, read. As a thriller or a crime novel, I found it disappointing.

  4. Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Head of Zeus for the chance to read and review The Pact by Dawn Goodwin.
    I would recommend this book if you want a quick easy read. I wouldn’t call it a thriller as such as I thought it was quite predictable. In fact the whole book had that feeling of being read before.
    The characters frustrated me, Maddie was so naive and downtrodden it made it hard for me to like her, Greg basically wanted his cake and to eat it too, Jade was over the top but probably looked more so by Maddie’s naivety. I prefer books with a stronger lead woman which made this book a little hard for me to read.
    I do think that Goodwin has a nice writing style and I am interested to read more books by her however with these characters this book just wasn’t for me.

  5. The Pact by Dawn Goodwin, a great read.
    “I’ll kill yours if you kill mine” One woman was joking…one woman was not!

    Maddie Lowe, her life currently a disaster. Her husband has left her for his PA who has had his baby. Maddie moves into a new flat, trying to get her life together. She befriends a neighbour Jade. Over many glasses of wine they discuss a pact. One of them was joking but one of them was not!

    It is a psychological thriller which keeps you enthralled to the end !

  6. This was a story where I found at first the characters to sad, then annoying, but as the story began to unfold, there were many twists and turns, and all is certainly not as it seems.
    At times I really felt the main character, Maddie, to be quite unhinged, and even more so, her new neighbour ,Jade. They become friends, but a web of lies and deceipt become extremely dangerous, and by about 1/2 way through, you really can’t put it down. You just keep reading to see how it will all unfold. What starts out with you believing a conversation is a joke, turns into something far more sinister.
    Grief, lust, love, betrayal, murder and lies, all wrapped up in one novel.
    I felt the ending was a little rushed, but in all, an easy read.
    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Head of Zeus for the chance to read and review The Pact by Dawn Goodwin.

  7. The Pact is a good easy read. I didn’t find it very thrilling but it was a bit suspenseful at time.
    Maddie the main character is very timid and shy. She needs to get some backbone and stand up for herself, not be so needy. Her ex-husband is somewhat at fault here as he wants his cake and eat it too. He should have let her stand on her own two feet.
    Jade is manipulative and out for the best chance.
    I was worried Maddie would be in trouble after Jade’s death but I guess no one else knew of the pact.
    Not the best or worst book I have read.

  8. The Pact by Dawn Goodwin is all about Maddie and her new life after her husband (Greg) and her split up.

    The story is told mainly from Maddie’s
    perspective, with other (short) chapters from other characters or titled ‘Then’ that fill in information about the past.

    Maddie is lonely, a bit desperate and needy and from early on it’s quite obvious she is desperate to have a baby. In the new flat she’s moved into her upstairs neighbour Jade has a young son. Jade and Maddie becomes friendly and Maddie pursues the friendship even though you know Jade is dodgy, just so she can spend time with Ben.
    One night while they are drinking wine, they make a pact to kill each other’s ex’s. Jade is serious but Maddie thinks it’s a joke.

    The characters aren’t very likeable, I found Maddie annoying at the beginning, maybe if I knew her whole story first I would’ve liked her quicker and felt sorry for her. You could tell Jade was a manipulator and not a nice person straight away. Greg seemed weak and I didn’t warm to him either.

    All of the action happened right at the end of the book and it felt rushed and like all of the loose ends needed to be tied up.

    In saying that – it was an easy read and in the end I just wanted to know what was going to happen so I read it quite quickly.

    Thank you Beauty and Lace and Head of Zeus for the book

  9. Wow! I loved this book; a perfect camp chair read. It was fast paced and sometimes suspenseful reading. The storyline itself is not really unique and sometimes predictable but I really felt like I got to know the characters well and really enjoyed reading it.
    Maddie’s life has turned upside down – her husband has left her (to live with his new partner and baby) and she’s moved into a small apartment on her own. Having been with Greg since high school she has few friends and not much of a life beyond Greg. While living in the new apartment Maddie becomes friends with another tenant, Jade and her young son Ben. As the two women start getting to know one another (and their exes) over a few wines, Jade suggests a pact “I’ll kill yours if you kill mine”. Maddie laughs it off as a drunken comment but what if it wasn’t a joke at all?
    The story is told mostly from Maddie’s perspective both in the past and the present so you get to know why she makes some decisions.
    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Head of Zeus for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  10. I read “The Pact” by Dawn Goodwin over two nights. Sadly I could relate to the main character: Maddie. Infertility and repeat miscarriages can really suck the soul out of a person. Maddie is living in an unusual relationship: living apart but not really estranged from her husband
    Vulnerable as she is Maddie easily becomes influenced by her neighbour Jade and the situation she unwittingly gets trapped in snowballs out of control
    This is a growing into and reclaiming your self story. It seems that Maddie has to hit rock bottom before she can flourish and grow
    First though she must extricate herself from the situation she is in. Quite a few twists in this tale along the way, I really enjoyed this tale although the ending still surprised me
    Many thanks to Beauty and Lace and Head of Zeus for the opportunity to read and review this ebook

  11. Thanks to Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read and review Dawn Goodwin’s The Pact. An interesting premise with a small cast of diverse characters.

    I really felt for Maddie and the horrible experiences she had been through. Jade I just found prickly and manipulative. Greg, who seemed really lovely and his new partner the superficial and hostile Gemma, along with the neighbours in the block of flats all contribute to the ensemble. At times I found the writing a little stilted, however the premise was interesting and I wanted to know how it would end, and just how much carnage would eventuate! An easy read. Thanks again to Beauty and Lace and Head of Zeus for the opportunity.

  12. I received a copy of The Pact by Dawn Goodwin from Head of Zeus and Beauty & Lace Book Club in return for an honest review.
    I really really wanted to like this book, the blurb was fantastic, sadly the story fell short. I didn’t enjoy this book very much. The characters were very unlikeable – a naive door mat, an egotistical jerk and a manipulator – the plot was confusing at the start, unoriginal and predictable.

  13. I had the opportunity to read my first book for months since COVID and found this rather disappointing.

    It’s easy enough to read and the plot is very interesting and the topics also touch on very sensitive matters that were very relateable to me regarding infertility issues. However I found the story lacked substance and the characters unconvincing.

    I only have a few chapters left and will persist as the reviews above mention the end is the most promising part of the book and I try never to leave a book unfinished.

  14. The Pact – Dawn Goodwin
    I enjoyed reading this book even though it seemed a little plain and done before, I envy writers and their skills. Maddie was a quiet character and needed to learn to stand on her own and use her own voice, I enjoyed reading this e-book and it was still a great read.

  15. The pact is by far the best book I have a read in a really long time. I couldn’t put it down I read it start to finish and bawled my eyes out. Easy reading and keeps you guessing. Loved it!
    Thanks for the opportunity to read it beauty and lace!

  16. Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Head of Zeus for the opportunity to read this book.

    The pact centres around Maddie and her relationships with her ex-husband Greg and new neighbour Jade. After befriending her neighbour on an evening in, Maddie seemingly enters into a Pact with Jade to assist both of their situations with ex-partners.

    The story goes into Maddie’s past to help give a fuller picture of the character and what decisions she is to face.

    An easy read with a few twists and turns, I enjoyed reading the book. My only criticism was the pace of the book, providing a build up and then a fast ending. Perhaps a bit more story in the last part would be good however it didn’t detract from the overall experience.

  17. Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Head of Zeus for the opportunity to read and review Dawn Goodwin’s ebook novel The Pact.
    Psychological suspense is a genre I have a love/hate relationship with – I hate being scared if the plot is too intense, and yet I am fascinated by the skill involved in getting into the brains of some of these characters. As psychological suspense goes The Pact was a soft example of the genre. I enjoyed the read, but didn’t find myself particularly invested in the characters or plot.
    What I did find hugely frustrating, and for this I lay the blame wholly at the feet of the editor, is that sesame oil is made from seeds, not nuts. It would not cause anaphylaxis in a person with a nut allergy. It is beyond me why an editor would not fact check this!
    Leaving that (more than) minor detail aside, if you are looking for an easy read with some interesting twists, then The Pact is for you.

  18. Don’t joke about murder – a key message in the novel, The Pact by Dawn Goodwin. This was a thrilling read telling the complicated story of Maddie and the questionable relationship she still holds with ex-husband, Greg. After Maddie’s private struggles and Greg’s infidelity lead to their separation, Greg supports Maddie in securing a new apartment where she befriends neighbour, Jade. Ignoring the warning signs, Maddie continues the friendship with Jade and together they drunkenly make a pact to kill each others ex-partner. Maddie went along with the joke though as Goodwin builds the story, the reader questions how serious Jade really is, and whether Maddie would hold up her end of the deal.

    Thank you for the opportunity to read and review this suspenseful page turner. While not necessarily a unique plot, this was an easy read and did have me questioning a few things throughout.

  19. Unfortunately this is a story that has already been told a number of times, making this book predictable.

    However, if this story is unknown to you, then you are in for a ride! The author weaves the charactors stories, plots, tension and unknown like a skilled weaver building a beautify tapastry. It is a book that would drive you to read ‘just one more page’ before going to sleep, only to find yourself hours later engrossed in the story. Full credit to the author in grabbing you and holding you to the very end.

    Providing you dont know the story, this is a very entertaining book.

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