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Publisher's Summary

An instant international best seller

"Wholly original. Scarily clever. Completely mesmerizing. You will never look at family road trips the same way again." (Lisa Gardner, number one New York Times best-selling author)

A most anticipated book by Hello Sunshine ∙ CosmoEntertainment Weekly ∙ BetchesHollywood Reporter ∙ Parade ∙ PopSugarOK! Magazine ∙  Hello Giggles ∙ Bustle ∙  Yahoo! ∙ She Reads ∙ Book Page ∙ CrimeReads ∙ New York Post Best Book of the Week ∙ Goodreads

From the twisted mind behind mega hit My Lovely Wife comes the story of a family - not unlike your own - just with a few more violent tendencies thrown in....

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 - more importantly - secure their inheritance.

But time with your family can be tough. It is for everyone.

It'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 reasons.

But money is a powerful motivator. It is for everyone.

©2020 Samantha Downing (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

"A twisty, sneaking tale of greed, lies and betrayal, with each character as conniving as the next and an ending that will make your heart stop. This one needs to be on the top of everyone's to-read list!" (Mary Kubica, New York Times best-selling author of The Good Girl and The Other Mrs.)

"A thrill ride through the darkest parts of the American landscape - funny, scary and twisted until the explosive final page." (Michele Campbell, internationally best-selling author of A Stranger on the Beach)

“A tour de force in voice and structure. The brilliant Samantha Downing takes a glorious risk in this superbly captivating and endlessly surprising road trip from hell. It’s sibling rivalry pushed  to the max - dark and crazy and twisted - and  I could not put it down.” (Hank Phillippi Ryan, USA Today best-selling author of The First to Lie)

What listeners say about He Started It

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    3 out of 5 stars

Felt like amateur night.

The whole plot was thin and the characters were so unlikeable if one could find one that was fleshed out enough to get good a feeling for the character. Sometimes a good story teller can save the show but not for me.

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Loved It!!

Samantha twists her story in unpredictable ways it very refressing. And that ending, kinda madining but loved it!

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meh. doesn't hold your interest.

the ending......sigh......pure boredom, it's basically a blah ending that the author presumably thinks leaves you on the precipice of a breathtaking series. oh so wrong. I used it to put me to sleep each evening...... if not I would have asked for the return id mgt credit. YAWWWNNNNNN

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Don't bother

This story was so not my cup of tea! I was very disappointed when the authors other book was amazing.
Just about a road trip very boring.

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Last few chapters spoiled the book for me

Enjoyed it most of the way and getting to know the characters from childhood to adulthood, but really disliked the last couple of chapters and how it ended.

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Ending felt like a cop out

The story is slow-paced, just like a long road trip. The performance was good, and I was looking forward to the conclusion after such a drawn-out tale, but it was such a let-down I truly can't recommend the book. It felt like the author ran out of steam and tried to quickly tie up the strings of the narrative, only to let them go, with no real ending. I didn't care about any of the characters and my only hope was for a satisfying result to all their scheming. I actually feel ripped off that I waisted 10 hours listening to that. I am going to get a refund.

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  • Kelly M
  • 2020-07-31

Oh. My. God.

I went back and listened to the ending twice, nope, no joy. Absolutely wonderful narrator, good story throughout. I just can’t stomach the ending. I enjoyed Downing’s 1st book thoroughly, and WAS enjoying this one equally. Leaving this one still hungry!

6 people found this helpful

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  • HailtoTheVictors
  • 2020-07-23

Awful. Boring

My lovely wife by the same author was so good. This book is the complete opposite. The description and the picture have absolutely nothing to do with what this book is about. Basically a bunch of stupid siblings go on a road trip in order to get an inheritance from the grandfather. If you like hearing about being followed by someone in a pick up and staying in bed motels this is definitely the book for you. If you’re looking for a good listening experience I would definitely pass

6 people found this helpful

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  • Felicity Xenia Spamotic
  • 2020-07-25

Cop out of an Ending. Ridiculous .

The narration of this tale is top -notch. Karissa Vacker joins the ranks of Scott Brick and Xi Sands and David Pittu. Can't say enough about how much I enjoyed her voices.

The story is an interesting tale that takes us across the country with a vehicle full of siblings . The story gets more exciting as secrets are revealed; I could not wait to witness the conclusion.

Now I wish that I had stopped on the last few pages. This powerful piece of work is denigrated with the sophomoric ending.
No, it did t end with "and then she woke up from her dream". That would have been a more satisfying conclusion.

I don't know where her editor was on this one. I was left feeling quite used.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Carol
  • 2020-11-01

AWFUL

Not only is the plot ridiculously improbable, but there is not ONE character in the entire novel who is remotely likable
or sympathetic!!

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  • Courtney
  • 2020-08-20

Nope. You have got to be kidding me

Hell to the naw naw naw!
This book is terrible. Absolutely ridiculous and unrealistic.  I listened to it on Audible and couldn't wait for it to end. I'll admit there were a couple of entertaining twist that I enjoyed but it damn sure was not worth it. I mean exactly what kind of an ending was that? For the life of me I don't understand why so many people are raving about this piece of trash book😠👎

3 people found this helpful

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  • Tempster
  • 2020-07-23

Brilliant!!

I loved Samantha Downing’s first book, My Lovely Wife so much that I’ve followed her and waited for months and months for the release of He Started It. I absolutely loved this book.

It was three siblings who had to take a road trip across the country, retracing the exact journey they had with their grandfather when they were young. After they completed the trip and scattered the grandfather’s ashes, they would inherit the millions left to them.

There was never a dull moment and as the journey progressed, lies, secrets, and more surprises kept being revealed. It’s absolutely necessary for the reader to be constantly ready for whatever is next!!

I’m still having to work on understanding the ending and look forward to exchanging ideas and opinions with other readers.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Kimberly A.
  • 2020-12-16

Not a tight ending

We would have liked an Epilogue to this story as there were a few questions unanswered in our minds.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Angela M. Dokos
  • 2020-08-03

Good story

The story was great; but I disliked all the characters. They were all evil. The book was very entertaining. The end was a sucker punch.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Stay at home mommy
  • 2020-07-25

It was good but one part unresolved

I enjoyed it and I enjoyed how she described a road trip
The one part that annoyed me was when narrator did something pretty awful and completely unjustified—and there was no resolution or reference to it
Maybe I missed something?

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  • grumpyshampoo
  • 2021-04-12

Not as I expected

This book had me hooked! I could not stop listening!!! The journey was a rollar coaster and then the ending was a HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT!