This book was at the top of my TBR list and it did not disappoint. I was apprehensive at first considering it had been compared to One of Us is Lying, a book I’ve tried to get into multiple times to no avail. What I thought would be a difficult book to get through was a funny, thrilling page turner.
The case is closed. Five years ago, schoolgirl Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. The police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it.
But having grown up in the same small town that was consumed by the murder, Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn’t so sure. When she chooses the case as the topic for her final-year project, she starts to uncover secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden. And if the real killer is still out there, how far will they go to keep Pip from the truth?
So many people have raved about this book and rightly so! Holly Jackson presents a lovable, funny detective type in the form of Pip. I hate to say I found her a little annoying at first but, now that I think about it, I think I found her annoying because she’s very similar to me: kind of awkward but she can be sassy at times and she wants to succeed in her academic life.
Luckily, as the book progressed and the mystery deepened, I liked Pip more. I think we’re rarely presented with such a headstrong protagonist that isn’t constantly looking for praise from a man. I liked that, even though she needed Ravi for her investigation, Pip’s overall goal was to find out what happened…not find a man. Though I’m a sucker for romance, that narrative is so drawn out- especially in YA fiction.
I liked the people Pip was connected to, her lovely family, her friends. I knew, despite the fact that there was prejudice against him and his family, Ravi was more than the papers and the town had made him out to be. I liked the relationship between them and how Jackson proved (for the most part) you can be friends with someone of the opposite sex without wanting to jump their bones.
Another thing I liked was the fact that, despite the fact that the overriding narrative was a tragic event, there was still humour and an almost lightness to this story.
I think the best thing about this was the fact that even I, who (I confess) is a reluctant reader of murder mystery books, got involved. I’m not ashamed to admit that, as I read quickly on, I had a list of suspects. A collection of notes on my phone, pointing to who I thought was responsible. I think that alone is a sign that this book is never boring, it keeps you reading and guessing as you go.
Now for what I didn’t like. This is a stupid one, really. I wasn’t a fan of the way Jackson set out the non-dialogue bits. I’ve been a graduate for a bit now but the footnotes, references and overall dissertation-esque notes sent a shiver down my spine. It reminded me of the horror show that was writing and completing my dissertation. I also didn’t like the fact that, don’t worry it’s another jokey point, I was wrong.
I had my suspicions the whole way through but, as most of these books do, they keep you guessing…just when you thought you had it figured out! I think the overall reveal wasn’t too far fetched and, when I really thought about it, it made sense. I even had one of those how did I not know that moments.
It’s true what they say, this is a brilliant book. One that’ll get your heart racing, your blood pumping and your investigation head on.