In such daunting times, I’m very glad of books to entertain me and today’s book was certainly entertaining.
Days after a young teenager named Jenny is found murdered, her small town grieves the loss alongside her picture-perfect parents. At first glance, Jenny’s tragic death appears clear-cut for investigators. In the murder of a former pageant queen from a safe and loving family, the most obvious suspect is a fan who got too close for comfort. But Jenny’s sarcastic, older half-sister Virginia isn’t so sure of his guilt and takes matters into her own hands to find the killer.
But for Jenny’s case and Virginia’s investigation, there’s more to the story. Virginia, still living in town and haunted by her own troubled teenage years, suspects that a similar darkness lay beneath the sparkling veneer of Jenny’s life. Alternating between Jenny’s final days and Virginia’s determined search for the truth, the sisters’ dual narratives follow a harrowing trail of suspects, with surprising turns that race toward a shocking finale.
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Do you ever finish a book and just can’t seem to get your thoughts together? That’s how I feel after finishing this and I’m pretty sure I’m not going to write this review in any kind of eloquent fashion.
It’s kind of strange because from the description it kind of sounds like a fast-paced psychological thriller type book, but actually, my reading experience didn’t really didn’t give me that impression. The first half of the book to me felt almost more like an intriguing character study based around a mystery and then as the story started to get closer to its end I could feel the thriller element to it.
I think this has something to do with the author’s writing style, there is something magnetic about the way she describes her setting and portrays the characters. For the first half of the book I was caught up in both Virginia and Jenny and figuring them out, I enjoyed that we got to hear from both of them in a dual timeline especially as their relationship was not what I expected.
I wouldn’t say that Virginia was a likeable character but I did find her refreshing because of how honest she was about her failings, she felt human without being the overdone kind of unreliable narrator. I did prefer Jenny as a character I think because she was going through so much change and it made for very interesting reading and of course because as you are reading her story in the back of your mind you are constantly wondering who killed her.
The pace at the start of the book is quite slow but I enjoyed that because I felt like I was really getting to know the characters and their dynamic and then about halfway through I started to notice the suspense escalating and with it an ominous atmosphere. I have to say it does start to get a bit sinister, the kind that made me squirm whilst reading like I was feeling everything that the characters were and it got pretty intense.
I definitely didn’t guess what was going to happen at the end of the story and there were parts of it that I thought were very well done, however, there were a few things that I felt were maybe a little unconvincing but in the grand scheme of things, it didn’t hinder my enjoyment much at all.
Amy Green was born and raised in a small New England town where she was once struck by lightning. She was a practicing CPA before leaving the corporate life to work in film production, write, and wear fewer high heels. She now lives in LA.
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