Review Blog

Nov 28 2016

The amateurs by Sara Shepard

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The amateurs bk. 1. Hot Key Books, 2016. ISBN 9781471405266
(Age: 15+) Some strong language. Mystery. Alcohol. Parties. Aerin's sister Helena had been brutally murdered years before and when a group of young people who belong to an online forum, Case not closed, turn up on her doorstep offering to investigate the murder, things begin to get out of hand. The amateur sleuths, Seneca, Maddy, Madison and Brett all have different talents and together they begin to unravel the truth.
This was quite a suspenseful plot and very intriguing to begin with. I enjoyed the idea of the amateurs having a go at solving the crime and having more success than the police had originally. Seneca was the most interesting and well fleshed out character, but the others were often immature and not very likeable. The romances between the main characters didn't really jell and I found the constant partying and some sexual innuendos off-putting. As the action progressed, the country club scene and the wealth of the participants began to become tiresome, but this may well appeal to a teen audience.
There were a succession of suspects, many red herrings and a surprise ending which will lead to a second in the series.
Pat Pledger

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