Review Blog

Jul 16 2019

A good girl's guide to murder by Holly Jackson

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Electric Monkey, 2019. ISBN: 9781405293181.
(Age: 13+) Highly recommended. Themes: Mystery, Thriller, Murder, Diversity, Friendship. What a compelling mystery - one that was almost impossible to put down! Pippa Fitz-Ambobi decides to investigate the murder of schoolgirl Andie Bell as her final year research project. Even though the police had closed the case, based on evidence that her boyfriend Sal Singh had murdered her, Pippa has always had doubts and sets about interviewing suspects and family members in an effort to see if she can find evidence to prove his innocence.
In a tightly packed narrative, consisting of entries into her Extended Project report and narrative about what is happening every day, Pippa delves into the secrets of her small town and uncovers some shocking truths about the people that she thought she knew well. Highly organised and intelligent, Pippa, with the aid of Sal's brother Ravi, goes about the investigation in a systematic way that allows the reader to follow the clues and try and work out who did the murder, or if there was a murder. At the same time Pippa's humour helps to lighten the darkness of some of the evidence and there are some very sad moments as well.
There are lots of plot twists that will keep even seasoned mystery readers trying to unravel the truth, and both Pippa and Ravi are people that the reader would like to know. Pippa's view of people begins to change as she finds out things from the past and she is uncertain of who she can trust. And if Sal didn't murder Andie, how dangerous is her investigation?
This is a terrific thriller that will keep the reader on the edge, very unwilling to put it down until the case is unravelled. People who enjoyed One of us is lying by Karen McManus and There's someone inside your house by Stephanie Perkins will be sure to enjoy this as well, and I am really looking forward to more stories by Holly Jackson.
Pat Pledger

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