Two sides to every murder by Danielle Valentine

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Danielle Valentine’s How to survive your murder was an ALA Best books for young adults 2023, so I was happy to pick up Two sides to every murder. Set in Camp Lost Lake, which was a murder scene seventeen years earlier, it features two young women, Olivia and Reagan. Olivia was born during the infamous murders and has returned seeking answers about her biological father. Reagan is the daughter of the woman accused of the murders and the pair have been on the run ever since. Convinced her mother is innocent, Reagan returns determined to uncover the culprit. But is the real murderer lurking in the campsite, determined to keep the past a secret?

Two sides to every murder is gripping and I quickly finished it in a couple of sittings, trying to work out who committed the murders. Both girls face danger when they start investigating and neither can be sure of who they can trust. There are clues and red herrings scattered throughout the story, with some information gradually being revealed about both Olivia and Reagan. Then there are wild chases through the dark trees, the sound of twigs snapping as the hooded murderer pursues the girls, a bear trap, and deadly arrows, all to keep the reader glued to the page. What more can be asked of a terrifying mystery set in a forested lakeside campsite?

This is an exciting story, one to enjoy while relaxing in the holidays. The characters are likeable, there is a touch of romance and the setting is terrific. Fans who enjoy danger set in campsites might like to pick up The Lake by Natasha Preston or the thriller The fear by Natasha Preston.

Themes: Murder, Thriller.

Pat Pledger