📚18📚 A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

But having grown up in the same small town that was consumed by the crime, Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn’t so sure. When she chooses the case as the topic for her final 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?

Can I remember how long this book has been on my shelf for, but I took it down as ‘distraction reading’ for this afternoon while I counted down the hours till my 2nd COVID jab. I managed to read ¾ of the book in the 2 hours I had before the jab.

Side Note – Hysterical phobia of needles still working. Kind nurses took me to a separate room. Had a sneaky nurse who stabbed me with the needle when she said she wasn’t doing anything (i.e. I will never trust a nurse again!) Hysterical crying ensured. I did get a lollipop for my troubles. It was strawberry. My arm is throbbing, and I’m knackered now.

This did a great job at distracting me from my impending 2nd COVID jab. Not much can distract me when I have to face a needle, so off the bat this was pretty impressive. I enjoyed the structure of this book, the mix between storytelling and report telling. It gave a good mix of present and past, and it wrapped nicely in the package of mystery. The way the book was divided into parts was also a useful tool in terms of highlighting important plot points and giving them their own moment to shine, but also in bringing everything back together.

Jackson does a very good job at hiding leads and burying suspects. I definitely went through a long list of different culprits in my head, and I was constantly trying to read between the lines to figure out what was going on.

Pippa was a compelling character. She had the perfect mix of determination and curiosity that was needed in solving this murder. She tackled this case with a ferocity that I like to think I would have employed had I been in her shoes. I liked the duo of Pippa and Ravi, they complimented each other very well. It was a nice blossoming friendship that grew as the story continued.

The book touches on the experience of a community coming together to target an assumed conclusion and shows the ‘mentality of the mob’. It also hints upon how the police force can take the wrong road down a crime and discount things based on the most obvious route presented.

In that regard, I enjoy books that push the wall. It pushes what is socially acceptable and allows the reader to think outside of the box and explore the alternate avenues that Jackson presents.

This was another quick read for me, only a few hours. I can always tell by how quickly I read books how great my enjoyment was. I’ve got a little stack of YA crime murder themed books on my shelf; this is just the first I picked up. In fact, I was so convinced that I had the sequel already on my shelf and I was so disappointed when I realised, I didn’t have it. I will definitely be picking up the next book and reading it.

Some of what I was reading did scream ‘Pretty Little Liars’, so in that aspect, I didn’t find the story to be particularly unique or unexpected. However, despite the similarities to the above, there was a lot that was different. Also, there was more mystery and intrigue in this book.

I did feel there was a little missed opportunity. The initials ‘HH’ appear during the story and there is a sub-character introduced as ‘Henry Hill’ but they’re never mentioned again. This just felt like a bit of a missed hit because why mention them at all if it isn’t going to lead anywhere?

I hate missed shots or abandoned sub-plots in crime thriller books. It’s infuriating to read. It is worth to note that this book is not an adult crime thriller but a YA crime thriller, so I don’t know if this style of writing is more compelling to the target audience. However, for me it was just irritating.

I give this book 4 stars.

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