I actually read this book originally back in April 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic. I had been recommended it by a fellow teacher on twitter and so I thought 'why not?' and impulsively bought it. (I know such an unusual thing for me to do!) I never gave it a full review at the time as this was before I had started avidly reviewing books and way before this blog was even an apple in my eye.
I loved it so much that as soon as the sequel was published in 30th April 2020 I bought it instantly. However one thing led to another and It got pushed to the. bottom of my TBR pile. When I found out the third instalment was being published it spurred me onto reading the second one which I absolutely loved too! You will see my review of that shortly! I wanted to review all the books in the trilogy to do it justice, so here is the first review.
The case is closed. Five years ago, schoolgirl Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. The police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it.
But having grown up in the same small town that was consumed by the murder, Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn't so sure. When she chooses the case as the topic for her final year 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?
I was hooked from the absolute beginning of this book. As soon as I read one of the early sentences that stated that hippopotmonstrosesquipedaliophobia was the fear of long words I knew I was in for a treat.
I loved the idea that a high school girl was taking on the role of a detective in a case that had already seemingly been 'solved' by the police. Pip had never believed that Sal Singh had in fact murdered his girlfriend at the time, Andie Bell. So as part of a school project she decided to investigate the murder herself and prove his innocence. The premise of the story brought to mind all the Nancy Drew books I had read in my youth, making me feel very nostalgic. However Pip is most certainly nothing like Nancy Drew! She is such a single minded character in this book, she is extremely clever, studious and dedicated, always giving 100% to her school work, actually enjoying homework and wants to do things for extra credit. She is exactly the kind of character needed to be able to re examine a case that is finished, like a dog with a bone, she is unwilling to let things go, despite the danger she begins to create the more secrets she unearths.
I loved the style of writing in this book, short chapters of narrative, spliced with drawings and images, of her 'murder book' and how her timeline was being plotted and formed throughout plus transcripts of interviews. It kept the story fresh and interesting. There were so many false leads. I genuinely thought I had figured out the killer quite early on... I was wrong! There were so many extra twists too, additions to the narrative that were so unexpected. It kept me hooked from the beginning.
If you are a fan of YA and crime thrillers this is an absolute must for you! Have you read this one? Are you excited for the third instalment? Or is this on your TBR? Let me know in the comments!