Release date: January 14, 2020
Days after a young teenager named Jenny is found murdered, her small town grieves the loss alongside her picture-perfect parents. At first glance, Jenny’s tragic death appears clear-cut for investigators. In the murder of a former pageant queen from a safe and loving family, the most obvious suspect is a fan who got too close for comfort. But Jenny’s sarcastic, older half-sister Virginia isn’t so sure of his guilt and takes matters into her own hands to find the killer.
But for Jenny’s case and and Virginia’s investigation, there’s more to the story. Virginia, still living in town and haunted by her own troubled teenage years, suspects that a similar darkness lay beneath the sparkling veneer of Jenny’s life. Alternating between Jenny’s final days and Virginia’s determined search for the truth, the sisters’ dual narratives follow a harrowing trail of suspects, with surprising turns that race toward a shocking finale.
The first month of the year and I’m already struggling with thrillers AGAIN. Sigh. I had high hopes for this one, the premise and structure sounded interesting enough and I’m always excited about a debut. Unfortunately for me this one just didn’t work at all, maybe I’ve just read too many similar books, but in the end, this was just a mess for me.
I’m just going to highlight what was problematic for me quickly because I think for the right reader this may work great, that reader just wasn’t me. If you haven’t read a bunch of thrillers recently then this may be better for you, but for me it was predictable and kind of draining. I had zero connection to Virginia, frankly I found her pretty intolerable and I while I did want to know who killed Jenny, the answer itself was horrible and disappointing. The whole last part of the book was convoluted and messy and it felt like certain things were added just for shock and didn’t feel as if said things were of any value to the book. The author is a good writer though and the pacing was good, this had potential for me but the execution just didn’t work.
Overall rating: 2.5/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.