When a woman is murdered in Blackdown, a quintessentially British village, newsreader Anna Andrews is reluctant to cover the case. Detective Jack Harper is suspicious of her involvement, until he becomes a suspect in his own murder investigation. Someone isn’t telling the truth, and some secrets are worth killing to keep.
I liked Anna’s character for the most part. I thought she was quite relatable and her drive was admirable for sure. I thought she was going to end up being an unreliable narrator just from the amount of drinks she has throughout the day but I was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t take over her character. I think the way she has overcome everything in her life, especially her daughter’s death made me more attached to her and made me invested in what was happening.
Jack I was a little apprehensive about at the start but I warmed up to him for sure. Again after hearing his backstory and the connection he has with Anna and the rest of the women that are getting murdered piqued my interest. He was definitely one of those characters that are making all the wrong decisions while he’s in the middle of an investigation pretty much implicating himself but it was quite entertaining.
I really enjoyed the multiple perspectives and the format of the story kept the pace pretty fast which really helped me fly through this book. There were so many little twists and revelations throughout the course of the plot and it had me guessing right up to the end who was really behind all of the murders. Didn’t blow me away by any means and isn’t a new favourite but I still really enjoyed it.
⭐️3/5 star a solid read
An outcast at her small-town Georgia high school, Madison Washington has always been a teasing target for bullies. And she’s dealt with it because she has more pressing problems to manage. Until the morning a surprise rainstorm reveals her most closely kept secret: Maddy is biracial. She has been passing for white her entire life at the behest of her fanatical white father, Thomas Washington. After a viral bullying video pulls back the curtain on Springville High’s racist roots, student leaders come up with a plan to change their image: host the school’s first integrated prom as a show of unity. The popular white class president convinces her Black superstar quarterback boyfriend to ask Maddy to be his date, leaving Maddy wondering if it’s possible to have a normal life.
I quite enjoyed Maddy’s character. I think the way she chose to deal with everything that has happened to her so far has been quite realistic. There is definitely that sense of not belonging to any one particular group at school and also the horrific treatment from her father has really stunted her maturity and also her confidence which leads to her inevitable psychotic break.
I wasn’t all that invested in any of the other characters to be honest. I think they were all meant to be unlikeable as we know that none of them survive prom night. Kenny’s character got on my nerves a little bit. I know it would be quite hard to not stick to the status quo when your in high school but he should of stuck up for Maddy and called out the quite obvious racists acts that his friends were pulling. His sister was one of my favourite characters and I loved how she wouldn’t stand for it and made a fuss! Wendy was totally selfish and even though her intentions might of been to help smooth everything over she was doing it all for herself and her image.
I haven’t read the original Carrie or watched the movie before so I honestly had no preconceived notions on how this should be written or how close or far from the original it is or should be. I thought it was well written and the format with the added podcast element was fun and made it easier to get through. The pacing was quite fast and I was highly entertained throughout. The prom night scene did feel a little rushed though so I wish we could of had more time to really get a grasp of what was happening and how horrible it would of been to witness.
⭐️4/5 stars seeing these characters get what they deserve was fun!
Hollow’s Edge use to be a quiet place. A private and idyllic neighborhood where neighbors dropped in on neighbors, celebrated graduation and holiday parties together, and looked out for one another. But then came the murder of Brandon and Fiona Truett. A year and a half later, Hollow’s Edge is simmering. The residents are trapped, unable to sell their homes, confronted daily by the empty Truett house, and suffocated by their trial testimonies that implicated one of their own. Ruby Fletcher. And now, Ruby’s back.
Harper honestly kind of got on my nerves for the majority of the book. I don’t understand why she wouldn’t just confront Ruby and ask her why she came back. She just let this supposed murderer waltz back into her house and use all of her stuff, it was frustrating to read. She let this girl come back after being released from prison with no explanation and offered to buy her some new clothes? Harper didn’t really have a backbone and just let everyone walk all over throughout the course of the book that I just wanted to shake her and tell her to snap out of it.
Ruby’s character was an interesting one for sure. Immediately you just knew that she was back for revenge on this community for essentially being the ones who cemented her guilty verdict. If it wasn’t for the group chat and everyone’s wariness for outsiders and non home owners then Ruby would never of even been a suspect. So I completely understand her motivations for coming back to Hollow’s Edge and causing a stir. But I kind of wanted her to do more in her time back. There wasn’t really any big dramatic scenes with her until it came to the pool party and even then it was a tad anticlimactic until we find out what happens.
I was a bit confused when we find out that Ruby dies. On one hand I was very shocked and surprised and on the other I just thought what was the point of her coming back just to die. It really turned the story on it’s head though and shifted the narrative to a place I wasn’t expecting it to go which did ultimately keep me engaged. Trying to put together all of the little clues and finding out more about Harper’s involvement in the original investigation was interesting and quite entertaining.
⭐️3/5 stars Not the best but full of juicy drama and neighborhood secrets
*A FEW SPOILERS*
This book is a contemporary horror story where a teen prank goes very wrong and all hell breaks loose: is there a supernatural cause, a psychopath on the loose, or both?
Sawyer is very resolute in his thoughts that Manny the mannequin has come to life and is now hell bent on killing them all. I have to say his reasonings behind it was quite weak and the fact that he is so almost eagerly willing to murder the rest of his friends just to spare the rest of their families gives me that hero complex vibe. I don’t know how he gets away with each of them as he doesn’t really think through each little detail of the murders and executes them pretty much out in the open with a lot of witnesses.
I feel like this is basically about Sawyer not willing to grow apart from his friends and how fixated he is on trying to maintain their connection through Manny. They used to be so close and would pull all these pranks and hang out all the time and gradually that has stopped to the point where Manny has been sitting in his garage for years. Even the reoccurring theme of the super hero movie throughout the plot he uses as a way to reinforce the validity of his thought process.
One thing about Stephen Graham Jones’ books is he kind of throws you straight into the story. I just always feel a bit disoriented when I start like I missed an introduction somewhere, it’s quite strange. You definitely have to suspend a bit of belief when reading this book but it was definitely weird yet entertaining.
⭐️3/5 stars this was a wild ride!
A recurrent, unidentifiable noise in her apartment. A memo to her boss that’s replaced by obscene insults. Amanda—a successful architect in a happy marriage—finds her life going off kilter by degrees. She starts smoking again, and one night for no reason, without even the knowledge that she’s doing it, she burns her husband with a cigarette. The new voice in Amanda’s head, the one that tells her to steal things and talk to strange men in bars, is strange and frightening, and Amanda struggles to wrest back control of her life. Is she possessed by a demon, or is she simply insane?
I thought this book was highly engaging and very entertaining. Amanda comes across as quite ordinary and bland at the start of the book and then we start to see the gradual descent into acceptance that she is definitely being possessed. I feel like she goes through all the different stages of grief before she is truly taken over and loses all control.
I liked how almost realistic this book was. Amanda tries to come up with all of these excuses and explanations as to why she’s blacking out or how she might just be crazy and there isn’t a demon inside her. Matthew prompting her to get help and her actually trying and seeking a way for her to get better.
I think it was the perfect length to tell this story and the pacing was just right. It started off quite slow and unassuming and then as the plot continues and all these horrific acts occur you really start to feel the panic and overall manic nature of her descent into possession.
⭐️3/5 stars This was intense!