book review

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Five years ago, teenaged Andie Bell goes missing and everyone suspects her boyfriend, Sal Singh. Though he’s never arrested, the entire town believes his guilt. Apart from Pip, an A-Level student who decides to investigate the murder as her EPQ (basically a final-year project, if you aren’t from the UK) as she has never believed in Sal’s guilt. As she digs deeper into the case and starts to uncover secrets from five years ago, it becomes clear someone desperately wants these things to stay hidden…

I will admit, the premise for this book is completely unrealistic. There is no way that a 17-year-old girl would get as far in investigating the murder as she does. There’s also no way a school would ever condone her doing this as her EPQ project. But, if you are willing to suspend your disbelief, what you’re left with is a really clever, intricate and entertaining murder mystery/thriller.

I sped through this book, finding it extremely readable, with a loveable set of characters. I thought the formatting was clever – it’s told through standard third-person narration, a first-person diary-esque ‘production log’ Pip keeps with notes (and occasionally pictures/diagrams) of her research, and transcripts of interviews she does. To be honest, I sort of wish I’d listened to this on audiobook because the set-up would really work for it.

I did suspect what had happened, but I was never 100% sure – it’s too cleverly plotted for that, I think. The author did a good job of balancing quite a few characters/suspects, but never feeling like she was being too expositional or dry.

I found this book so entertaining – I loved it! And, the highest compliment I can give is that I immediately wanted to buy the second book in the series when I finished the first. This was a genuinely clever, enjoyable and fun thriller/mystery – I definitely recommend it for fans of those genres or true crime podcasts!

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