A child killer lives among them, but who? Years after her release from prison child killer, Sally McGowan, is living in a small beachside town but none of the local residents have ever known until someone starts to suspect something is going on. Jo has returned to this hometown from London with her son and takes it upon herself to get to the bottom of the mystery. A series of twists and turns lead her down a path of discovery that she maybe doesn't want to follow.
I was so excited to read this and when it became available at my local library I snapped it up! To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. I built up this book so much in my mind that by the time I read it I couldn't help but pick it apart. Initially I thought it could be a strong four stars or even five but as time passed I became increasingly annoyed at the level of focus it required of me. So many characters were involved in this mystery that keeping track of Jo's suspicions and thought processes became very difficult. Later on it becomes clear that most of the information just wasn't relevant, cutting that information wouldn't have damaged the story but definitely would have made reading easier. Jo herself was a good main character but she was too observant, I mentioned in my previous blog that a suspense main character has to be a certain level of observant for me to like them and consider them good but Jo goes way too far off the spectrum.
If you haven't read this novel yet I'll try not to ruin it but the main issue I had was that the time frames definitely were not considered significantly enough for me to believe the story at all. Jo is trying to figure out who Sally McGowan is in her little town, she is aware of how old Sally must have been at the time of the original murder and therefore could make an educated guess with the age of her suspects, NOPE. She suspects everyone and it started to become an issue when one moment she is suspecting a new comer to the town that is near enough her age, she suspects a middle-aged woman and even references her age being a potential deal-breaker. The issue is raised here and there but never seriously for more than a few sentences.
The twist itself was insane, I did love the build-up to the reveal as it wasn't immediate and become clear in a steady and natural way. Progressively we start to see the bigger picture that has been going on behind the scenes and it was a wonderful piece of writing, the history of the murder joins together with the current events and no loose ends were left. Saying this the epilogue felt unnecessary, we have had the reveal and the reader is left with a thought-provoking ending where we have to use our imagination to the real reason behind the murder but the epilogue clarifies it in full. I could have done without it, some readers will enjoy the neat circle is encases the novel in but I do enjoy an open ending.
I nearly had this at a three star but the final pages upon reflection knock it down to two, it just cleared up the waters that could have been left dirtied.
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