Hi friends! I’ve been obsessed with mysteries as of late, and this was honestly one of the best ones I’ve read so far this year. And one of the best YA stories.
TW/CW: Mentions of rape, murder, drugs, animal death
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?
The TL;DR of this book is that a teenager named Pippa is doing her senior project on a case. 5 years ago, Andie Bell was presumably murdered by Sal Singh, but Pip doesn’t believe he’s guilty. And friends, this was such an excellent crime thriller. The audiobook has a full cast, and all the interviews were conducted as if they were actually being recorded in a police station. I would definitely recommend it!
Pippa Fitz-Amobi is actually an amazing main character. YA protagonists in mysteries can be so focused on drama, and so ignorant of obvious clues. However, Pip’s love for true crime, plus actual common sense*, really made her a fantastic character. We get to read from her first-person perspective the entire novel, which I thought was an excellent job.
Ravi Singh is the brother of a supposed killer. He’s also Indian, and these two facts mean that the people in Fairview treat him horrifically. He was funny and adorable and AH. I loved his relationship with Pip so much!
Speaking of which, I really appreciated how Holly Jackson didn’t shy away from portraying racism and privilege. There were times when Pip did certain things alone, simply because Ravi wasn’t white. I really loved that the author put that aspect in, and didn’t ignore the awful prejudices that do exist in the world.
The pacing in this book was very nearly perfect. The twists were well-executed and paired perfectly with both reveals and dead ends. Also, I highkey didn’t guess the ending. It was more complex than I was expecting! Honestly, this was much more cleverly plotted than most of the other YA mysteries I’ve read!
All the side characters were morally grey. Not even Andie Bell was perfect. Everyone was fleshed out, and I truly had no idea who was the killer. I couldn’t even guess the motive*. I’m geuinely just super excited to read whatever Holly Jackson puts out next!
*clearly, i need to watch more movies
As much as I enjoyed this, there’s always that little nagging feeling of disbelief. Like, the pieces fell so easily in place? As someone who adores true crime and listens to podcasts* constantly, I’m more accustomed to, well, everything being a bit harder. So while I enjoyed the story itself, it was missing that extra edge of suspense, the extra BADA BING, BADA BOOM because the case was a little easier than it could have been.
*morbid is my absolute favorite! but lmk your fave true crime podcast!
So that’s it! This and Sadie are honestly the best YA mystery-thrillers I’ve read, and I’m so happy I picked this up! Tell me:
Have you read this?
Is it on your TBR?