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  • Full of twists and turns

    Teenagers. The angst. The rivalry can be deadly. One girl gets jealous of another girl's boyfriend and their lives - and the lives of many around them are changed for ever. This book has twists and turns running through it, with the biggest left until near the end. After reading this I feel unsettled, sad and realise that although most of us don't have such secrets from our teenage years, we have some that stays with us forever - or at least I do.

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  • Plea Bargain

    Although I have become relatively jaded to this genre of novel, I found that I really enjoyed this tale and got sucked right in to the story from the off. I think that it helped that we start the tale almost halfway through, the past is dealt with not in a flashback form that has become prolific but rather in the thoughts of the main character as she struggles to come to terms with her life as it is now. Georgina appears to have everything, a stellar career, a wealthy fiance and all the material possessions she could want. Outward appearences are deceptive though and a dark secret from her past constantly shadows her days. When she is arrested at an important board meeting by a school days friend her life begins to unravel and those far off days of being 16 again are at the fore-front of her mind; especially now she seems to have been involved with the murders committed by the Sweetbay Strangler. We start with the trial of Calvin, the aforementioned murderer, and the deal done by Geo's lawyers to get her 5 years in prison in exchange for her testimony. The story putters along quite nicely as we follow her through those 5 years in prison, the friendships she makes there and the sheer regimented horror of the days. Even the more gruesome aspects are dealt with in such a matter of fact way that they feel neither gratuitous or voyeuristic; they also give you an insight in to the person Geo pretended to be on the outside and on the inside juxtaposed against her real personality. The plot is well conceived and has plenty of twists, turns and red herrings to keep you guessing. Unfortunately, the final denouement was spoilt slightly by the perpretrator of the new murders being flagged up a little too obviously (at least to me). The subtle shifting of focus from present day to the past is done well and usually through the form of memories rather then flashback chapters. This does make you doubt what you read as you can never be sure just how reliable a narrator Geo is. Although, she never fails to show herself in a less than flattering light maybe this is all just self-deprecation to get us on her side. The peripheral characters are believable and rotate in and out of her life ina naturalistic fashion. I particularly enjoyed the backwards and forwards between Kaiser and Geo and their relationship felt realistic; to a point. Even with their history I am not convinced that a member of law enforcement would be so eager to associate with an ex-con. The writing was free flowing and I feel like the author really brought Geo's voice to the page. It never felt constricted or contrived to show off a literary turn of phrase, it just felt like a master storyteller entertaining us by making us believe the fictional people were real. There is a lot of sub-text here and it is so well stitched together that you just go with it and allow the plotlines to consume you as you wonder how they fit together. This is certainly an excellent example of the genre and one I would not hesitate to recommend. Even if you think you have read more than enough of murder and detective work this one serves to intrigue and does have a genuinely fresh spin for you to enjoy. I RECEIVED A FREE COPY OF THIS BOOK FROM READERS FIRST IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW.

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