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  • A Great Start to a new series!

    I would first like to thank Netgalley and Random House for allowing me to read an advanced reader's copy of this novel for an honest review. 4.75 Stars In 1983 smart,thoughtful,quiet and beautiful 14 year old Aurora disappears on a Summer camping trip with her older sister and her sister's friends. It's been thirty years and Aurora's body is finally found. It's up to DCI Jonah Sheens to sift through the secrets that bind the friends after 30 years. Jonah was a casual acquaintance of the group all those years ago. More like an observer really. He always wondered what is was like to be in the popular group, to really know them but now that he is investigating them he is not all that impressed. I love a good detective series and this novel is a perfect introduction to Sheens and his group of detectives. The novel did feel a bit long and it took me longer than it normally does to read this kind of novel. That being said I really enjoyed this ride, this mystery was well done even if I did figure it out rather quickly and the writing was tight. This will be a series I will be reading from now on.

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  • A very promising start to a new series

    Alternating between the present and flashbacks to the ill-fated camping trip, this suspenseful story kept me turning the pages late into the night. The victim, Aurora, was so sweet and guileless and the crime was pretty darn heinous. The worst part was that the killer could only be one of her sister’s friends, or maybe even the sister herself. This leads to a deep examination of the past and the shifting friendships and alliances of this group of teens. Really, who wouldn’t want to revisit their teenage angst, embarrassing mistakes and love affairs thirty years later? That’s a nightmare scenario right there! Investigating the crime is a team led by veteran DCI Jonah Sheens. In procedurals like this it is usually the case that the investigators have complicated, interesting lives themselves and this book is no exception. I really enjoyed the dynamics between newbie Juliette and her superior Jonah. This volume seemed to focus on Juliette and Jonah but I feel like there is so much more to delve into with these characters. I’m very glad to see this is book one of a projected series! The rest of the team is also quite fascinating and I hope we learn more about them as the series goes on. I’m especially intrigued by DC Ben Lightman. What’s his story? Why is he so emotionally contained? You will suspect everyone. EVERYONE! There are a plethora of plausible suspects both within the camping party and a few from outside it as well. My compass needle would swing strongly to point at one person and then towards another and I was never sure if the suspect would be the “easy” villain, and there were several of these, or someone totally unexpected. Every individual was just as likely as the next. The resolution wasn’t a total surprise as I suspected everyone to some extent. Looking back it did seem to fit with the character’s personality but I don’t know that I would have guessed the exact circumstances. The last chase scene was ridiculously stressful and I was yelling inside, and judging by the look my cat was giving me maybe a bit out loud, at the potential victim to hurry, or to fight or to do something to not let the villain win! The villain was truly reprehensible and I did not want them to get away with it or to hurt anyone else. It was a real nail-biter! Everyone has their secrets that they want to keep hidden and so everyone lies. They lied during the initial investigation and they lie again when the case is reopened. The trick for both the police and the reader is to determine which lies matter and are hiding a killer, and which lies are just due to wounded pride or the ravages of time and drugs on memory. As the truth begins to unfold several of the characters make poor, awfully suspicious, choices that make them look even worse. It is a real tangle of stories and the whole truth doesn’t come out until the end. I found it an unpredictable and exciting story with plenty of red herrings to throw you off the scent. It’s one that will keep you up past your bedtime and is a very promising start to a new series. Thank you to Random House for providing an Electronic Advance Reader Copy via NetGalley for review.

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