Tuesday, 18 June 2019

A Good Girl's Guide To Murder - Holly Jackson

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?

Oh. My. Goodness. Everybody knows how much I like my YA thrillers and I've read a lot of them over the past couple of years as they've gained in popularity but A Good Girl's Guide To Murder (GGG from here on out!) is one of the best. It's also a debut which makes its 'grab you by the throat and don't let go'-ness even more astounding! I've been incredibly lucky with my reading recently in that everything I've picked up has been good and I've read it in one go. GGG was no exception, I picked it up at about 9pm and finished it at 1.30am - that's how good it is! I literally could not put it down.

I was desperate to know who did it, was it really Salil 'Sal' Singh, the boyfriend? He confessed by text message shortly before killing himself so everyone has accepted that as the universal truth, if in doubt it's the boyfriend. Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn't convinced though so chooses this as her EPQ (Extended Project Qualification - equivalent to half an A Level) and sets about trying to discover what really happened to Andie Bell. Is it just me or does everyone immediately think of Erasure or Oasis when reading the name Andie Bell? Nope? Just me then...

Going against her advisor's warning not to contact the families involved Pip contacts Ravi Singh, Sal's younger brother, who is only too happy to help Pip with her investigation when he discovers that she thinks Sal might be innocent. Pip's best friend's sister was best friends with Sal so Pip feels invested in finding the truth if only to help Sal's family but there's definitely more to this case than meets the eye. Pip and Ravi are soon totally immersed in chasing down leads, interviewing people, and generally sticking their noses into places where they really shouldn't. Pip starts to receive threats by text message telling her to drop the investigation but of course, she's not going to. It's only when tragedy strikes that she stops what she's doing to try and keep her family and friends safe.

GGG is a rollercoaster of a thriller and I tell you now, there's no point trying to guess who did it if Sal didn't. There's misdirection on every page and you're never quite sure who's telling the truth and who's not. Pip starts to doubt everything and everybody, especially as her investigation starts leading her down a dangerous path. The story switches between third person and Pip's coursework documenting her finds. There are EPQ forms, maps, drawings, and interviews with people Pip thinks know the truth, all of which add to the page-turning power of GGG and make it an even more compulsive read. It has the perfect amount of moments that will make you gasp and at times you will want to yell at Pip for putting herself in danger, it will make you laugh out loud, and it will make you cry - well, it made me cry anyway...

If you're a fan of Serial, Veronica Mars and YA thrillers then A Good Girl's Guide to Murder is well worth investing your time in. My only doubt about it is, if GGG is this good as a debut then how on earth is Holly Jackson going to improve in her next novel?

A Good Girl's Guide To Murder - Holly Jackson
ISBN - 9781405293181
Publisher - Electric Monkey
Release date - May 2nd, 2019
Source - bought in bookshop


  1. I've seen this everywhere, so need to check it out!

    Lotte | www.lottelauv.blogspot.co.uk

  2. Love the review, looking forward to upcoming reviews as well. Vissit us at TPE material suppliers


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