A year ago a boy was found murdered at a girls boarding school, and the case was never solved. Detective Stephen Moran has been waiting for his chance to join Dublin’s Murder Squad when sixteen-year-old Holly Mackey arrives in his office with a photo of the boy with the caption: “I KNOW WHO KILLED HIM.” Stephen joins with Detective Antoinette Conway to reopen the case. With the clues leading back to Holly’s close-knit group of friends, to their rival clique, and to the tangle of relationships that bound them all to the murdered boy, the private underworld of teenage girls turns out to be more mysterious and more dangerous than the detectives imagined. –Penguin Books, 2015
The storytelling is split between present-day first-person of the career climbing Detective Stephen Moran and third-person, following Holly Mackey and her friends in the events that lead up to Chris Harper’s death. Puberty sucked the first time I went through it myself, but to watch these teenage girls go through it is intolerable. Not just because growing bodies, social status, and random dick pics are annoying, but the girls’ point of view isn’t interesting and could have been left out. I’m sure it was added to create character depth for the girls’ and the murder victim, but that was already artfully done with the detectives’ interrogation and did nothing, but slow down an already long investigation.
French does not romanticize detective work, which gives the investigation a real and tangible quality. But the unadvertised splash of the supernatural takes the story out of the real world and into an off-brand Craft ripoff that drove the sinking ship of a story deep into the glade of no return.–(Very Low) Borrow it