Murder Obsession

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

Publication Date: February 4, 2020

Summary from NetGalley:

Everyone in Fairview knows the story.

Pretty and popular high school senior Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend, Sal Singh, who then killed himself. It was all anyone could talk about. And five years later, Pip sees how the tragedy still haunts her town.

But she can’t shake the feeling that there was more to what happened that day. She knew Sal when she was a child, and he was always so kind to her. How could he possibly have been a killer?

Now a senior herself, Pip decides to reexamine the closed case for her final project, at first just to cast doubt on the original investigation. But soon she discovers a trail of dark secrets that might actually prove Sal innocent . . . and the line between past and present begins to blur. Someone in Fairview doesn’t want Pip digging around for answers, and now her own life might be in danger.

This is the story of an investigation turned obsession, full of twists and turns and with an ending you’ll never expect.

ARC provided by Random House Children’s via NetGalley for an honest review.

Clear your calendar for the day for this book, because once you start you will not want to put it down. Luckily for me I did start it on a day when I didn’t have much going on, so I was able to read it pretty much in one go and I barely noticed the day slipping by.

I loved Pippa, she was so confident on the outside, but so insecure inside her head. She really wanted to solve this murder mystery, and became so obsessed by it that she almost didn’t get anything else done. She has great parents who support her with out smothering her which was awesome. Her group of close friends were also always there when she needed them, even when she spent days totally ignoring them because she was so obsessed with her project. There is a little bit of growth in her character as she does become a bit more self assured as she comes closer to figuring it all out. Her relationship with Ravi, Sal’s younger brother, was also fun to watch develop. There was just the right amount of time between them moving from just working together to becoming friends and then more.

As much as I enjoyed the characters, it was really the story that kept me captivated. There were so many potential people responsible for the disappearance of Andie that it sometimes became hard to keep track. There were many times when I wasn’t sure that Andie was really dead or what really happened to Sal. I did have to dock a star from my Goodreads rating though, because I did feel that the final solution was a bit mundane and typical of YA mysteries. I was really hoping that when things started pointing to a certain person, that another twist was going to be thrown in, but alas no. So much potential for a different ending. Although the execution of it was brilliant.

I also loved this author’s writing style. She would often put in little moments of humor into the dialogue which were often needed and helped to develop the characters. I also liked the use of the journal entries, it helped to keep all of the suspects and motives separate. There was also a great use of interviews. Although this wasn’t particularly dark, there were some tense moments when Pippa was heading into danger and you just wanted to stop and take a breath and scream at her to stop. She does become very brave but also doesn’t think things through sometimes.

I am so looking forward to reading the other books in this series. I am sure that as stunning as this debut was that the rest of them will be just as good if not better.

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