Friday, February 03, 2017

Macmillan's Newest A Swift, Satisfying Page Turner

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

At 14 years old, Zoe Guerin lost her life.  Not literally, but the devastated piano prodigy went to jail for causing a car accident that killed three teenagers.  With a genius IQ and a promising musical career in front of her, Zoe threw everything away.  Three years later, her life has—improbably—gotten back on track.  Now 17, Zoe is living in a different city using a different last name.  She even has a new family: her stepfather, Chris Kennedy; his teen son, Lucas; and her infant half-sister, Grace.  Zoe's mother has put the past firmly behind them, not telling Chris or Lucas about Zoe's history.  Impossibly, Zoe's even performing again, this time with her stepbrother, who's also a talented pianist.  Although she'll be forever scarred by the accident, Zoe is trying to be hopeful about her future.

When the grieving father of one of the accident victims disrupts Zoe's concert, her secret comes quickly to light.  In the chaotic aftermath, her mother is found dead in the family's shed.  She's been murdered.  Why would someone kill Maria Kennedy?  As the police investigate the crime, scrutinizing everyone in the family, they discover that each member has been hiding incriminating secrets.  Did one of these secrets lead to Maria's death?  Or did a grief-stricken father finally get his revenge on the family who stole his child?  What really happened the night Zoe's mother died?

The Perfect Girl, the newest mystery/thriller by English author Gilly Macmillan, is an engrossing page turner with a tense, tightly-plotted storyline.  The characters are complex, sympathetic, and intriguing.  Twists and turns keep the tale suspenseful until the very end.  Even though I saw the murderer coming, the novel's finale still surprised me.  There's nothing really cheery or uplifting about this book (in fact, it's pretty depressing), but it is a riveting read sure to satisfy fans of British psychological thrillers (which I am and which it did).

(Readalikes:  Hm, I can't think of anything.  Can you?)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language (a few F-bombs, plus milder expletives) and violence

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

9 comments:

  1. I think you liked this one more than I did. I found this a little slow and kind of boring. Great review!!

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    1. Well, considering the murder doesn't occur until more than halfway through the book, I guess the plot does a little slower than other thrillers. It kept me engrossed, though.

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  2. I'm not sure if I should give another one of her books a shot. I didn't like the one I read very much. :(

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    1. Really? I liked her first book better than this one, so if you didn't like the first one, you might not care for this one either.

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  3. This one does sound good. I'll have to give it a read, although right now I'm in the middle of The Last Continent which I'm really enjoying. Especially all the Antarctica bits. :) Thanks for recommending it!

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    1. I'm glad you're enjoying it! I really liked MY LAST CONTINENT. The setting is fascinating and I thought the characters/plot were really intriguing as well.

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  4. I read this one last year and liked it well enough, but not as much as the author's previous book, WHAT SHE KNEW. Not sure why exactly. In any case, I'll definitely read whatever Gilly Macmillan would like to write.

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    1. Same here. I liked WHAT SHE KNEW better. This one was good, though, and, like you, I'll definitely read whatever Macmillan writes next.

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  5. I'm putting this book and this author on my list. Sounds intriguing, and I've read positive things a few times now. Thanks.

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