“I might seem like the ideal student: homework always in early, every extra credit and extracurricular I can get my hands on, the good girl and the high achiever. But I realized something just now: it’s not ambition, not entirely. It’s fear. Because I don’t know who I am when I’m not working, when I’m not focused on or totally consumed by a task. Who am I between the projects and the assignments, when there’s nothing to do? I haven’t found her yet and it scares me. Maybe that’s why, for my senior capstone project this year, I decided to solve a murder.”
Published in 2019, A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson follows Pippa Fitz-Amobi who chooses to investigate a closed case in her small town for her final year project, focusing on the disappearance of schoolgirl Andie Bell, who was supposedly murdered by her boyfriend, Sal Singh. The police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it. But Pippa isn’t so sure. As Pippa starts to uncover secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden, how far will the real killer go to keep her from the truth?
This is another one of those books that I have had on my shelf for far too long, that I absolutely loved when I eventually got around to picking it up. And now I wish I had sooner, as I can’t wait to read the next one (and the third which is due out soon!).
There are a few things that I love, and at the top of that list is true crime, reading, and investigative journalism/essay writing (I studied Journalism at university and love critical writing!). So from the very first page, I was hooked.
Told through a series of essay notes, interview transcripts, and handwritten materials alongside Pip’s narrative, I really enjoyed getting to play detective. Jackson plays the game perfectly, giving you hints and clues and then completely throwing you off track with something new.
I definitely didn’t see the ending coming, but I absolutely loved the journey it took me on. I was worried that it would leave us on a cliffhanger at one point with not many pages left and plenty of unanswered questions, but the final few chapters are so action-packed that you’ll be racing to get this finished.
The young adult perspective makes it a lot of fun, too, despite the themes of cold-blooded murder and violence. But Pip is such a brilliant character to lead the story and makes it such an entertaining read. I really can’t wait to continue with the series.