by K.L. Slater
Published on: July 24, 2019
Two 10-year old cousins accused of murder. Going in, I wondered if this would be more like The Bad Seed, a 1956 psychological horror film, or the 1993 film The Good Son, or something completely different all together. Of course, I’m not going to tell here.
This morning, I was packing up lunches, ironing, putting on the laundry I should have done last night. Now my precious daughter is accused of murder.
When ten-year-old cousins Maddy and Brianna are arrested for a terrible crime, Maddy’s mother Juliet cannot believe it. How could her bright, joyful daughter be capable of such a thing?
As the small village community recoils in horror, the pressure of the tragedy blows Juliet and her sister’s lives apart. And things get even worse when their daughters retreat into a self-imposed silence. Can anyone reach Maddy and discover the truth before her fate is sealed?
Juliet is crushed. Nothing will ever be the same for her darling girl. But she knows that to find out what really happened that day, she and her sister must unlock the secrets of their own terrible past, a past they swore never to speak about again
What an entertaining read this was. I’ll be honest, I had some doubts as to how much could be done with this type of story to keep the pace going or readers interested. I also wondered how the portrayal of children or elderly in this type of situation would be written and if it would done in a way that would completely unsettle me to the point that it would turn me off or be written in a manner that left me shaking my head in disbelief. Thankfully, none of my concerns were realized.
What I found was that family dynamics played a huge role in the success of this book. It is also what is at the heart of the book. The prologue starts us off with the incident. Then, the next chapter we see the introduction of the mothers and them being asked to come to the station. The first chapter or two was probably the weakest link in the story for me. It felt uncomfortable at times to read because the mothers were freaked out, but I couldn’t care for (or against) them yet because I didn’t know them or understand their motives.
I am impressed by how the well the plot continually moved forward. Never a dull moment, but just a carefully crafted story that always kept us engaged without any downtime. Plus, lots of twists and turns that sometimes you see coming but are still entertaining and others you don’t. However, the best part of the book to me was the growth of the character Juliet. As I mentioned earlier, family dynamics are what this book is about. Sometimes I don’t think we fully understand how much our childhood or past experiences can really shape who you are today – good or bad. But, slowly through the pages of this book we see Juliet be able to take a step away from herself and really take a hard look at the accumulation of her entire life and how many past events may have shaped who she has been up to this point in time. To me, the best part of the entire book is the decision she makes after that realization. It is a scene that still sticks with me above all the others.
I want to thank Bookouture and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book. I gladly recommend this book to those who enjoys this genre.
Rating: 4.5 stars