This year has been a real eye opener for me as to how much I really love YA fiction, and YA murder mysteries especially. Karen M. McManus certainly holds some responsibility for this, as I ended up reading One Of Us Is Lying not long after I had finished A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder, and seeing as Holly Jackson has made us wait until very recently (Good Girl, Bad Blood – out now!) for book two, I worked my way through the other two books that McManus has written so far. The second one of these, entirely separate from One Of Us, is Two Can Keep A Secret.
Stepping away somewhat from the four person perspectives that One Of Us offered, Two Can Keep A Secret gives us a set of twins, close as anything, who are sent to live with their Grandmother in a town that they have only ever heard the name of. With so many questions, and no answers, they find themselves surrounded by secrets from the moment they arrive. Despite her mother coming from Echo Ridge, and even having been the Homecoming Queen, they have never laid eyes on it before they land at the airport.
With a murder of another Homecoming Queen just five years ago, Ellery and Ezra have barely unpacked their suitcases before things start to get… weird. It seems like it’s an open season on Homecoming Court again, and with one of the twins nominated, it seems like things are heating up.
Just like the previous book, this was easy to dive into and immediately all consuming. I found it hard to put down, and had my nose in it at all times for the time it took me to finish it. The characters were engaging, and once again, very well rounded, believable, and certainly possessing the impulsitivity of teenagers. The change in perspective angle worked really well, yet balanced out with the extra information gained with their being two teens working together.
What I did find disappointing this time around was that I worked out the ‘whodunnit’ so early into the book. It was sadly predictable, especially compared to the well constructed standard that had been set by the first book. This didn’t entirely ruin the enjoyment factor of reading it, but did make it somewhat less memorable.
That said, the idea was original, and the setting added in the extra twists of spooky to make me almost wish I had read this over Hallow’een. Almost.
Despite the secrets and guilty parties feeling predictable, it was still a motivating read, and certainly didn’t put me off reading future books. I can assure you of that, as I ended up reading One Of Us Is Next shortly after. Review coming soon!
While this might be my least favourite of Karen M. McManus’s books so far, I have no hesitation in recommending it as a book to dig your teeth into, enjoy, and recommend it to someone else. I rated it as 3/5 stars on Good Reads, purely because of having worked it all out by the half way point. The writing quality was still just as high, and I can’t wait for book four.
No pressure. But, please. Book four?