Book Review – Good Girls Die First

A little bit late for spooky reads, but nevertheless a fantastic read, I read Good Girls Die First in a single day. It was one of those that I just couldn’t put down, to the point I only drank herbal tea as I could make that one handed. I never do things by halves, and this really was an example of that! My husband and son were lost in their own reading but even they were slightly exasperated with me on this particular Sunday.

Mind games. Murder. Mayhem. How far would you go to survive the night?
Blackmail lures sixteen-year-old Ava to the derelict carnival on Portgrave Pier. She is one of ten teenagers, all with secrets they intend to protect whatever the cost. When fog and magic swallow the pier, the group find themselves cut off from the real world and from their morals. As the teenagers turn on each other, Ava will have to face up to the secret that brought her to the pier and decide how far she’s willing to go to survive.

This book really grabs you from the word go. There’s no hesitation on the author’s part to let you know that this book is a) designed to creep you out, and b) going to build suspense in the most Agatha Christie like way throughout. I really enjoyed that, although I would understand that some people might get frustrated with not knowing what was going on for sure – but to me that’s the point of the book.

The first half of the book is all about building the tension so that when the action starts, it hardly stops. It’s a very clever method of storytelling, making gaps within the tale seem completely natural and understandable. (This is a hard book to write about without spoilers!) The selection of characters range from the very likable and utterly horrible, and this is what makes it even more compelling – some you care about, some you really don’t, but either way, you just need to know: What. Happens. Next.

Setting the story on a deserted pier with a supposedly haunted carnival on it is one of the creepiest possible settings ever, and it works perfectly for hitting home the idea of being completely alone without anyone to fall back on, and no one to come to the rescue. I did struggle to picture certain aspects of the layout that was described, but this may be as much down to me as down to the author.

It’s one of the most compelling books I’ve read in a while. I’ve read some brilliant books this year, a lot of five star reads, but even without giving this the full five stars, Good Girls Die First stands out as one that just needs reading when it comes to thrillers. I want to read it for the first time again!


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