Cry Blue Murder – book review

Cry Blue Murder

Cry Blue Murder is the chilling and gripping book by Kim Kane and Marion Roberts.

A serial killer is on the loose, kidnapping schoolgirls. Three bodies have been found, each time the girls are found wrapped in a hand-woven fabric, dead. No one is safe…

Alice and Celia tell each other everything: their secrets, hopes, and their fear of the killer who is abducting schoolgirls just like them. As clues emerge, it appears that no one can be trusted in a time like this and that the danger is closer than anyone wants to believe.

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I absolutely loved reading Cry Blue Murder. Surprisingly, the thing I loved most about this book was how it was set out, which was what I disliked the most about this book when I started reading it. The majority of the book is emails between two people named Alice and Celia. The two girls met on a Facebook group dedicated to the missing Hallie Knight. Alice and Celia are struggling to cope with the fact that girls their age and in their home city are being kidnapped and murdered. To be honest, I’d have a hard time coping with something like that too.

Most of the book is the emails between the two girls. In the beginning, I doubted whether this book would be able to make me feel like I was living right beside these two frightened girls, but it actually did. I was surprised by how well the authors could make me feel like I was a friend of Alice and Celia and make me fear for their safety as much as they did as well. A good portion of this book is Alice and Celia just being 15 year-old girls and talking about their lives and anything funny that happens to them with each other. I liked how I got to know each girl and I felt that because of the emails, I got to understand what these two people were going through.

Scattered amongst the emails were interviews with the police and suspects, official witness statements and newspaper articles. These were important because I could understand what was going on and what the police were doing, rather than just hearing it from the two girls. The interviews were really interesting and I found myself trying to be the detective and piece everything together. Unfortunately, I don’t think I have a career in being a detective. I failed to notice even the biggest of hints even when they were dropped right in front of my nose.

In most books, I generally see what is coming before the characters do, which is incredibly annoying. However in this book, I had no clue whatsoever of what was going to happen. I was shocked to see how things played out and to see that the people I suspected were in fact innocent. My mind was completely blown to discover what happened in the end. I’ve heard some other people say that the plot twist was really easy to see coming, so how could I have not seen it? Am I really that naive?

Alice and Celia have one main thing in common: they both feel isolated and alone. Celia is at a new school and Alice is trapped in the boarding school her family sent her to after a family tragedy. These two girls offer support and friendship to one another. They also write about how the girls being killed are impacting their lives. The two become close very quickly and will share almost anything with each other. Both Alice and Celia were really likable characters. Their emails were often very amusing and I found myself often laughing at the funny things that were going on in their lives.

This book was creepy, puzzling and enthralling all at once. I was interested to know how things were going to turn out right from the very beginning and I was shocked to discover how things played out. This book is a great thriller and one that’s impossible to put down. Although at first it took me a little while to warm up to the pace, I thoroughly loved reading this book. I’d give Cry Blue Murder by Kim Kane and Marion Roberts a score of 8.5 out of 10. This book is very cleverly written and I’d recommend it to everyone who is looking for a different and thrilling book to read!

Darkwater – book review

Darkwater by Georgia Blain

Darkwater by Georgia Blain is a novel about murder, rumours and secrecy.

Amamda Clark is dead. No one knows who did it. All they know is that her body was found floating facedown in the river. Rumours and whispers are all that people hear and it seems that no one knows what really happens. Or, if they did, no one is going to tell what they know. As fear grows, so does suspicion. The community begin to suspect Lyndon, one of Amanda’s friends. Known for his quick-temper and criminal family, Lyndon is now the person who the police want to talk to.

It’s the end of summer in 1973. Fifteen year-old Winter went to the same school and hung out in the same places as Amanda did. She finds herself struggling to separate facts from theories as she tries to put the pieces of the puzzle together and find out who killed Amanda, if anyone. All she knows is that Lyndon didn’t do it and she seems to be the only one defending him. Winter soon discovers that you can never really know someone completely and that the answers she has been looking for is something that she never wanted to believe.

Although this book was nothing spectacular, I did like reading it and I found myself pulled into the 1970s. I loved how Georgia Blain so clearly could paint a picture of the life in that time. I felt the heat radiating off the bricks; I felt my feet burning through my shoes from the hot black cement. The way everything was described in this book was perfect and I felt like I was right there with the characters. I loved the place and time it was set in. When I think of a murder story, I always imagine a cold night in a forest or something similar to that. I think that’s why having the story set in Australia in summer was so appealing to me. I had also never read a book that was set in the 1970s and I liked experiencing what life was like then. This book is mainly about how Amanda’s death affects the community that Winter lives in. I loved seeing the community struggle to come to terms with how something this horrifying could have happened. Another part of this book that I loved was how Winter wrote down everything she heard and thought she knew about what happened to Amanda. She would try to put what she had heard into a category of either fact or theory. It was interesting to see how she would think some things were fact, and then change her mind. It made me realise how no one really knew if things were facts or not and that most of what she heard was just rumours. For example: ‘Fact: Amanda Clark had a secret.’ I liked how each chapter would begin with either a fact or a theory, however after a while, this got a bit boring and the facts became uninteresting. Like: ‘Fact: I want things to go back to the way it was.’ Umm, great fact! (not).
I didn’t feel particularly close to any of the characters in this book. I didn’t even feel like I knew Winter that well. I think that the story was more focussed around the affects of the death on the community, rather than the characters. So was I. I wanted to know what happened to Amanda and that was the key reason why I kept reading. None of the characters were very unique or different to any other characters that I’ve read about. The only time that I felt involved in Winter’s life was when she has a crush on a particular boy. This seemed like the only time she really let us into her life and how she felt. All the other times, we only could semi-understand what she felt by reading what she believed to be fact and what was just rumours.
Although the majority of the book revolved around finding out what happened to Amanda, I didn’t find it overly grabbing. Yes, I wanted to know what happened to her and that kept me reading, but I didn’t feel as though I wouldn’t be able to sleep until I found out. Unlike some books, I wasn’t reading this book non-stop to find out what happened. This book was interesting enough that I didn’t put it down in exchange for something else, but I didn’t feel as though I needed to know what happened before I could start another book. When I found out what happened, I wasn’t particularly shocked. However, I felt like the ending came too quickly. I got down almost the end of the book and I thought: Winter has to find out who killed Amanda right now or else the book is going to finish without a proper ending! Overall, this book was likeable enough. I’d give Darkwater by Georgia Blain a score of 6 out of 10. If you read this book, it should be because of how clearly Blain can paint a picture in your mind, not because of the intriguing plot or the exciting characters. This is a book that is good for an afternoon when there’s nothing better to do.

Thank you to Sisters in Crime Australia for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review!