Tuesday 24 October 2017

All The Wicked Girls by Chris Whitaker @WhittyAuthor @BonnierZaffre

Everyone loves Summer Ryan. A model student and musical prodigy, she's a ray of light in the struggling small town of Grace, Alabama - especially compared to her troubled sister, Raine. Then Summer vanishes.

Raine throws herself into the investigation, aided by a most unlikely ally, but the closer she gets to the truth, the more dangerous her search becomes.

And perhaps there was always more to Summer than met the eye . . .

All The Wicked Girls by Chris Whitaker was published in paperback by Bonnier Zaffre on 24 August 2017 and is the author's second novel. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

I'm late to the Chris Whitaker party, but now I'm here, I'm here to stay! I'm not really sure what I expected from All The Wicked Girls; I'd heard lots of mutterings about this book on Social Media, but had purposely not read any reviews before I picked it up.

This is a difficult one to review because it's just so good! This author's voice is incredibly realistic, I was surprised to find that he's English - his portrayal of this small American town, and it's inhabitants, and their manner of speech is wonderfully done. The reader is transported there, encased within the blistering heat, surrounded by the darkness of this little town called Grace and totally caught up in the plot.

Summer Ryan has disappeared. She's not the first girl to disappear in the area; five other girls have gone too. Dubbed the 'Briar Girls' and alleged to have been taken by a man known as 'Bird', their bodies have never been found.  Summer's twin sister Raine is determined to find out just what happened to Summer. People seem to think that she's left of her own choosing, but Raine refuses to believe that. Although Summer and Raine are twins, they are as different as their names.  Raine is a darker, moodier, edgier version of her sister. Trouble finds her easily.

Chris Whitaker's creation of characters is astute and shrewd. The inhabitants of Grace are alive in the page, and his sense of place is extraordinary.

This author handles the darkest and most serious of issues, with sensitivity and with a dry wit that stops the novel from becoming too heavy, too oppressive.

All The Wicked Girls is packed with dark, twisty danger. This is a riveting look at the tangled lives of a small American town.

Chris Whitaker was born in London and spent ten years working as a financial trader in the city. His debut novel, Tall Oaks, was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger and also for the Last Laugh Award. 
A Guardian crime book of the month, Tall Oaks also featured in Crime Time’s top 100 books of 2016 and BuzzFeed’s incredible summer reads. 
Chris’s second novel, All The Wicked Girls, was published in August 2017. He lives in Hertfordshire with his wife and two young sons.

Follow him on Twitter @WhittyAuthor

No comments:

Post a Comment