Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Growing up in the Shadow of Murder

When Olivia was three-years-old, her mother was murdered and the primary suspect was her father. Growing up with this background, she has always felt a bit of an outcast. It's unsurprising that she would like to know what happened and where her father is.

Now seventeen, Olivia is an emancipated minor living on her own. She has pretty much put her old life and questions about her parents behind her, but when the police come knocking on the door and tell her that her father is dead and was killed at the same time as her mother, suddenly it's important again. She wants to know what happened.

Although the book started with an exciting scene of Olivia running from a killer, the book quickly moved to a more steady pace driven by the story being told through Olivia's thoughts. I chose the book because I though the plot would be interesting, but it didn't live up to it's promise. The plot is too driven by coincidence, and requires a suspension of disbelief when Olivia returns to her home town and begins asking questions about the murder. She's only seventeen and a stranger, it's a bit of a stretch to have the townspeople suddenly unburdening themselves to her.

Olivia is a character teenagers will find empathetic. She takes her life into her own hands and goes off to solve the mystery of her parents death. It's unrealistic that we never see the police working the cold case, but it makes Olivia's detective work more important.

I found the ending poorly done. The clues dropped in the story don't lead you to suspect who the killer is, so it comes out of the blue. I like twists in a story, but this was more of a leap.

I think this is a book teenagers will enjoy for the identification with the main character, but as a mystery it is lacking.

I received this book from Net Galley for this review.