I won an ARC at a convention. It has not affected my opinions.
Genre: Mystery Age Range: YA Star Rating: 4 stars Series: Standalone
True crime can leave a false trail.
Four years ago, Brynn left Saint Ambrose School following the shocking murder of her favourite teacher. The case was never solved, but she’s sure that the three kids who found Mr. Larkin’s body know more than they’re telling, especially her ex-best friend Tripp Talbot. He’s definitely hiding something.
When Brynn gets an internship working on a popular true-crime show, she decides to investigate what really happened that day in the woods. But the further she dives into the past, the more secrets she finds.
Four years ago someone got away with murder. Now it’s time to uncover the truth . . .
Blurb taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.
NOTHING MORE TO TELL is the latest thriller from Karen M. McManus, centred around a historic case. That historic crime with clues lost to the past and possible faulty memories – not to mention the mental weight of keeping secrets for four years – makes this feel harder to solve, the first book where it’s felt like there was an uncertainty as to whether it would be worked out.
It is another twisty mystery that starts pretty much from a blank slate as there were no suspects in the original investigation. It means that a fair bit of legwork has to be put in by Brynn before any secrets turn up. Instead, the start is that sense of unease that something was off about it all, due to offhand comments by people. Once the secrets start to come out, the story has a proliferation of suspects and you start suspecting everyone, trying to fit them all into the picture but not quite making them fit well enough.
I did like that the book explores the traumatic effects of being caught up in a murder case. It’s not just a thing to investigate (which is Brynn’s initial approach) but something with real consequences on the people involved – and investigating. Tripp was one of the ones who found the body, and you see the effect that that, and his private suspicions, have had one him and his relationships. Plus what might happen if those events were to be delved into or a trigger was hit by those events.
As Brynn is working with a true-crime show, there are references to Karen M. McManus’ other books, including TWO CAN KEEP A SECRET and YOU’LL BE THE DEATH OF ME. They contain no spoilers and function without needing to know the book (“did you hear about the X case? Maybe we should cover it?” sort of thing.) It’s a really fun in-world nod to the other stories.
Read my reviews of other books by Karen M. McManus:
One of Us is Lying:
- ONE OF US IS LYING (#1)
- ONE OF US IS NEXT (#2)