My friend won an ARC and then I borrowed it from her. It has not effected my opinions.
Genre: Thriller/Mystery Age Range: YA Star Rating: 4 stars Series: Standalone
“I’ll make it clear from the start: I did not kill Hugh Henry Van Boren. I didn’t even help. Well, not intentionally.”
When Hugh Henry Van Boren, one of the most popular and richest kids in Jess Choudhary’s school, is found dead, the student body is left reeling and wondering who the murderer could be… Jess, a student under strict instructions to keep her record clean or risk losing her scholarship, finds herself at the centre of the investigation when it’s revealed that Hugh died in the exact same way as a character in a short story she wrote.
And then Jess receives an anonymous text thanking her for the inspiration.
With time running out, Jess knows if she doesn’t solve this mystery she’ll finally have something in common with Hugh Henry. She’ll be dead too.
Blurb taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.
THIS BOOK KILLS is a fun thriller about a private school and a murder that seems to make no sense.
Jess’ murder mystery, co-written with a classmate gets a lot of criticism from the classmate (and a few others) for being a bit out there, which means when it happens, it’s utterly baffling. Why take such an odd murder set up and make it real? And why take something someone else wrote, when framing those two doesn’t make all that much sense?
And that pretty much sets the standard for the mystery, so many elements seems completely random, like the killer made decisions on a toss of the dice. It’s a really interesting set up, because it’s so baffling in a very different way to usual, one that’s deliberately odd. At times, it felt like it was poking gentle fun at the genre, which I enjoyed.
It’s also a story about money and corruption and class and power. Jess is an outsider at her super elite school, a scholarship student and some of the students – and the board of governors – can’t forget that. As she investigates, she peels back the glamourous exterior and sees how money can be used to hush up crimes and assign blame elsewhere thanks to the sense of entitlement money gives those people. It also looks at how the elite care about reputation and try to ensure that anyone like them (i.e. scholarships students) are pushed out without making it look like the elite are at fault for getting rid of them.
In all, it’s a nice debut that has fun playing with its genre while also presenting an entertaining mystery.