Thursday 18 July 2013

KILLING RACHEL by Anne Cassidy

Rose's mother and Joshua's father have disappeared. Police inquiries have gone nowhere and the case, it seems, is closed: Rose and Joshua have been told that the police believe their parents are dead. But Rose and Joshua still hold out hope that they are alive. Joshua is determined to follow up his own inquiries, which includes working out the meaning of the cryptic notebooks - the murder notebooks - they have discovered. Then Rose is distracted by odd, desperate messages she receives from Rachel, a former best friend from her school, followed by the terrible news that Rachel is dead. But perhaps Rachel's death will provide one more piece of the puzzle about what has happened to Rose and Joshua's parents . . .

A taut and pacy thriller in The Murder Notebooks series, from an acclaimed writer for teens.
Last year I read and really enjoyed DEAD TIME--the first book in The Murder Notebooks series--so I was eager to find out what was next for Rose and Joshua.
Rose and Joshua aren't real brother and sister, but their parents lived together for a while so they both remember living as a happy family. Then Rose's mother and Joshua's father went missing, tearing their lives apart. After reconnecting via email and finally meeting, their mutual need to find out what really happened to their parents led them to a mystery that has given them hope. For the first time in years, they're starting to wonder if their parents are still alive.
With the help of Joshua's best friend, Skeggsie, and some notebooks that are written in code, they're hoping to get some answers. But Rose isn't as obsessed with this as Joshua is, and she's gotten caught up in another mystery. Her ex-best friend keeps sending her desperate letters and keeps trying to call her, but Rose wants nothing to do with this girl. When she finds out Rachel is dead, Rose goes back to Mary Linton College to see if she can find out what happened.
During this weekend away--in which Joshua is chasing a lead nearby that takes them to a deserted cottage--they both get caught up in separate mysteries, which might just be connected.
I really enjoyed this book. A lot. I have to admit that it started out a bit slow, and when Rose goes back to her old school I kept trying to figure out how what happened to Rachel linked back to the investigation Joshua and her are doing... and all I had to do was keep reading. It's definitely worth sticking with the book because everything comes out in the end, and it's quite surprising.
The characters in this book are once again well written. I enjoyed following Rose on a trip down memory lane to the only true friend she ever had. The same girl who betrayed her trust and lied so much Rose didn't believe the only truth she ever told her. It's also interesting to see how her feelings towards Joshua are getting all twisted and confused. I wonder if they're ever going to be honest with each other about this? ;)
Killing Rachel is another great suspense story that gives you small answers to the big picture and keeps you feeling as hopeful as the main characters. It's another edge-of-your-seat thriller, intertwining several mysteries that lead the reader down many twists and turns. It's a great read!
I can't wait until the mystery involving their parents finally unravels... 
Killing Rachel, April 2013, ISBN  9781408815519, Bloomsbury Childrens

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