Thursday 19 December 2013


Butterfly Grave
Joshua’s uncle has survived a near fatal accident and Rose and Joshua drive to Newcastle to visit him, along with their friend Skeggsie.

Joshua is convinced they are being followed. Can it be true, or is it just his paranoia? Rose and Joshua do not know who to trust – even Joshua’s uncle has a dark past, touched by murder. And then the precious murder notebooks are stolen and it is Skeggsie who pays the price for Rose and Joshua’s so-called meddling. Somebody out there really does not want Rose and Joshua to find their parents. But who? And why?

This is the third book in The Murder Notebooks YA crime series, and I was looking forward to reading it.
Rose and Joshua are close, they've got a special bond. It's not just that their parents were a couple and at one time they lived together as a family. Their bond stems from loss. Rose's mother and Joshua's father disappeared five years ago. After reconnecting, the teens are determined to find out what happened to their parents and don't believe claims that they are dead. To conduct their own investigation, they've enlisted the help of Joshua's computer whiz best friend, Skeggsie.
But when Joshua's uncle has a serious accident and is hospitalised, the trio head to Newcastle to spend Christmas there.
From the beginning, things in Newcastle are challenging. There's too much history for both Joshua and Skeggsie, too many people they'd rather not see again, and there's someone watching them. Staying in his uncle's place reveals that he had some secrets too, things the three teens slowly start to uncover. What at first seems like a different investigation soon merges into the one they're all so focused on, leading to a tragic situation.
Wow. This was an intense book! Joshua and Rose have been through some pretty dark times and faced quite a bit of danger, but what they have to deal with here really pushes them to the edge. I found this story insightful and very sad. I certainly didn't expect a particular tragic incident to happen to one of the characters. I admit, I was in shock. :(
The relationship between Rose and Joshua is changing. How can it not when they've been through so much together? And Joshua's moods take a real beating in this instalment. He's constantly on edge and angry, determined to lose himself in one mystery and then another--anything to keep himself busy and from facing his feelings. I think he's battling with a lot of emotions and some have to do with Rose. I was glad to see that no matter what, they stuck together.
Still, I can't help but wonder if his obsession is going to eventually tear them apart...
Butterfly Grave is a gripping book with several interlacing mysteries that reveal another layer of the big mystery surrounding the disappearance of their parents. The stakes are higher, the emotional tone deeper, and it embeds you into the lives of these two young people. Just like them, I want to understand the real reason why it's all led to this.
I'm really looking forward to reading the next book.

Butterfly Grave, January 2014, ISBN  9781408815526, Bloomsbury Childrens

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