All The Wicked Girls – Chris Whitaker

“Raine sometimes complains that nothing exciting is ever gonna happen in Grace again. Daddy told her careful what you wish for.”

Everyone loves Summer Ryan. A model student and musical prodigy, she’s a ray of light in the struggling small town of Grace, Alabama – especially compared to her troubled sister, Raine.

Then Summer goes missing. Grace is already simmering, and with this new tragedy the police have their hands full keeping the peace. Only Raine throws herself into the search, supported by a most unlikely ally.

But perhaps there was always more to Summer than met the eye . . .

My Review:  Having only recently discovered Chris Whitaker and raved about Tall Oaks (see my review here), I was rather excited (jumped up and down several times) to receive an advanced copy of his 2nd novel All the Wicked Girls from his publishers.  I was told it was nothing like Tall Oaks and quite dark.  Dark?  Dark doesn’t even begin to describe this book – how about a complete black-out?  I found myself reading this book so slowly as I was savouring each page/chapter and character instead of my usual rapid read and that is because each page is a literal work of art.

Chris Whitaker has the ability to pick up the reader and transport them into the fictional small town of Grace, swelter in the heat, feel the fear and tension amongst the town folk and connect with the characters.  Once again he created two wonderful characters in Noah and Purv and whilst their stories were heartbreaking, tragic and sad, their friendship and humour made me smile throughout.

A beautifully written story of love, friendship, beliefs, fear, passion and I’m not embarrassed to say I cried at the end.

About the Author:  Chris Whitaker was born in London and spent ten years working as a financial trader in the city. His debut novel, Tall Oaks, was published to critical acclaim in 2016 by Bonnier Zaffre. Tall Oaks was a Guardian crime book of the month as well as featuring in Crime Time’s top 100 books of 2016 and BuzzFeed’s incredible summer reads.  All The Wicked Girls is his second novel and will be published in August 2017. He lives in Hertfordshire with his wife and two young sons.

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