Book review | Rating – 4/5 | Genre – Young Adult Mystery/Thriller
After really enjoying Karen McManus’ first book One of Us is Lying I really wanted to get my hands on the next book. After an ever so handy book voucher I decided to splurge on a number of new books, this second mystery book being one of them.
Ellery’s never been to Echo Ridge, but she’s heard all about it. It’s where her aunt went missing at age sixteen, never to return. Where a Homecoming Queen’s murder five years ago made national news.
Malcolm grew up in the shadow of the Homecoming Queen’s death. His older brother was the prime suspect and left Echo Ridge in disgrace.
Then another girl disappears. As Ellery and Malcolm race to unravel what happened, they realise every secret has layers in Echo Ridge. (Check it out here)
What did I think?
Much like the first book, I was immediately hooked from the get go. McManus’ writing is great at building a world and characters surrounded by mystery and suspense. Of course there are always moments of teen angst, nothing new from a young adult novel, yet it never detracts from the wider story.
Once again I found myself hooked by the mystery surrounding the town of Echo Ridge. Each chapter revealed yet another part of the story – keeping me wanting more.
Where this book improved on the first was its depiction of LGBTQ+ characters. Unlike the slightly cringe attempt at a “coming out” moment, we see a character who is authentically himself.
My 3 favourite moments…
- Intense storyline: much like the first book, McManus has once again created a thrilling story that harks back to some of the great “who done it” stories that we know and love. It is definitely another book where each chapter brought about another surprise that kept me reading on.
- Plays on cliche archetypes: Like most young adult books, McManus’ story is once again filled with characters who fit perfectly in an American high school. However, we are then introduced to older characters, seeing how those that once fit into a “jock” or “popular girl” trope have changed now they’re older and have endured horrors from their past.
- Genuinely creepy: There were moments in this book where I found myself actually shocked at what was happening. Of course, there is always a sense of “well duh” when certain moments happened, then there were surprises that really had me.
I’m actually finding myself really enjoying this series of books, I think I’ve found the first book series I’ve genuinely enjoyed for a very long time. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good mystery or someone looking for something a bit different from their young adult books.
I will be keeping an eye out on more of Karen McManus’ books, as well as looking more into the YA mystery genre – maybe this will be the style of book that I get obsessed with for a while. Let me know if there are any similar books I should try out.