Trigger Warnings: Alcohol/Drug/Psychological/Verbal Abuse; Animal death; Bullying; Cheating; Death/Death threats; Disordered eating; Kidnapping; Missing person case; Murder; Racism; Self-harm; Suicide; Sexual assault (mentioned)
I thought that today would be the perfect day to share my review of my scariest read of this year – A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson!
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder follows Pip’s journey as she researches, and tries to solve, one of Little Kilton’s darkest mysteries. Five years ago, Andie Bell mysteriously disappeared, and although Sal Singh was blamed, Pip isn’t so sure that this is the case.
The plot throughout A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder was incredibly tense and detailled – I could never guess where the story would go next! Despite it being so intricate and detailled, I never felt lost or confused at what was happening and why, which really had me gripped throughout. Jackson made sure that she explained every last detail, which I really liked, as it felt like I was there with Pip, investigating this unsolved mystery (though I’m grateful that I wasn’t actually there as there were some very scary situations!).
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder featured a very wide mix of characters. Each character had their own unique personality, and the overall story would have been very different with the absence of just one person! However, I found myself not wanting to like any of the characters too much, as I knew that they all had their own secrets and stories to tell, and I really didn’t want to find myself really liking the character who turned out to be the murderer! The secrets and alibis on the night that Andie went missing really helped to build up tension, as there were many blurred lines between the truth and lies, making me increasingly suspicious of each character, even when I really didn’t want to be.
One thing with this book that I was slightly disappointed about was the lack of information surrounding trigger warnings. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder covers many sensitive topics (as detailled at the top of this review), and I was disappointed to not have seen any information about this at all for this book. That being said, I did do very little research on this book, and I am aware that there is generally a lack of trigger warnings when it comes to researching and buying books, so I am not singling out A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder when it comes to this topic. Recently, I have discovered that The StoryGraph lists trigger warnings alongside each book, and you can submit them when posting a review, which I think is a really good feature to ensure that no one is reading about themes that they feel uncomfortable reading. Despite this, I found A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder to be a quick read, the tension and drama made me unable to put it down until I had finished!
Pip was investigating Andie Bell’s disappearance as part of a school project (the EPQ). I think that this was a really clever idea of Jackson’s, as the process that Pippa was going through to complete the project will be very relatable for 16-18-year-olds who may be writing an EPQ alongside reading this book! However, I was slightly confused at Pip contacting Ravi Singh to help her with her project, seeing as her supervisor had said that she was not to contact the families. That being said, I did really enjoy watching her and Ravi’s friendship develop throughout the book, and I can’t wait to see how it will continue to grow through the rest of the series!
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder sent shivers down my spine – it was definitely one of the scariest books that I have ever read! Everything that happened seemed so real, and the contemporary setting really helped with this. It always felt like everything was happening in front of my eyes, like I was watching Andie’s disappearance, watching Pip make the heart-wrenching decision at the end of the book, and watching how the truths uncovered shook the whole of Little Kilton.
Seeing as this is the first book in a trilogy, I know that the plot, drama, and tension is only going to get spookier, scarier, and more chilling. Considering that the majority of books scare me, I wonder how I’m going to read Good Girl, Bad Blood and As Good As Dead (I’ll just need to remember to follow my advice of to not read scary books too late at night….it never happens!)! I have absolutely no idea as to where the next book will take me – I can’t see a clear route that it could take, but this makes me even more excited to continue the series!
Overall, I recommend A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder for any mystery and/or thriller fans, aged 16+, as long as they feel comfortable reading about the trigger warnings listed at the top of this review.
Have you read A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, or any of the other two books in this series? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!
Thank you for reading this post.