I love a good mystery, so thought I’d be in for a treat when I picked this up in the library. However, although it wasn’t terrible, and some of the characterisation and plot were interesting to read, I found the book to be a bit repetitive, predictable and bit forgettable. I didn’t give me the thriller of the mystery that I was expecting and a lot more could have done to make a girl gripped throughout the novel.
Jess Tenant and her mother are going back to the town her mother grew up in for the summer after 18 years. Jess’ mum and auntie have been reconciling over the past year and this will be the first time Jess has ever met them. Jess looks a lot like her cousin Freya. But fell over the edge of a cliff in the seaside town last year, dying. Ruled as a suicide, and with the attention Jess gets in the town, she is determined to prove that Freya’s death was otherwise.
At first, I thought that the book had a good plot, a well established setting and I thought that Jess was an intriging main character. The proposition of a suicide/murder uncovering had me gripped. I couldn’t wait to find out what I was going to read. And at first I was really gripped. I like the set up of long lost family, and the people such as Will and Darcy. The way Jess met will was a bit typical, and obvious the intentions there. From then on, I found Jess abrupt and direct. Although, this is obviously a good trait in a detective character, I found it abrasive and not too fun to read along to. It made it hard work to read with her sometime. But when Casey hid this trait away to expose a more delicate side to Jess it made her character much more easy to get along with. Her yo-yo decision on people was a bit nauseating, and changed so constantly it was hard to keep up. This was the same as Will’s character.
I understand that this was a build up novel, the start of the Jess Tenant series. However, I felt like that was the main purpose of this book and not to provide such a gripping and dramatic story, with a satisfactory resolution. It didn’t leave me wanting more of Jess’ adventures or desperate to know where he relationship with Will was going or how the dynamics had changed in the little seaside town. Instead, I just exasperated with the whole ending. As if it had been dragged out too long, just to not be resolved.
Character emotions changed at the drop of a hat, whereas as others were so over dramatised it was almost comical to read about. People from this little town were portrayed to be simple, one minded characters that didn’t sit well with me to read. Although, this was meant to aid the mystery and evoke an ‘OMG I never thought it would be her’ these complete change of character made the reading tedious, as I had so much more suspicion of the one dimensional character, without it being engaging at the same time. Characters like Dan became tedious to read about.
I thought the ending was a bit blasé. Dressing up as her deceased cousin was absurd and ridiculous. I felt it gave the novel a side which made it a bit laughable. It took the seriousness of the novel completely away. Similarly the ending, or lack of it left the end of the book empty. Although I am aware it is to lead to another book, I still feel like this one deserved a better ending than that.
A good start with such an interesting premise. However, I was disappointed by the lack of ending and characters that ended up all over the place. Such a shame.