author: Vincent Ralph
published: 1 June 2021
publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
buy/shelve it: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | BookBub | BookHype | Goodreads
A page-turning new YA thriller for the social media age, perfect for fans of A Good Girl's Guide to Murder and One Of Us Is Lying.
Ten years ago, Jess's mother was murdered by the Magpie Man.
She was the first of his victims but not the last.
Now Jess is the star of a YouTube reality series and she's using it to catch the killer once and for all.
The whole world is watching her every move.
And so is the Magpie Man.
I loved the premise of this book so much! Five teenagers are going to allow themselves to be streamed live. At the end of the initial period, the one with the most viewer numbers will win the permanent show contract. And each teenager has their own motives for doing the show. But winning the contract is secondary for the main character’s motivation for doing the show. For Jess, it’s to get attention on her mother’s murder by the serial killer Magpie Man and to finally solve it.
I was drawn into the story from the first page. It felt relevant with the use of social media, using it in a way that made the story feel entirely possible and believable. And the characters were wonderful, fully realized regardless of the part they played in the story. They felt very real, as did the setting, making me feel that I was a close observer of all that happened.
After putting so much of herself online for the world to see, it was inevitable that she’d attract her fair share of negativity. She expected that, even embraced it, in her quest to solve her mother’s murder. And when the twists and turns began, it got dark. There were so many twists and turns, and they kept me turning the pages. Yet just as much as the book is a mystery and a quest for truth, it is also a bit of a journey for Jess as she begins to learn more about herself along the way. She has to face and deal with some hard truths, find her own strength.
Does she as a character make some questionable choices? She most definitely does. But she is also a teenager without the maturity of age. And she’s emotionally charged, so those choices are understandable.
A great twisty read!