Friday, 28 July 2017

All the Wicked Girls by Chris Whitaker Book Review


'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 . . .

For fans of The Roanoke Girls and Fargo, All the Wicked Girls is a gripping crime novel with a huge heart from an exceptional talent. 


I absolutely loved Chris Whitaker’s debut novel Tall Oaks and I couldn’t wait to see what he had install for us next and All the Wicked Girls didn’t disappoint. It is even better and much darker than Tall Oaks; I think it has to be one of my favourite reads of this year.

All the Wicked Girls is set in the fictional small town of Grace, Alabama. A giant storm cloud hangs above the town which panics the residents into thinking that something evil is brewing. And then Summer Ryan goes missing, a model student with a talent for music. Summer’s sister Raine is distraught and puts every effort in to finding her sister.

Chris Whitaker is seriously one of the best writers in the business at the moment; it’s hard to believe that this is only his second book. His characterisation skills are excellent, when you turn the final page; you have that feeling that you have got to know every character really well and for me, good characterisation is one of the most important aspects that make up a good story. We need a character who we can get behind and Chris has definitely got that here with Raine. I could feel her agony as she searched to find the truth as to what happened to her sister and I was rooting for her to find her, it was clear that Raine would use any means to make sure that her sister was safe. Chris is an expert in giving the reader the sense that every character in his book has a secret, it makes for a gripping read, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.

The setting of the fictional town of Grace was really well done, I really felt as though I was in America’s Deep South, although the town was fictional I had no trouble at all imagining it as a town in this area. Chris captured the mood and the atmosphere of the town really well, particularly when the people who live there are dealing with a crisis, you can begin to see cracks in relationships forming and a society beginning to fall apart as they fight to find answers.

Another brilliant book by Chris, All the Wicked Girls is a book I predict will be huge. It’s definitely one of those books that you don’t want to end. The only problem is now that I’ve finished is that I have to wait for Chris’s next book; I can’t wait to see what he does next. Thank you to Emily Burns at Bonnier Zaffre Books for sending me a copy to review. 

Publisher: Zaffre

Publication date: 24th August 2017

Print length: 448 pages


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