There is a lot going on in this title. Many different characters, already established relationships from previous books in the series, several different settings to navigate. It would be easy for the story to waver under the weight of everything it is carrying – but there was no faltering to be found!
As to the different settings – there are many literary takes on a boarding school backdrop, but this one stands alone for me in comparison to the others. No rosy glasses-d romanticism, nor ‘underdog against the odds’ conflict – the school space and the students and teachers who inhabit it come alive in a very real, natural way.
The author’s language style and vocabulary choices are what make her book come alive. The characters are brought out in dazzling detail, with each nuance and personality quirk deftly defined. By the middle chapters, you know how a certain character is going to react, and you await expectantly for events to unfold. This was not a predictable work, far from it, but it felt natural, as if the next twist was the most logical thing to occur. Rather than the sharp turns, and edge of your seat danger of other mysteries, this one makes you pay attention, think, and with Ellie, try to outwit the culprit.
Are you up to the challenge?
I received a review copy of this work from the publisher through NetGalley