Seventeen year old Hattie Hoffman is a talented actress, loved by everyone in her Minnesotan hometown. So when she’s found stabbed to death on the opening night of her school play, the tragedy rips through the fabric of the community. Local sheriff Del Goodman, a good friend of Hattie’s dad, vows to find her killer, but the investigation yields more questions than answers. It turns out Hattie played as many parts offstage as on.
Sometimes you pick up a book, start reading the first page and you instantly realise it’s going to be brilliant. That’s what happened for me with this one. It drew me in from the start and wouldn’t let go. Fortunately I had no interruptions and was able to read the whole thing in one go.
I loved the small town community setting. Mindy Mejia describes everything so vividly, I could imagine myself being there, running through the fields, looking up at the skies at night and seeing the stars like you only can in the countryside. I’d move there in a heartbeat. Well, if there’s a reliable internet connection, that is. 😉
The chapters alternate between Hattie, Peter (her English teacher) and Sheriff Goodman. There is such a nice flow as we learn more about them. The whole cast of characters is incredible and unforgettable, each with their own flaws and struggles. Completely realistic and believable. I cared about these people and what happened to them.
This is one of those plots where you pick up clues and think you have the whole thing figured out until the rug is pulled out from under your feet and you’re proven completely wrong. I love that!
To me, this was perfection. When I become so engrossed that I don’t even hear the phone ring, that’s what it’s all about. I can’t fault anything about it and I’ll eat my hat (if I had one) if this doesn’t turn out to be one of the books of the year. I have no doubt it will be on my list. Highly recommend it if you enjoy psychological thrillers although this is so much more than that. Did I mention brilliant?