pub date: June 14, 2011
source: LibraryThing Early Reviewer
appeals: adult, mystery, boarding school, murder, contemporary, realistic fiction
content: swearing, off page sex, bullying,
This is not the kind of book I normally read. It wasn't particularly fast paced, it wasn't focused on just a few characters, and it wasn't told from a teen POV. It was an adult murder mystery. But for all of that, I enjoyed it anyway.
This is a very dense book. Dense as in the paragraphs are long and packed with detailed information. There is also A LOT of info told about each character--present, past, and hinting into the future--that didn't necessary have anything to do with the murder. It was not a quick read for me.
I figured out who the murderer was a little over half way through. Maybe not the reason behind the murder, that was a surprise, but the who-done-it aspect of it. And the reveal wasn't dramatic at all. It was sort of just there, a bit of information tucked in with all the other bits of information. But that was okay. Sometimes drama at the end of a book is annoying, so it was refreshing when that wasn't the case, like in this book. And the wind down after the reveal went on for a while, tying up all the ends of lives of all the characters we .
But, really, I did enjoy the story. The dynamics of the boarding school, teachers and students, and the schools relations with the town, was fascinating. As each piece of the puzzle was revealed, I loved how the thread got more twisted. I thought the plot was very well thought out and laid down in the novel. And I liked the two main characters. I liked how the book ended.
A solid 3 apple book.
When beautiful but aloof Claire Harkness is found dead in her dorm room one spring morning, prestigious Armitage Academy is shaken to its core. Everyone connected to school, and to Claire, finds their lives upended, from the local police detective who has a personal history with the academy, to the various faculty and staff whose lives are immersed in the daily rituals associated with it.
Everyone wants to know how Claire died, at whose hands, and more importantly, where the baby that she recently gave birth to is a baby that almost no one, except her small innermost circle, knew she was carrying.
At the center of the investigation is Madeline Christopher, an intern in the English department who is forced to examine the nature of the relationship between the school s students and the adults meant to guide them. As the case unravels, the dark intricacies of adolescent privilege at a powerful institution are exposed, and both teachers and students emerge as suspects as the novel rushes to its thrilling conclusion.