The Broken Girls by Simone St. James (2 out of 5)

So many hopes hinging on this one. I eyed it in hardcover a year ago, but lost it in the stacks. Then it rolled in and onto the new paperback table, and I bought it. Solely, to be honest, because the book blurbs were so promising. Sadly, those blurbs did not meet the expectations of the jacket on which they were printed. I was craving goth noir, horror, and mystery, expectations encouraged by that book jacket. Instead I got a barely disguised game of one upmanship in a relationship between the reporter and the police officer, and a lot of yawning in between chapters. Again, fighting the flu and a 4-day migraine did not lend itself to a successful courtship with the book, but I expected some excitement. The excitement waa when the book ended and I moved into a different one. How fucking sad.

Twenty years ago, a girl student’s (Deb) body is found on the soccer field of an all girls boarding school for wayward girls. Twenty years later, Fiona, the reporter for the town paper and sister of the murdered girl, is writing a story on the rebuilding and opening of the school by a wealthy local family. While Fiona is there interviewing the son, a dead body is found in a well. This digs up more memories for Fiona. Her boyfriend, the local cop, tells her to stay out of the case. Fiona continues to investigate why the school needs to reopen, as well as why two girls were murdered on the grounds. So begins the one upmanship that I spoke of. Fiona is determined because no matter how much evidence is there, everyone seems determined to bury the truth and the past. And Deb’s boyfriend Tim was convicted of killing her-although no one buys it. This should have been a great story with a great end, but instead it’s a barely held together mess of fragmented stories of the girls who used to go there, the relationship between Deb and Tim, the mess of a relationship between Fiona and the cop, and throw in Fiona’s elderly dad, who hasn’t recovered since his daughter’s murder. And what was barely held together by rubber bands of mediocre plot device comes apart completely toward the end of the book. The lead heroine seems obsessed to the point of irrationality and the book dissolves with it. What a shame. The book is now available in paperback.

~ by generationgbooks on January 17, 2019.

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