Ellery’s never been to Echo Ridge, but she’s heard all about it. It’s where her aunt went missing at age sixteen, never to return. Where a Homecoming Queen’s murder five years ago made national news. And where Ellery now has to live with a grandmother she barely knows, after her failed-actress mother lands in rehab. No one knows what happened to either girl, and Ellery’s family is still haunted by their loss.
Malcolm grew up in the shadow of the Homecoming Queen’s death. His older brother was the prime suspect and left Echo Ridge in disgrace. His mother’s remarriage vaulted her and Malcolm into Echo Ridge’s upper crust, but their new status grows shaky when mysterious threats around town hint that a killer plans to strike again. No one has forgotten Malcolm’s brother-and nobody trusts him when he suddenly returns to town.
Ellery and Malcolm both know it’s hard to let go when you don’t have closure. Then another girl disappears, and Ellery and Malcolm were the last people to see her alive. As they race to unravel what happened, they realize every secret has layers in Echo Ridge. The truth might be closer to home than either of them want to believe.
I read One of Us is Lying last year and that novel was one of my absolute favourites of the year so I couldn’t quite believe my luck when I received an e-mail from the publisher to read this novel.
I thoroughly enjoyed Two Can Keep A Secret, the book has a great start and plenty of mystery to keep you very happy but even with all the effort put into this novel, I can’t help but love her debut more. I probably spoiled the whole thing myself though by comparing the books and expecting the same. I mean, I loved the characters in her debut so much (maybe a bit more than in this one because the secrets were so intimate that I felt like I knew the characters, I certainly sympathised with them a lot) and of course that whole read was such a rollercoaster of secrets and lies, I somehow expected that to happen here too.
This one’s more of a stealthy read though, apart from the start that really grabs your attention there’s actually a string of mysteries that follow and are intricately weaved together. It lets you simmer in your suspicions until the big reveal in the end. The author resorted to a somewhat more traditional plot style here with an unsolved case, a present mystery, and a possible link between them that I was searching for througout the novel. It’s a good setup but to be outstanding you have to find that extra touch. I do think she did her best! The setting is brilliant and she gets all the points for the creepy location. Ellery and Ezra’s Nan lives near a Halloween theme park called Murderland you see, now renamed as Fright Farm for a good reason :-).
The novel had a Pretty Little Liars vibe, especially with the blonde, brunette and redhead trio in school (two of them cheerleaders and one an aspiring journalist) who play a central part in the story and are targeted and threatened by someone unknown. I really warmed to the two POV’s too, Ellery, the new-in-town girl, and Malcolm, younger brother of Declan Kelly who was previously suspected of murdering his girlfriend Lacey. I was happy though it it didn’t turn into a big romance and the mystery received all of the attention. Ellery is a would-be detective and it was great to see her sleuthing, even if she gets it wrong a few times and she dragged me along into her pit of suspicion.
The novel kept me awake, it was really engrossing, but I can’t say I was very surprised when the villain was revealed. There is a clue if you are a really attentive reader and although I’m sure a lot of readers won’t pick up on it, this didn’t get passed me unnoticed :-). But I did thoroughly enjoy the thrilling culmination. What surprised me even more in the end however was the person who got a spot in the limelight when I didn’t expect it.
The best things are always saved as last though and I still had one last burning question on my mind. I didn’t think I would receive an answer any more but she showed me her awesomeness again with a real OMG moment in the VERY LAST SENTENCE. Those last words… you have to read them to believe them, but really major chills!
I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.