April Clarke-Cliveden was the first person Hannah Jones met at Oxford.
Vivacious, bright, occasionally vicious, and the ultimate It girl, she quickly pulled Hannah into her dazzling orbit. Together, they developed a group of devoted and inseparable friends—Will, Hugh, Ryan, and Emily—during their first term. By the end of the year, April was dead.
Now, a decade later, Hannah and Will are expecting their first child, and the man convicted of killing April, former Oxford porter John Neville, has died in prison. Relieved to have finally put the past behind her, Hannah’s world is rocked when a young journalist comes knocking and presents new evidence that Neville may have been innocent. As Hannah reconnects with old friends and delves deeper into the mystery of April’s death, she realizes that the friends she thought she knew all have something to hide…including a murder.
This was my fourth Ruth Ware novel (I have already reviewed The Lying Game, One by One and The Turn of the Key) and The It Girl is a wonderful addition, one that made me think and rethink about Neville’s involvement and other possible suspects.
I remember being slightly disappointed in one of her novels because the killer was too obvious for me but I promise you that The It girl kept me guessing and guessing some more. I thought I was a super sleuth but this novel certainly knocked me around.
The It Girl was a wonderful mystery to read. It provides an airtight case against Neville, one of the porters at Oxford University. Not only was he a seriously creepy guy, Hannah also saw him coming down the stairs and found April murdered minutes later. He always cried out his innocence though till the day he died in prison and it’s only when Hannah receives a tidbit of new information about April from a reporter that she wonders what was going on with April at the time. Did she know her at all? Why didn’t she tell Hannah, her roommate and best friend? She wants to get to the bottom of it so she visits her old college friends and it helps her to put the pieces together. Oh did I tell you that Will was April’s boyfriend and is now a soon-to-be father of Hannah’s child? I don’t know why I thought that would worth mentioning but I certainly found this an interesting turn of events.
Without divulging too much I can only say that I had a suspect and when this suspect was crossed out I found myself another one and it turned out in the end that I was wrong again. I love it when an author can wrongfoot me and she did so good! She put in several red herrings and the tension ramps up in the final chapters. I think I knew a little sooner than Hannah that she was in some kind of trouble but other than that I was as surprised as she was. There are lots of people who could have a reason to kill her but the real reason and finding out the background story preceding her murder was also an eye-opener for me.
The It Girl is the sort of novel that you just have to know who did it! It kept me turning pages at high speed. If you love playing detective and you enjoy books with multiple suspects then this is definitely worth putting on your readlist!
I received a free ecopy of this novel from the publisher Simon & Schuster via Netgalley. This is my honest opinion.