Title: The Killing Woods
Author: Lucy Christopher
Publisher: Chicken House Ltd
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Emily’s dad is accused of murdering a teenage girl. Emily is sure he is innocent, but what happened that night in the woods behind their house where she used to play as a child? Determined to find out, she seeks out Damon Hillary, the enigmatic boyfriend of the murdered girl. He also knows these woods. Maybe they could help each other. But he’s got secrets of his own about games that are played in the dark. A new psychological thriller from the award-winning and bestselling author of STOLEN and FLYAWAY.
Review: Is it bad that I love murder mysteries so much? It's hard to find such an intriguing one that leaves me guessing who the killer is with various plot twists, but The Killing Woods didn't disappoint.
I won The Killing Woods via a Rafflecopter giveaway who knows when - that's how long the book has been on the shelf - and found the concept interesting. A soldier with PTSD accused of murder, a dangerous version of Ghost In the Graveyard played by a group of teenagers, a girl determined to get to the bottom of it - Lucy Christopher hit a home run in the mystery department. Sure, the reader had their own individual list of suspects, (Damon Hillary, Mack, Ed, Charlie, Mr. Shepherd) but they never really were able to figure out who the real killer was until the end of the book.
The Killing Woods was told in two different character's points of view. The first character being Emily Shepherd, the daughter of the soldier with PTSD who finds the body of Ashlee Parker in the woods. Being the one who left the woods with the body in his hands, Mr. Shepherd is accused of the murder, but Emily knows it can't be the case. Just because the war affected him and his memory doesn't mean he would kill somebody. The second character telling his side of the story was Damon Hillary, Ashlee's boyfriend who had been in the woods with her and a group of friends the night she died. Not being able to remember the events of that night scares Damon and while Emily launches her own investigation, Damon attempts to straighten his side of things out.
With some stories having been told in multiple points of view, it's easy to get confused and mix up the characters and their thoughts, but Lucy wrote Emily's story in one font and Damon's in another. I like this style of writing because then I know whose mindset I'm in and can see the story through their eyes instead of scrambling to get my thoughts together. The Killing Woods encourages me to pick up a copy of Lucy Christopher's other novel, Stolen. Hopefully, I will enjoy that book as much as I did this one.
If you are looking for a murder mystery to read this summer, I highly encourage you check out The Killing Woods. But be warned: "Fatal attraction and primal fear, at play in the forest."