The Girls in the Garden

Atria. Jun. 2016. 313p. illus. ISBN 9781476792217. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781476792231. F
Jewell (The Third Wife) crafts another page-turner that keeps the suspense flowing. Thirteen-year-old Grace Wild is found injured and potentially assaulted after a party in the rose garden of her central London housing community. Pip discovers her older sister, and when Grace comes to, she is unable to remember what happened to her. Has she been harmed by her first boyfriend? Or by her friend's grandfather, who was suspected long ago of assaulting another young woman? Other possible attackers include her friend's father, who's perceived as being too close to other neighborhood daughters, and her own mentally unstable father. Jewell sharply evades the truth while bouncing the story among multiple characters' perspectives. The book's conclusion will leave readers saying, "Of course that's whodunit" after ricocheting about with uncertainty. The author slices our attention among distinctive characters with lovely descriptions and the lilting Britspeak that enchants so many Americans.
VERDICT Recommended for lovers of mysteries built on the complexities of family and the dismantling of the idea that being part of a community keeps us safe. [See Prepub Alert, 12/7/15.]
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