I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.As Good As Dead (A Good Girl's Guide to Murder, #3) by Holly Jackson
Also by this author: A Good Girl's Guide to Murder, Good Girl, Bad Blood (A Good Girl's Guide to Murder, #2)
Series: A Good Girl's Guide to Murder #3
Also in this series: Good Girl, Bad Blood (A Good Girl's Guide to Murder, #2)
Published by Electric Monkey on August 5, 2021
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult
Pages: 464 •Format: E-Book •Source: Overdrive
Pip Fitz-Amobi is haunted by the way her last investigation ended. Soon she’ll be leaving for Cambridge University but then another case finds her . . . and this time it’s all about Pip.
Pip is used to online death threats, but there’s one that catches her eye, someone who keeps asking: who will look for you when you’re the one who disappears? And it’s not just online. Pip has a stalker who knows where she lives. The police refuse to act and then Pip finds connections between her stalker and a local serial killer. The killer has been in prison for six years, but Pip suspects that the wrong man is behind bars. As the deadly game plays out, Pip realises that everything in Little Kilton is finally coming full circle. If Pip doesn’t find the answers, this time she will be the one who disappears . . .
Whoa. Whoawhoawhoawhoawhoa. Just when I think Holly Jackson can’t build upon her previous mysteries BAM she gets me with a twist so unexpected that I’m left reeling. I have a lot of whiplash from this book, the third and (likely) final installment in the Good Girl’s Guide to Murder series, and it went in a direction I was NOT expecting.
I’ll admit, I considered DNF-ing this one initially, because the beginning is super slow. Pip is obviously dealing with PTSD (as she was after the first book, however it’s amped up a LOT after what she went through in the second book and Stanley dying essentially in her arms). It was understandable and I’m glad the author showed the darkness that was enveloping Pip after what she’s been through and how she’s seen the system fail so many times, but I just really didn’t see where this story could go after everything Pip had been through. Boy, was I proven wrong. This story went very, very far, and very, very dark, but also in a completely understandable way given what Pip has experienced ??? (It’s hard to elaborate without spoilers!)
Pip is basically convinced she has a stalker, but knowing that she’s suffering from PTSD/ potential paranoia after everything that happened to her in the other two cases she was involved in, it’s easy to wonder if she’s just an unreliable narrator (which is basically what everyone aside from Ravi assumes too- when will the adults in this series learn?!) She’s noticing weird things around her home that are almost so subtle she doesn’t know if she is blowing them out of proportion or not- dead pigeons in her doorway, faint chalk markings in her driveway, etc. Pip tries to do the right thing and report her concerns to the police who essentially blow her off (you think they’d know better by now) and everyone is encouraging her to just focus on leaving for college at the end of the summer. Pip manages to tie back these disturbing signs to that of a closed case on a serial killer- but Pip doesn’t believe they caught the right person. She tells herself just one last case- that this will be the case she solves to absolve herself the mistakes she’s made, of the people she couldn’t save. One last case to save herself.
I was honestly shocked at how well Holly Jackson managed to tie this final case into the plots of the first and second books, and really bring all three mysteries full circle and connect all of them. I have no idea if she originally planned it that way or built new clues and made new connections as she wrote each book, but it’s either way it’s extremely impressive. And Pip- poor, poor Pip. At the end of book two it’s clear that she is NOT OK, and while I was horrified to see the turn she took in this book, it almost makes a twisted sort of sense View Spoiler »That someone who’s gone so deep down the true crime rabbit hole would be able to pull off the ultimate crime and framing of someone else themselves. « Hide Spoiler I honestly was sort of in shock reading it, but at the same time not at all. It’s definitely not how I expected Pip’s story to end, and while I’m sad for her in a lot of ways, I understand why she turned out the way she did, and why she did what she did.
Overall: This book firmly resides in the moral grey area, and I’m a bit in awe that the author chose to end it the way she did, but it makes sense even if a lot of readers will probably be shocked/dislike it. Holly Jackson is truly a mystery/thriller writing queen and I hope she writes many, many books in the future!!
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