Popsugar Reading Challenge 2021 Book 33

Prompt: The book on your TBR list with the ugliest cover

I don’t think many books have truly ugly covers, and as beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that, this is a very subjective prompt. I’ve chosen As Good As Dead by Holly Jackson. I really wanted to read this book as I have loved the A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder series and couldn’t wait for the final part of the trilogy. The cover is dark and duct tapey and totally in fitting with the story. It’s not necessarily attractive but it is the perfect design for the book.

What it’s about?

From Goodreads:

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 . . .

What I think:

If you haven’t read A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder then stop reading this now and head to the book store. There may be spoilers ahead…

After two exhausting and emotional investigations that have brought her face to face with death, Pip is struggling. Despite counselling, lack of sleep and PTSD are taking its toll as she prepares to head to university.

Pip is such a different character from the first book which I found refreshing. In so many thriller/crime series the protagonist is completely unaffected by the violence and murder that they witness so I think this is a realistic arc for this character.

Not only is she traumatised, she is angry. And with Max Hastings free and jogging around Little Kilton with a smug look on his face is enough to tip her over the edge.

When threatening messages are sent to Pip along with hang up calls, dead pigeons and mysterious chalk figures drawn outside her house, she is convinced someone is stalking her. But with no further evidence there is nothing for the poice to go on.

Looking for a new investigation to keep her busy and stave of the anxiety and anger she is feeling she is responds to a request for help from the mother of a serial killer who believes her son has been wrong imprisoned and starts to revisit these old crimes.

Holly Jackson’s plotting is absolutely meticulous. The details of the murders and the links to the deaths of Andie Bell and Sal Singh that started Pip off on her investigations are perfect. There are so many clever moments that fans of the books will appreciate and even gasp at.

There were parts of this book that made me genuinely anxious for Pip and Sal’s fate. It is such a roller coaster.

I have loved this series. It may be YA but it’s appeal goes beyond that. And this book is great end to Pip’s story – although I will always hold out hope that an adult Pip will return for more gripping investigations one day.

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