The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Zoe Maisey is a genius: a piano prodigy with an amazingly high IQ. She is also a killer. When she was fourteen, Zoe was responsible for the death of three fellow teens. Now, she and her mother have started over (their "Second Chance Life") and Zoe is playing her first concert in her new life, along with her stepbrother, Lucas. But her performance is disrupted and Zoe flees the concert hall. And, by the end of the night, Zoe's mother is dead. Zoe is alone, forced to confront a new world without her protector. Plus, who is responsible for her mother's death?
This book grabbed me immediately; it sucks you in from the start and doesn't let you go until it finishes, when you're exhilarated and exhausted. It's a fascinating, easy-to-read thriller with short chapters that tell us about the events surrounding the timeframe after Zoe's concert, but also going back into the past via flashbacks from the characters. We hear from Zoe, her aunt, Tessa, Tessa's husband, Richard, and Sam, Zoe's lawyer from her "previous" life. Their narratives weave flawlessly into a tense and sometimes psychologically creepy tale that has you sitting spellbound, turning pages frantically, wanting to know what happens.
In theory, the action happens over a very short period of time, as Maria's killer is unveiled, but the ability to go into the past with the characters extends the time and makes you tensely await each action. Macmillan's characters are nuanced and deep--each with their own quirks, flaws, and motivations. Beyond the actual plotline of murder, there is a deep thread of discord and familial drama and angst running among our characters, who are certainly a flawed bunch. The book makes you question and ponder many things, including the topics of forgiveness, loyalty, marriage, and what really makes a family. I won't forget either the exciting story or the characters themselves for some time.
Overall, while there were certainly a few things to quibble with with this one, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a tense but enjoyable thriller to escape into and certainly well worth the thread.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Librarything (thank you)!
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