From that time on, the world was hers for the reading....

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Anna Jarzab: All Unquiet Things

I love a good murder mystery, which is why All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab caught my attention.

Carly: She was sweet. Smart. Self-destructive. She knew the secrets of Brighton Day School's most privileged students. Secrets that got her killed.

Neily: Dumped by Carly for a notorious bad boy, Neily didn't answer the phone call she made before she died. If he had, maybe he could have helped her. Now he can't get the image of her lifeless body out of his mind.

Audrey: She's the reason Carly got tangled up with Brighton's fast crowd in the first place, and now she regrets it--especially since she's convinced the police have put the wrong person in jail. Audrey thinks the murderer is someone at Brighton, and she wants Neily to help her find out who it is.

As reluctant allies Neily and Audrey dig into their shared past with Carly, her involvement with Brighton's dark goings-on comes to light. But figuring out how Carly and her killer fit into the twisted drama will force Audrey and Neily to face hard truths about themselves and the girl they couldn't...

All Unquiet Things isn't just a murder mystery; it is an exploration of the complications of love and friendship as well as the emotional ramifications of lies, betrayal, and loss.

The narration alternates between the perspectives of Neily and Audrey, but not so often that the reader doesn't get to know each character. I felt like I was given enough time to really get into their heads and understand their lives.

Out of the two narrators, I liked Neily the best. Though sarcastic and self-deprecating, he was genuine in his love for Carly and his quest to find her killer. Audrey seemed like a typical popular girl, striving to be liked and accepted regardless of the consequences.

I understood Neily's hesitation when it came to Audrey, but I'm glad they decided to work together. Their cautious partnership created a fascinating dynamic that helped propel the story forward as their very different worlds collided to introduce the reader to the sordid lives of private school cliques.

Each chapter was a slow and tense build to an action-packed, unpredictable conclusion. I left the story feeling justice was served and that the characters were finally at peace. It was a stellar debut for Anna Jarzab, and I highly recommend it.

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