Little Girls Tell Tales by Rachel Bennett

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Little Girls Tell Tales by Rachel Bennett

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Category: Crime
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Rosalie found a body when she was lost in the wetlands, but could never find it again. Could it be Cora's sister? An engaging story set in the Isle of Man.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: Date: May 2020
Publisher: Harrper Collins UK, One More Chapter
ISBN: 978-0008333294

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In 2004 Rosalie, Beth and Dallin were walking in the boggy wetlands by Rosalie and Dallin's cottage. Beth and Dallin, both twelve-years-old, got ahead of ten-year-old Rosalie and it wasn't long before she realised that she was lost. Trying to find her way back to the main path she found a skeleton, but when she finally got to the road she could never find her way back to the bog when she'd seen the body. Most people didn't believe her, putting the story down to her vivid imagination.

In 2019 Rosalie still lived in the cottage by the curraghs, as the wetlands were known, but life had changed dramatically. She and Beth had been married until Beth's recent death. Her mother had moved to a flat in Ramsay after a car accident left her in a wheelchair and Dallin was estranged from the family: he'd not made contact when Beth was ill and had been no support to Rosalie after her mother's accident. Rosalie was struggling: she was on medication and rarely left the cottage, so it was a shock when Dallin appeared on the doorstep one evening with Cora.

Cora's sister, Simone had gone missing in June 1999 when she was fifteen and Cora was determined to find her. She'd read about the story of Rosalie's skeleton on a website and wondered if the body could be Simone. She's determined to explore the wetlands, metre by metre to see if she can find the skeleton. But Rosalie's concern is not about the body, which she believes Cora will never find, but about exactly why Dallin has returned to the Isle of Man, particularly when no one seems to welcome his presence.

The search for Simone has become an obsession for Cora. She can't bear to waste a minute when she could be searching the curraghs. She'll delve anywhere, regardless of other people's privacy and doesn't know when a particular search has become fruitless. She does recognise that her search is not without its consequences for other people, but she's so driven that it doesn't stop her. Rosalie is the opposite. She's not quite a hermit, but her social circle has diminished since Beth's death although there's an instant connection between her and Cora. Dallin's as different again - inherently unreliable and completely self-centred. As characters, it's an excellent combination.

The Isle of Man is a character in its own right: Rachel Bennet brings it alive and it's not just the tourist areas and the TT track which you see (although that does get a cameo appearance) but the areas where people live and work. I was tempted to plan a visit!

The plot is good too. I didn't guess how it all worked out, despite the fact that the clues were all there had I but looked a little more closely. This is my first Rachel Bennett book, but I'll be looking out for what she writes next and I'd like to thank the publishers for letting Bookbag have a review copy.

If you'd like to know more about the history of the Isle of Man, we can recommend The Isle of Man: Portrait of a Nation by John Grimson. For another mystery story which centres on the search for a missing person, have a look at The Body Under the Bridge by Nick Louth.

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Buy Little Girls Tell Tales by Rachel Bennett at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Little Girls Tell Tales by Rachel Bennett at


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