Butterfly Grave (Murder Notebooks) by Anne Cassidy

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Butterfly Grave (Murder Notebooks) by Anne Cassidy

Category: Teens
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Third book in an original crime series. A horrid crime (I cried), some interesting questions about whether or not murder is ever justified and a hint of romance to boot.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 304 Date: November 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 1408815524

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Just before Christmas, Josh's uncle Stuart falls from a cliff in an horrific accident. Determined to help, Josh, Rose and friend Skeggsie head up to Newcastle for the festive season. Things are awkward between the three. Josh is becoming increasingly paranoid and is convinced they are being followed. Rose is becoming more and more withdrawn, fixating on the deaths she has witnessed. And Skeggsie is resentful at being forever embroiled in other people's problems when he has challenges of his own.

It soon becomes clear that Uncle Stu's past is also a dark one, involving yet another murder. And before the trio can get to grips with it, a terrible crime occurs...

This is the third book in a rather fabulous series. Book one established the overall arc - Rose and Josh are step siblings whose parents were both working in the same cold case police squad when they disappeared and were assumed murdered. When are given some strange, coded notebooks, Rose and Josh realise that their parents are almost certainly still alive. Book two moves this arc forward but also looks at the death of an old schoolfriend of Rose's. Butterfly Grave begins with Rose, Josh and friend Skeggsie looking into an accident which saw Josh's uncle Stuart fall from a cliff. But this is superceded when a terrible crime occurs. I can't really say too much about this for fear of spoilers, but it is truly devastating. By the end, Rose and Josh have also inched a little closer to finding their parents.

I am thoroughly enjoying this series. It's beautifully paced and interesting. As Josh and Rose find out more and more about the work their parents were doing before they disappeared and get more and more clues about what they are doing now, all sorts of questions and moral ambiguities are raised. How much leash should we allow the security services? Does the end ever justify the means? Can murder ever be moral? Perhaps most importantly, in what circumstances don't your children come first? The twin mysteries in Butterfly Grave are credible and intricately-plotted and fans of crime fiction will lap them up. And the slow burn of the relationship between Rose and Josh makes for a much more interesting and relatable thread than you find in most wholly romantic novels for teens.

It's original, it's beautifully written and it asks interesting questions. The Murder Notebooks series comes highly recommended by me. So there!

There is a free short story from the series, which you can download here.

Make sure you read the first book in the series before you start on Butterfly Grave. You might also enjoy Quarry by Ally Kennen or Wasted by Nicola Morgan.

Buy Butterfly Grave (Murder Notebooks) by Anne Cassidy at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Butterfly Grave (Murder Notebooks) by Anne Cassidy at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Butterfly Grave (Murder Notebooks) by Anne Cassidy at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Butterfly Grave (Murder Notebooks) by Anne Cassidy at Amazon.com.


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