Dead Time: The Murder Notebooks by Anne Cassidy

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Dead Time: The Murder Notebooks by Anne Cassidy

Category: Teens
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: First in a series of crime thrillers for teens by the fabulous Anne Cassidy. Beautifully-written, tense and compelling, with an overall arc that cleverly binds reader to character. Recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 340 Date: May 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 1408815508

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Longlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2013

Rose's mother and stepfather - Kathy and Brendan - went out for dinner one night and never came back. Rose was taken in by her grandmother who sent her off to a posh boarding school, while her stepbrother Josh went up north to live with an uncle.

Fast forward several years and Rose is back in London, doing her A levels at a local college, much to her grandmother's disgust. She's also back in touch with Josh, another thing her grandmother wouldn't like. Josh has been digging into their parents' disappearance - the police may think it's a cold case but he doesn't, and he's finally got a lead. At the same time, Rose finds herself mixed up in a very different manhunt after she witnesses the murder of two college classmates. Could there be a connection between the two cases?

Dead Time is the first of four books in the Murder Notebooks series and Cassidy, as ever, has done a fine job with it. The plot strand involving the two murders gets wrapped up nicely and the larger arc - where are the missing parents? - moves on nicely, but leaves the reader with lots to anticipate. And the two are very cleverly linked. I won't say too much as I do hate a spoiler. Watch out for all the clues, though!

I liked both Rose and Josh and for very different reasons. Rose is reserved, withdrawn even, and very spikey. She has a sharp tongue and doesn't let anyone get too close. Josh, on the other hand, is open and friendly but also impulsive - a typical teenager, you might say. But each is a product of both the damage done by the disappearance of their parents and their subsequent choice of a closest friend. Rose was let down by her friend Rachel, but Josh was supported and helped by Skeggsie. The two are chalk and cheese but you can see why. I'm looking forward to seeing how this relationship grows and is tested by the continuing search for Kathy and Brendan.

Dead Time is dark, absorbing and explores contemporary issues. It's also got central characters you can root for and produces some real tension. What more could you want in a crime thriller? Recommended.

Other excellent crime/thrillers for teens include Deathwatch by Nicola Morgan, The Angel Collector by Bali Rai and The Opposite of Amber by Gillian Philip.

Buy Dead Time: The Murder Notebooks by Anne Cassidy at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Dead Time: The Murder Notebooks by Anne Cassidy at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Dead Time: The Murder Notebooks by Anne Cassidy at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Dead Time: The Murder Notebooks by Anne Cassidy at Amazon.com.


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