Dead and Buried (Murder Notebooks) by Anne Cassidy
|Dead and Buried (Murder Notebooks) by Anne Cassidy|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Fourth and final episode in this fantastic crime series from Anne Cassidy. Rose and Josh finally get all the answers about their missing parents. We can't recommend this thoughtful-but-exciting series highly enough.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 336||Date: March 2013|
|External links: Author's website|
It's been five years since Rose's and Josh's parents disappeared and Rose is determined finally to start getting on with her life. She hasn't seen Josh for a few weeks and although she misses him, she can't but help feeling a sense of relief. But then policeman Henry turns up at her door with more bad news: the body of a teenage girl has been found buried in the garden of her old home, the one she shared with her mother, Josh, and his father Brendan. With their parents implicated, Rose and Josh have no choice but to try to solve one last murder...
This is the fourth and last 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 they 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. Book three looks into the death of Josh's uncle and the pair uncover his intimate connection to the "project" their parents are involved in.
Dead and Buried takes another murder mystery that is linked in some way to the disappearance of Rose's and Josh's parents. And this time, everyone is implicated. It's the last chance for the siblings to find their parents and, indeed, to clear their names. But it's not that easy. Rose is tired of it all. She just wants to live a normal life. She wants to be like any other teenager - making university choices, going to the pub, flirting with boys. But Josh can't let it go. He is obsessed with solving the mystery, with reuniting with his father, with getting justice for Skeggsie. This leads to a lot of conflict between the two, which threatens to squash the burgeoning romantic feelings they have for one another.
It's beautifully plotted with just enough clues dotted along the way to keep you guessing but not quite enough to make things predictable. All through this series, Cassidy has been asking her readers one question - is it ever okay to kill? And underlying that is a theme that challenges our obsession with crime - books, TV shows, current events. If murder is so wrong - and it is - then why do we think about it and talk about so much? Is this a good thing, providing catharsis? Or is it cover for the darker impulses that we can't quite shed?
While Dead and Buried wraps up the plot nicely, it doesn't offer the answers on a plate. And nor should it. These are things we should be thinking about and it's great to see a writer presenting them through the prism of stories that are both exciting and absorbing and through characters we can both like and relate to.
The Murder Notebooks series comes highly recommended. I'm really rather sad that it's all over.
There is a free short story from the series, which you can download here.
You can read more book reviews or buy Dead and Buried (Murder Notebooks) by Anne Cassidy at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Dead and Buried (Murder Notebooks) by Anne Cassidy at Amazon.com.
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