Disbelieved: Skin and Bone CSIs by Beth Webb
|Disbelieved: Skin and Bone CSIs by Beth Webb|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Joe and Annie solve some serious crimes in this engaging new YA crime novel from Bookbag favourite Beth Webb. Detailed science, two fab central characters, and lots of misdirection. Recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 290||Date: October 2018|
|Publisher: Golden Scale Media|
|External links: Author's website|
Anelise sees crimes before they happen, but no one believes her.
Joe solves crimes. But the police don’t believe him either.
When Anelise sees a cyclist plunging into a quarry she rings 999, but when help arrives there’s no cyclist and no bike. The following week the accident happens for real. The cyclist survives, but did someone mean to kill him – and why?
Anelise - Annie - has been living with her cousin Joe and her aunt, an eminent forensic scientist, since her mum died and her naturalist father went abroad on a research trip. So she does wonder sometimes whether the minor premonitions she has - who's on the other end of the ringing phone, or at the door when there's a knock - are in her imagination. But to foresee a serious accident and then for it to actually happen? And the dreadful headaches. Something's going on. Luckily for Annie, Joe is convinced and also willing to help. So they start to investigate the accident...
...and bite off more than they can chew. Or do they? Both Joe and Annie are perceptive and intelligent - and certainly more on the ball than the police who are supposed to be investigating. Soon, they're on the trail of some serious criminality and their concerns are written off by the authorities. Undaunted, they continue to investigate, putting themselves in considerable danger. And that's all I'm telling you!
Wow! I loved this story. It's something of a departure for Bookbag favourite Beth Webb, whose previous historical fantasies we've really enjoyed. I can easily imagine Disbelieved adapted for TV as part of the BBC's teen drama strand. Or on Netflix or another streaming service. I'd love to have a go at the casting!
But let's not get ahead of ourselves, especially here at Bookbag Towers, where we love our books. Disbelieved is a fabulous read with all the ingredients of a good thriller - especially, and at its heart, a twisting plot with plenty of clues and red herrings and a twist you won't see coming unless you are paying very careful attention. The two central characters, in Annie and Jo, are delightfully offbeat and engaging, both geeky in their own ways. And the responsible adults are just as idiosyncratic and, mostly, hors de combat, allowing our heroes to save the day with little in the way of adult interference, which is just as it should be in any good thriller for young people. Who needs the grown ups?!
If all that weren't enough, there's also plenty of fascinating, well-researched science from Joe's CSI activities and a bit of the unexplainable mystery from Annie's precognitions, blended together without ever lacking credibility. And there are some truly nasty villains! I hope that Disbelieved does well. I'm sure there's a big audience out there for it and it would be wonderful if it could be the first in a series of stories about our Skin and Bone crime solving duo.
If Disbelieved appeals, you might also enjoy Deathwatch by Nicola Morgan, a thriller exploring the issues of stalking and internet privacy. It's a real page turner.
You can read more about Beth Webb here.
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