Wednesday, September 14, 2022

The It Girl by Ruth Ware

The It Girl
by Ruth Ware
432 pages
Published July 2022 by Gallery/Scout Press
Source: my copy courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review, through Netgalley

Publisher's Summary: 
April Clarke-Cliveden was the first person Hannah Jones met at Oxford.

Vivacious, bright, occasionally vicious, and the ultimate It girl, she quickly pulled Hannah into her dazzling orbit. Together, they developed a group of devoted and inseparable friends—Will, Hugh, Ryan, and Emily—during their first term. By the end of the year, April was dead.

Now, a decade later, Hannah and Will are expecting their first child, and the man convicted of killing April, former Oxford porter John Neville, has died in prison. Relieved to have finally put the past behind her, Hannah’s world is rocked when a young journalist comes knocking and presents new evidence that Neville may have been innocent. As Hannah reconnects with old friends and delves deeper into the mystery of April’s death, she realizes that the friends she thought she knew all have something to hide…including a murder.

My Thoughts: 
Kirkus Reviews: "...the mystery disappoints." 
The Wall Street Journal: "...may well be her best book yet." 

Guys, I'm sad to say that I fall closer to that first comment than the second. What I've come to expect from Ware is a book with a fish out of water heroine, a constant sense of danger, and a book that keeps me spellbound from maybe 100 pages in on to the ending. 

This one has the first. 

But, I'm sad to say, I didn't feel much of a sense of danger until nearly the end and the suspense only arrived, for me, about one hundred pages before that. And, in the end, the "why" of April's murder fell flat. 

I didn't care much for April or Hannah. Oh, heck, I didn't care much for any of the characters but that just called to mind Donna Tart's The Secret History which is the predecessor of all murders/college setting thrillers. Tart pulls that off better. 

And I'm really sort of over dual timeline stories. 

And yet...

I still raced through this book. Because Ware writes terrific settings and the question of who can you trust was compelling. Every one of Hannah's friends seemed to have some potential motivation for killing April and you couldn't be too quick to write any of them off. So, for me, not Ware's best work (that still remains The Turn of the Key) but it was worth the reading and just what I needed in a book when I read it. 

1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear I may not have missed too much by not getting hands on this book as yet!