With so many people heading back to school, I thought it would be fun to share three books where schools are featured prominently in the setting. Rather than rehash well known favorites like Harry Potter or Percy Jackson, these books are mysteries/thrillers featuring unconventional female leads that explore the darker more disturbing psychological elements of humanity. They are clever, twisted, and hard to put down!
Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight
This book follows litigation lawyer and harried single mother Kate Baron as she sifts through her 15-year-old daughter Amelia’s emails, texts, and social media postings to reconstruct the last few days of her life. Amelia, a highly intelligent, level-headed, and ambitious young girl, is accused of cheating, and before her mother can arrive to the school to find out what happened, Amelia is dead. Told in alternating perspectives between mother and daughter, this is a story about the love between them and the mistakes that we can all make.
The Likeness by Tana French
This is the second book in the Dublin Murder Squad, and while I highly suggest you read the first book in the series, In the Woods, it is not necessary since each book follows a different main character on their own individual case. An urgent telephone call beckons Detective Cassie Maddox to a grisly crime scene, where the victim looks exactly like Cassie and carries ID identifying herself as Alexandra Madison, an alias Cassie once used. Suddenly, Cassie must discover not only who killed this girl, but, more importantly, who is this girl? Going uncover, she assimilates herself into this dead woman’s life among an isolated circle of highly intelligent students to such a degree that their two individual stories become so intermingled that Cassie begins to question her own loyalty to the life she had before the investigation.
Dead Scared by Sharon Bolton
This is also the second book in a series, and again you don’t have to have read the first one to appreciate the story. However, the first book, Now You See Me, is fantastic and should not be missed! This book follows Detective Constable Lacey Flint as she investigates a rash of apparent suicides committed by coeds at Cambridge University. The psychological histories, social networks, and online activities of the students involved share remarkable similarities, suggesting to the London police that these individuals may not have acted alone. Lacey agrees to go undercover to play the role of a vulnerable young woman to draw out the killers if in fact that is what is truly going on, but is she herself being drawn into a deadly game where she’s the perfect victim?
I hope you enjoyed this feature and look for more soon! Drop some ideas in the comments if you’re looking for something in particular.
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