Title: Good Girl, Bad Blood
Series: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder #2
Author: Holly Jackson
Genre: YA, Mystery, Thriller
Published: March 2nd, 2021 (Delacorte Press)
Synopsis: Pip is not a detective anymore.
With the help of Ravi Singh, she released a true-crime podcast about the murder case they solved together last year. The podcast has gone viral, yet Pip insists her investigating days are behind her.
But she will have to break that promise when someone she knows goes missing. Jamie Reynolds has disappeared, on the very same night the town hosted a memorial for the sixth-year anniversary of the deaths of Andie Bell and Sal Singh.
The police won’t do anything about it. And if they won’t look for Jamie then Pip will, uncovering more of her town’s dark secrets along the way… and this time everyone is listening. But will she find him before it’s too late?
Thank you to the publisher, Penguin Random House Canada, and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Although she successfully solved the Andie Bell case, Pip is still quite shaken up by how things ended and has decided she is done with detective work, turning her attention back to normal life and a true-crime podcast about how she solved the case. But when Jamie Reynolds, her friend’s brother, goes missing and the police refuse to do anything about it, Pip realizes she has no choice but to help. She knows it will be risky, especially now that she has people actually watching, listening and judging her actions to see if she will succeed or fail, but time is running out fast and with each day that goes by, the chances of finding Jamie safe and sound continue to decrease.
I was surprised to hear that there was a sequel to AGGGTM, and more than a little skeptical. The first book was amazing and a tough act to follow, especially since things were tied up quite neatly previously. But this second mystery that Pip finds herself drawn into is perhaps even more exciting and engrossing than the first. The narration style is similar, alternating between Pip’s investigation and her written observation, but this time also including the various interviews and pieces she records for her podcast to aid in the search for Jamie. The presentation of the facts in these sections felt much more organized this time, which I thought was really cool as Pip now has some real experience with this kind of work and it shows. Holly Jackson is a marvellous storyteller and it was so easy to get caught up in this thrilling read through many unexpected twists and shocking reveals.
Although the Andie Bell murder is solved, the actual trials are still in process and the ongoing case forms the backdrop of the story. It’s nice that the author didn’t choose to ignore everything that happened so far and just skip to a new mystery entirely because it’s very obvious that the case had a profound effect on Pip. And with this new case hitting much closer to home, we get a much better glimpse at Pip’s state of mind in this much darker sequel. Though this book could technically be read as a standalone, I would not advise it. Pip’s character arc and growth is only clearly visible when these are read in order and makes this that much more of a powerful read.
The one thing I found odd and even a bit foolish was how Pip kept updating her podcast audience on the status of her case. It was one thing for her to use the platform to get the word out about the search for Jamie, and another thing entirely to expose the details of her ongoing investigation when anyone could be listening to it, including the culprit. As before, one does need to suspend a measure of disbelief to look past how all these teenagers seem to have so much freedom and their willingness to commit crimes in the pursuit of the investigation. Also, the connection that Pip made to finally put the pieces together seemed like a huge leap in logic – there was no way for the reader to predict it because there was no hint provided that something like this even existed, let alone that it might be relevant to the case.
Good Girl, Bad Blood was a fantastic read and considering how this ended, I can hardly wait for the next book! Honestly, I’ve rated this 4.5 stars only because I fully expect the finale to be even better and I need to leave some room to increase my rating. Although this book is YA, the intricate mystery is really hard to predict and the way in which things come together so perfectly at the end would make it a great read for all ages. Highly recommended!
Good Girl, Bad Blood releases on March 2nd, 2021.
Do you plan to read this book? Let me know in the comments below!
All quotes in this review were taken from an advance reader’s edition and may differ from the final version of the book.
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