* Copy courtesy of Simon & Schuster *
Today I'm participating in a blog tour for All These Perfect Strangers by Aoife Clifford hosted by Simon & Schuster. Here's the teaser for the book:
‘This is about three deaths. Actually more, if you go back far enough. I say deaths but perhaps all of them were murders. It’s a grey area. Murder, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. So let’s just call them deaths and say I was involved. This story could be told a hundred different ways.’
All These Perfect Strangers is the debut novel from Australian author Aoife Clifford and with a teaser like that and descriptions of an unforgettable morally complex page-turner and a chilling, self-assured debut novel, I was primed to fall in love with this one. Unfortunately I didn't fall in love, but it was a solid read for me.
This YA crime novel meets coming-of-age story takes place from the perspective of Penelope (Pen) Sheppard. Set in three timeframes, we have Pen's life at University, Pen consulting her Psychiatrist Frank and her earlier years as a teenager living at home with her Mum. A crime and surrounding mystery during her teenage years is slowly revealed throughout the novel but wasn't as revelationary as I thought it'd be.
The highlights of the novel were the realistic descriptions of university life and the familiar descriptions of life in a small town. There were also some standout characters (although Pen wasn't one of them) which included her Mother's boyfriend, Tracey her best friend and fellow Uni student Toby.
Also being called domestic noir, All These Perfect Strangers had a similar ending to Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes although I believe it was done better here.
I think All These Perfect Strangers by Aoife Clifford will appeal to YA readers who enjoy reading crime with a dash of mystery.
Before I close, I must mention the cover. The ARC (advanced reader's copy) sent to me came with an alternative cover and matching postcard/bookmark which I instantly fell in love with. I wish they'd used that for the release and much prefer it to the final published cover (above). Funny when that happens.
My rating = ***