Published: 20 August 2020
Author: Simon Lelic
Published by: Penguin
Length: 352 pages
Reading dates: 16-19 August 2020
Five go into the woods to find a missing girl:
The good guy
The best friend
One will not return.
Because they’ve taken the killer with them.
Popular teenager Sadie Saunders has been missing a week. The police are searching the local woods and she is now presumed to have been murdered. Her group of friends decide they would do a better job of finding her themselves so form a search party to explore the woods. Mason is Sadie’s boyfriend and from the wrong side of town – he is the main suspect for her disappearance. Cara has always been jealous of Sadie’s popularity and doesn’t seem that bothered that she has gone. Luke (Sadie’s twin brother) gets on with everybody but has always had to live as the least favoured twin in his parents eyes. Abi was Sadie’s best friend but is hiding a terrible secret. Fash is the outsider of the group – Sadie always treated him kindly but no one else knows him that well. They decide to go into the woods but are ill equipped for their mission with not enough food or water.
The book starts on day 6 of the investigation when the police receive a panicked phone call from the search party, requesting an ambulance. The rest of the story continues as a series of transcripts and interviews from the teenagers as the police try to find out what happened to them in the woods and if any of them know what happened to Sadie.
A really tense novel, the drip feeding of information as we find out from the teenagers what happened in the woods makes for some real cliff hangers that meant I could not stop turning the pages! Lelic captures the relationships and insecurities of the teenagers really well and they were all really convincing (and it reminded me why I’m glad to no longer be a teenager!)
DI Robin Fleet is in charge of the investigation. He has a connection to the small rundown seaside town where the investigation is taking place and has a troubled past which we gradually find about about. I liked being in his head as he tried to decipher who was telling the truth and who was lying.
A thrilling read, the tension builds nicely to the shocking conclusion!
Many thanks to Rosie at Penguin for the hardback copy and for inviting me on the blog tour. You can check out the other bloggers who are shouting about this book below
About the author
Simon Lelic was born in 1976 and has worked as a journalist in the UK and currently runs his own business in Brighton, England, where he lives with his wife and two sons.