She Was the Quiet One – Michele Campbell

Review From User :

"She Was the Quiet One" is Michele Campbell's second novel and who is the Sunday Times bestselling author of her debut book "It's Always the Husband". Michele is a new author to me and after reading this gripping book - which literally had me hooked from the first page - I'm now very interested in buying her debut book too.

When fifteen year old twin sisters, Rose and Bel Enright enrol at a prestigious boarding school following their mother's death, it seems an excellent opportunity too good to miss. However, the sisters couldn't be more different and as the school brings out a rivalry between them that even they didn't know existed, along with sinister school rituals and traditions, it can only lead to disaster. When Sarah Donovan's ambitious husband Heath, is offered the job as a teacher at the school, they move their family into the faculty accommodation to become new dorm heads. How well does she know her husband and what lengths would she go to support him Unfortunately, one dark night ends in murder, who is guilty and who's been keeping secrets.......'because murderers are never who you expect......'

I was immensely intrigued from the very first chapter, with a girl locked in the school infirmary, telling the reader she can't believe she's being accused of a terrible crime against her twin sister and that no one will come to her defence. From this moment on I found the whole story compelling, gripping and a one I had difficulty putting down.

With raging female teenage hormones and a good looking young male teacher, it's always going to be a disaster waiting to happen. It's easy to see why vulnerable teenagers fall in love with their tutors when they believe they are being led on and in Bel's case having a dishy ambitious teacher as an advisee, while still grieving for her dead mother just leads you into a pit of temptation and deadly secrets.

Odell Academy had a typical boarding school environment for the girls to adjust to, with cliques of unruly students and privileged alumni who have a reputation for being wild and notoriously attracting hangers on. When Bel falls in with a similar group of girls who run a contest on who would seduce the new English teacher first, she falls into very dangerous territory and sadly into violent and vicious arguments with her sister.

This story felt very much like a Young Adult novel when it first started off but then developed into a very mature adult thriller which means it fits the bill for both young and older readers alike. I thoroughly enjoyed it and thought the layout of the story with live police transcripts from witnesses as the story progressed and getting their thoughts on the events as they happened, made it all the more engrossing. With multiple points of view (which I love), suspense, a tangled web of deceit, scandals, jealously and rivalry, this psychological whodunit has all the hallmarks of a page turning thriller to keep you constantly on your toes throughout. Even the prologue had a surprise twist.

Do I recommend this book, definitely! It's a fast paced, intriguing and exceedingly well written story, exploring abuse, pressure and power in a US boarding school. Just excellent!

Five solid stars!


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