Publication Date: July 13, 2021
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
This is a slow paced mystery that builds to a a very clever ending. The story starts off with Ruby, who just got out of prison due to her conviction being overturned, coming back to the neighborhood where she was accused of killing the couple next door. Our protagonist of this story is Harper, Ruby’s former roommate, and she is shocked when Ruby shows up at her house suddenly after being released. Harper actually testified on Ruby’s behalf during her trial but despite that and the overturned conviction she isn’t sure if Ruby is guilty or innocent. Alongside Ruby’s return Harper starts to receive menacing notes and realizes she needs to figure out exactly what happened that night a year ago.
The strongest part of this story for me was the characters and the locked room vibe of the story. The crime took place in a small community neighborhood where half the people also work at the same place. All the characters have something going on and since we only view them from Harper’s perspective we are never quite sure who we can or can’t trust. I also appreciated the fact that while the environment is seemingly wide open the actual plot kept it very contained. The neighborhood is just a regular one but because of the message board and the choices Miranda made the actual number of people who could have been involved is quite small. For that reason, I do think that you will not enjoy this book as much as I did if you don’t really care for character driven stories. The mystery was untangling before us but it happened at such a slow pace at times that if you need action for a story to matter to you then I would think twice about picking this particular mystery up. To me, the ending more then made up for whatever bits slowed the book down. It was a brilliant way to end the story while also remaining true to the message of the story. Which is how well do we really know our neighbors?
This is the third Megan Miranda book that I have read and I really enjoy her writing. She has such a methodical and mesmerizing way of unraveling a mystery. This would make a great beach/pool day read and I highly recommend to all my fellow mystery lovers. Or anyone in the market for a remarkable summer read.