I am delighted to share my thoughts with you today on The July Girls by Pheobe Locke. This is a chilling psychological thriller that made for compelling reading indeed.
Let me show you what it’s all about…
Every year, on the same night in July, a woman is taken from the streets of London; snatched by a killer who moves through the city like a ghost.
Addie has a secret. On the morning of her tenth birthday, four bombs were detonated across the capital. That night her dad came home covered in blood. She thought he was hurt in the attacks – but then her sister Jessie found a missing woman’s purse hidden in his room.
Jessie says they mustn’t tell. She says there’s nothing to worry about. But when she takes a job looking after the woman’s baby daughter, Addie starts to realise that her big sister doesn’t always tell her the whole story. And that the secrets they’re keeping may start costing lives . . .
The title for this book “The July Girls” sounds like such a nice title for a book. Then you read what the book is about and you realise that “nice” is not what this story is about! It is a chilling thriller about murder, a murder every July. But the story is not about the murders or the investigation, it is about Addie her sister Jessie and their father.
The story is told from the perspective of Addie. The date is July 7th 2005 and it’s Addies 10th birthday. It’s also the day her father comes home covered in blood. It’s also the day of the London bombing. It’s the day that Addie finds something that doesn’t belong to their family.
Starting in 2005, the story follows Addie and Jessica’s lives. Addie stells of growing up in Brixton, of her friend and also Jessica’s boyfriend. Homelife is hard and Jessica is the one who looks after Addies as their father works long hours. Addie shares her thoughts and feelings about her doubts and insecurities as she struggles to understand things going on around her.
Using the voice of a 10-year-old gives a very basic yet quite addictive start to a story. You could almost say it’s a simplistic start but it then gathers momentum as Addie gets older. It leapfrogs through the years, stopping when important things and revelations happen. It is a way to fill the reader in on developments and all the times adds more intrigue and mystery to the story. This made it very compelling for me and also adds a good pace to the story.
This is a very clever and also very creepy and chilling thriller that differs from a lot of the murder/ crime books I read. It is one that is intriguing and has a tension to it that gradually builds.
It’s one I would definitely recommend.
It also leaves me wanting to read her first book “The Tall Man”!