Release date: May 2nd 2012.
Paperback, 240 pages.
Rating: 3½ out of 5.
Series: Jacki King #2
Other books in series: Angel Kiss.
Source: Received from publisher for review.
Jacki King loves being back in Dublin - she's enjoying the music scene and interning at Electric magazine. She still has flashbacks to the murder case she solved the year before, though her friends, especially Nick, keep her distracted.
Until, one day, Jacki's frightening nightmares begin again. And when the police contact her about a local missing girl, she knows the two are connected.
Two years before, on her eighteenth birthday, Kayla Edwards disappeared.
No body has ever been found.
But now Kayla is communicating with Jacki from beyond the grave - and she won't stop until the truth is revealed . . .
A taut, suspense filled mystery that will keep you guessing right to the end, Eighteen Kisses, the second installment in Laura Jane Cassidy’s Jacki King series, sees the teenage investigator back in action as she’s called on to help solve the case of Kyla Edwards who disappeared two years previously on the night of her eighteenth birthday party. No body has ever been found, and the case remains unsolved. But Kayla wants to be found, and so she calls to Jacki, visiting her dreams, causing nightmares that Jacki can’t bear to relive night after night. If Jacki wants the nightmares to stop, she knows what she must do.
And so, Jacki says a temporary goodbye to the small town of Avarna as she relocates to the bright lights of Dublin, where she sets about meeting those nearest and dearest to Kayla, her friends and family, all of who were there on the night Kayla went missing. One of who might be responsible for her disappearance. Jacki also spends her time catching up with old school friends, sampling the Dublin music scene, and working on her internship at Electric magazine, where she meets, and connects with Dillon, a fellow intern. But what of Nick, her boyfriend back in Avarna? Well, he’s still in Jacki’s life, but it’s fair to say that with everything else that’s going on, Jacki doesn’t have a whole lot of time for romance, and their relationship in this book, is not a very happy or a very healthy one.
Cassidy’s portrayal of teenagers and their rollercoaster relationships is, here, refreshingly realistic as always. I had to sympathise with Nick at times, because even though he’s not at his best in Eighteen Kisses, not by a long shot, it’s clear to see that he feels excluded from Jacki’s life and that he’s hurting. So what does he do? Instead of talking things through and asking Jacki what’s going on, he instead bottles everything up and then lashes out when things don’t go his way. And none of Jacki’s friends seems to like him either, which is a bad, bad sign. Jacki, for her part, wants to spend time with Nick, but she’s being torn every which way, and she hasn’t told him all or any of her secrets, so it’s difficult for them to strike a balance with one another.
And then there’s Dillon, who is easygoing and fun, and who likes all the same bands that Jacki does. I wanted to tell Jacki that they’re all like that at first, but in any case I sense major relationship drama ahead for her!
Eighteen Kisses will take you on a tour around Dublin as Jacki goes about solving the Edwards case, and it was great to see locations that I know well included in the story. At one point, Jacki even popped into my favourite record store for a browse and a coffee. She hangs out at one of my favourite gig venues too, which was pretty cool!
Most of all though, what I loved about Eighteen Kisses was the unpredictability of the story. There’s a large cast of characters here, and Cassidy includes plot twists and every turn to keep her readers guessing.
I’m a big fan of the Jacki King series, and very hopeful for a third book as there’s still plenty of work for Jacki to do. And, of course, I want to see if she chooses Nick or Dillon. Or maybe Jacki will decide that she doesn’t have time for a guy in her life and is better off on her own. I have a feeling that’s something this fiercely independent girl might do!