Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK.
Paperback, 320 pages.
Release date: July 18th 2013.
Rating: 5 out of 5.
Source:Received from publisher for review.
Paradise quickly gets gruesome in this thrilling page-turner with a plot that’s ripped from the headlines and a twist that defies the imagination.
It’s Spring Break of senior year. Anna, her boyfriend Tate, her best friend Elise, and a few other close friends are off to a debaucherous trip to Aruba that promises to be the time of their lives.
But when Elise is found brutally murdered, Anna finds herself trapped in a country not her own, fighting against vile and contemptuous accusations. As Anna sets out to find her friend’s killer, she discovers harsh revelations about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love.
Awaiting the judge’s decree, it becomes clear to Anna that everyone around her thinks she is not only guilty, but also dangerous. And when the whole story comes out, reality is more shocking than anyone ever imagined...
A taut ‘pulled-from-the-headlines’ thriller, Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas details the fallout of a paradise Spring Break turned murderous, and ponders the spine-chilling question: “Wouldn’t we all look guilty, if someone searched hard enough?”
When Anna Chevalier arrives in Aruba for senior year Spring Break with a group of wealthy, party-loving friends including her boyfriend Tate and best friend Elise, she has nothing more in mind than days spent topping up her tan on the beach and nights spent gorging on the islands night life. But paradise soon turns to hell on earth for Anna when Elise is brutally murdered. When Anna is questioned, along with Tate, and the rest of their friends, she thinks nothing of it; it’s just police procedure, after all. Or maybe not. One day Anna is escorted to a police van, and the next thing she knows she’s locked in a cell, the prime suspect in the murder of Elise Warren. Anna protests her innocence. She has an airtight alibi: Tate. She loved Elise like a sister: the girls went everywhere together; they shared everything. Anna would never hurt Elise, never mind stab her thirteen times. Surely everybody knows that? But her friends fade away, eager to protect their promising futures from the stain of murder, and soon, Anna is alone on her island prison, facing a race against time to prove her innocence. But how do you prove your innocence when everyone around you isn’t really sure what to believe? How do you prove your innocence, when everything, even a comforting kiss from your boyfriend, makes you look guilty?
Inspired by the Amanda Knox trial, amongst other high profile cases, Dangerous Girls is a truly compelling read, and one that will keep you turning the pages late into the night as you reach its dramatic conclusion. Perfectly plotted from start to finish, Dangerous Girls shows how easily a life can be deconstructed and how everything you do: from doodles on a notebook, to favourite song lyrics and photos on Facebook can be used against you in a court of law. Of course, those who followed the Knox trial will be familiar with the ‘incriminating kiss’ and trial by media, and that’s exactly what happens here as we see Anna go from carefree party girl to public enemy number one in no time at all. Body language experts seem convinced of Anna’s guilt, as do talk show hosts who condemn her as cold and uncaring; focusing particularly on a photograph taken of her and boyfriend Tate kissing soon after Elise was found dead. Here, though, we are party to Anna’s narrative, and we know that the kiss was not one of carefree abandon, but of comfort between two kids whose whole lives had been ripped out from under them. Still, it’s interesting (and scary) to see how easily these things can be misconstrued and used as evidence.
Tense and thrilling, if you like summer reads with a dark edge, then Dangerous Girls is the perfect book for you. Intense, fast-paced and truly absorbing from start to finish, I loved every plot-twisting page of this book. And that ending! I have to admit that I guessed (and wished for) the outcome of this one, but that in no way detracted from my enjoyment of the book, because it is breathtaking. I wonder if you’ll figure it all out too! Go read this book. It’s one of my favourites of the year, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Just wow!