THE BROKEN GIRLS
Haunting and at times terrifying, this gothic read from Simone St. James is best read with all the lights on! The suspense thread of two unsolved murders, decades apart, connected by a mysterious boarding school for girls is expertly plotted and the dual times are flawlessly executed. Even more so, the alternating perspectives in the 1950s reality add to the blanket of tension that stays high from start to finish. From terror-inducing Mary Hand to each of the four Idlewild Hall roommates, the 1950 timeline is the stuff of campfire ghost stories. The way St. James seamlessly integrates the past and present plot threads allows the story to flow naturally while maintaining the suspenseful aura of the narrative. Fiona Sheridan is compelling as a journalist who is driven to learn the truth behind her sister’s murder, and her own experiences at Idlewild will leave you on the edge of your seat.
It’s 2014 and journalist Fiona Sheridan is still haunted by her sister’s brutal death twenty years ago. When she learns that the ruins of Idlewild Hall, the place her sister’s body was found, is being restored, Fiona jumps at the chance to cover the story. A missing girl from 1950, an abandoned boarding school and the decades-old murder of her sister give Fiona plenty to research. The more she uncovers, however, the more questions are raised. Idlewild Hall in 1950 was a school for unwanted girls, and four roommates slowly form a deep friendship over their shared tragedies. Life in Idlewild is bleak and almost boring, except for the ghost of Mary Hand who terrorizes the students and the teachers. What does Mary want? And what happened to one of their own? (BERKLEY, Mar., 336 pp., $26.00)