Title: The Broken Girls
Author: Simone St. James
Publication Date: March 20, 2018
Page Count: 334
My rating: 5 stars
About the book:
The “clever and wonderfully chilling” (Fiona Barton) suspense novel from the award-winning author of The Haunting of Maddy Clare…
Vermont, 1950. There’s a place for the girls whom no one wants–the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It’s called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it’s located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming–until one of them mysteriously disappears. . . .
Vermont, 2014. As much as she’s tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister’s death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister’s boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can’t shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.
When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past–and a voice that won’t be silenced. . . .
The Broken Girls by Simone St. James is a mystery/thriller read that has supernatural elements to it. Told in alternating timelines from several points of view the books was still easy to follow and one that will captivate the reader on the mystery side but give chills with the ghostly elements.
In 2014, Fiona Sheridan is a journalist who was once touched by tragedy when the body of her sister was found. Her sister’s boyfriend at the time was tried and convicted of the murder but Fiona has never thought the details sounded right and has always questioned just what happened that horrific night.
When Fiona finds out that the nearby Idlewild Hall is going to be restored she decides to run a piece on the property that was once a boarding school for troubled teen girls. There have always been rumors and ghost stories flying around about the property and now with the current renovations a discovery has been made that sends Fiona’s investigation back to the past.
In 1950 at Idlewild Hall four of the troubled girls that reside at the school bond together and become friends. Katie, Sonia, Cece, and Roberta have heard about the mysterious lady in black that is supposed to haunt the grounds of Idlewild Hall but then one of the girls goes missing and the adults are writing her off as a runaway.
The writing within The Broken Girls was wonderful and it didn’t take long to become fully engrossed in the story. The changing timelines and alternating points of view were easily followed as the layers of the story unfolded. Whether one believes in ghosts or things that go bump in the night or not this is sure to be one that will still entertain readers from beginning to end. When finished I’d definitely recommend checking out the haunting mystery.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Simone St. James is the award-winning author of Lost Among the Living and The Haunting of Maddy Clare, which won two RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America and an Arthur Ellis Award from Crime Writers of Canada, among other novels. She wrote her first ghost story, about a haunted library, when she was in high school, and spent twenty years behind the scenes in the television business before leaving to write full-time.