Title: She Was the Quiet One
Author: Michele Campbell
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: July 31, 2018
Page Count: 352
My rating: 4 stars
About the book:
From the author of It’s Always the Husband comes a riveting new suspense novel about privilege, power, and what happens when we let ambition take control.
For Rose Enright, enrolling in a prestigious New England boarding school is the opportunity of a lifetime. But for Rose’s vulnerable twin sister Bel, Odell Academy is a place of temptation and danger. When Bel falls in with a crowd of wild rich kids who pressure her into hazing Rose, the sisters’ relationship is shattered. Rose turns to her dorm mother, Sarah Donovan, for advice. But Bel turns to Sarah’s husband Heath, a charismatic and ambitious teacher. Is Heath trying to help Bel or take advantage of her? In a world of privilege, seduction, and manipulation, only one sister will live to tell the truth.
In a novel full of twists, turns, and dark secrets, Michele Campbell once again proves her skill at crafting intricately spun and completely compelling plots.
She Was the Quiet One is the second thrilling novel by Michele Campbell and having read It’s Always the Husband last year I was rather curious about this one. You see, I was completely torn with It’s Always the Husband in the fact that I just didn’t care for the characters and a few details here and there but found the writing absolutely compelling anyway. Needless to say that I wanted to know if this new story would match up with her writing style that pulled me in.
She Was the Quiet One opens with a chapter showing the readers that there has been a murder but with only enough to pique the curiosity. After that we meet twins, Rose and Bel, who have just lost their mother and have been taken in by their grandmother who wants to send them to the Odell boarding school. Rose is excited about the opportunity, Bel not so much.
At the school Sarah and Heath are two teachers that are married with children and in charge of the dorm that the girls get assigned to with each mentoring one of the twins. The story changes the point of view between the characters building what had happened to lead to that opening chapter. There are also flashes back to the current time where the investigation is playing out with that murder we had the glimpse into.
First I would say that yes, I still found the author’s writing style to be completely compelling and quickly pulled me into the story. You just know the rich boarding school is going to spell out trouble any way as it’s an often used creepy story setting too. And thankfully in this book the characters weren’t necessarily “likable” but ones that I did find myself interested in knowing more and anxious to find the outcome to everything. If the book would have had a bigger “twist” to the overall story I may have even given five stars, the epilogue however was a nice touch. When finished I will definitely be back to try another from this author in the future since my rating did rise with this second novel.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Michele Campbell is a graduate of Harvard College and Stanford Law School and a former federal prosecutor in New York City who specialized in international narcotics and gang cases.
A while back, she said goodbye to her big-city legal career and moved with her husband and two children to an idyllic New England college town a lot like Belle River in IT’S ALWAYS THE HUSBAND. Since then, she has spent her time teaching criminal and constitutional law and writing novels.
She has had many close female friends, a few frenemies, and only one husband, who – to the best of her knowledge – has never tried to kill her.