This effective mystery thriller is told in the "Before" and "After". The "Before" is ten years ago and the setting is Oxford University. Hannah Jones' suitemate is April Clarke-Cliveden. While Hannah is an insecure young woman from modest means, April is her opposite - wealthy, confident and highly sexual. She's the It Girl. She also has a bit of a mean streak but takes Hannah under her wing and they become best friends. Hannah is also the one who finds April's murdered body. In the "After" period, which is the present, Hannah is married to Will (April's former boyfriend) and she's pregnant. She's just learned that John Neville, the man convicted of April's murder, has died in prison. Hannah is approached by a young reporter who had been interviewing Neville, who had continued to claim his innocence. Neville's conviction was based on April's testimony. Could Hannah have gotten it all wrong? If she did, who is the real killer?
I'm a big fan of mystery thrillers set in academic settings and author Ruth Ware has done an excellent job creating the right ambiance in Oxford for this gripping whodunit. The story moves well between past and present creating tension as the story unfolds. It takes a while to get going but pays off well. Happily, The It Girl delivered. Whether you figure out the mystery or not (I didn't), I'm betting you'll find this a worthwhile read.
Many thanks to Gallery/Scout Press for the opportunity to read this book in advance of its publication.
Rated 4 out of 5 stars.
Publication Date: July 12, 2022.
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