Every year, on the same night in July, a woman is taken from the streets of London; snatched by a killer who moves through the city like a ghost.
Addie has a secret. On the morning of her tenth birthday, four bombs were detonated across the capital. That night her dad came home covered in blood. She thought he was hurt in the attacks – but then her sister Jessie found a missing woman’s purse hidden in his room.
Jessie says they mustn’t tell. She says there’s nothing to worry about. But when she takes a job looking after the woman’s baby daughter, Addie starts to realise that her big sister doesn’t always tell her the whole story. And that the secrets they’re keeping may start costing lives . . .
Addie lives in Brixton with her father and 17 year old sister Jessie. Her mum appears to have left the family some time ago and it is mainly Jessie looking after her younger sister as the dad is often out at work.
The book starts with our narrator, Addie, due to celebrate her 10th birthday on July 7th. The same July 7th of the London bombings. Her sister doesn’t turn up to collect her from school and later that evening her father arrives home with blood on his clothes.
I don’t want to explain too much of the story as it was so engaging learning more and more about this family and their situation, but the story moves along year by year as we watch Addie grow up in this family dynamic.
For me this was a brilliant blend of real life believable characters and a pacy, twisting and suspenseful thriller. The characters were real to life and the story moved along with good pace and suspense without the characters doing unbelievable things just to fit in with the plot.
I was drawn in from the get go immediately connecting with each character as they were introduced. The author has a lovely way of writing her characters. It sometimes seems simple and effortless but manages to express so much. Take for example the father of Addie and Jessie. He is mentioned quiet often but only in small snippets yet I still got a very good sense for him. He was wonderfully described yet with only the use of small actions and quick sentences.
The inclusion of the London bombings and other events really placed the book into the 21st century and personally made me stop and think what it must be like for London living kids growing up amongst these events.
I had read the authors previous book The Tall Man and really enjoyed it and was hoping I would like this too…..I did! I felt the plot was simpler and more contained than The Tall Man but was equally as enjoyable.
It was a great absorbing read and makes a fantastic summer thriller. Highly recommend and if you haven’t already check out her other book The Tall Man.
The July Girls is published by Wildfire with the cover design by Heike Schussler. It was released yesterday so is available now!!! (Kindle addition only 99p at the time of writing this!)
Thank you to Jenni Leech for my proof copy.