Book: The Amateurs
Authors: Sara Shepard
Reading Format: Paperback
Read: 11th December, 2016
Rating: 4.25/5 Stars
Five years ago, high school senior Helena Kelly disappeared from her backyard in Dexby, Connecticut, never to be heard from again. Her family was left without any answers—without any idea who killed Helena, or why.
So when eighteen-year-old Seneca Frazier sees a desperate post on the Case Not Closed message board, she knows it’s time to change that. Helena’s high-profile disappearance is the one that originally got Seneca addicted to true crime. It’s the reason she’s a member of the site in the first place.
Determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, she agrees to spend spring break in Connecticut working on the case with Maddy Wright, her best friend from Case Not Closed. However, the moment she steps off the train, things start to go wrong. Maddy’s nothing like she expected, and Helena’s sister, Aerin, doesn’t seem to want any help after all. Plus, Seneca has a secret of her own, one that could derail the investigation if she’s not careful.
Alongside Brett, another super-user from the site, they slowly begin to unravel the secrets Helena kept in the weeks before her disappearance. But the killer is watching…and determined to make sure the case stays cold.
Well, I think it’s fair to say that Sara Shepard, aka. mystery/thriller/murder mystery goddess, has done it again with her latest novel, The Amateurs.
This novel was my most highly anticipated read of 2016, and I’m so glad it did not disappoint, even though I knew there was no chance it would.
It was crazy, exhilarating, and packed with mystery. It really got me being an investigator alongside our main clan of protagonists.
I love how this book was told from such an array of different characters, we really got to see how everything went down for everyone, and the ways in which they went about things. I found it so interesting to be able to assess each character as they were seen from their own points of view.
However, the characters did fall sort of flat-ish for me at times.
Usually, the characters are one of my favourite parts of (well any novel), but especially Shepard’s books. Even more so, the friendships between her characters draw me in the most, and I feel this book didn’t quite have that same feeling as her other series, say like Pretty Little Liars or The Lying Game.
But, I do think that is simply because it’s the first instalment in a series, and I have absolutely no doubt that both the characters, and their friendships will only grow immensely from this novel forwards.
I also cannot wait to see more of the side characters in future instalments *cough* Thomas *Cough*.
The concept of this novel, and the ‘Case Not Closed’ situation, I found to be so entertaining, and it certainly kept me on my feet throughout the course of it.
I loved the nature of the book. It was just such an enjoyable read, whilst still making me nervous and skeptical of every corner I turned… oh, and every page too…
Shepard always imagines the best settings/scenery, and immerses the characters, as well as the reader, into her fictional world, and makes it feel a little less like fiction.
The ending made me simultaneously go crazy, and think “really, the only person I didn’t suspect was found to be the murderer, seriously”. AAAAND they also happened to be one of my favourite characters in the whole book!!
However, that made me love it even more. I don’t quite know how but Shepard manages to fool me with every.single.new.story she comes out with. Seriously, my jaw always ends up on the floor.
I can’t quite believe that we found out the murderer in the first book! (Unless theres some twist put on it and it isn’t really who it is, but it is, but it isn’t…) Yep, that would only make sense to Shepard’s long-time reader fans.
It worked though! I am barely able to contain myself for the next book, I just need to see what happens to the squad (and to the murderer).
I cannot wait for the next instalment to come out in this crazy new series by my favourite author. I wonder if it’ll be another 16 book series.
I don’t think I’d oppose.
Bring on more sleuthing, sneaking, and mystery, because no one does that better than Sara Shepard!