I’m thrilled to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for impressive psychological thriller The July Girls by Phoebe Locke. Thanks as always to Anne Cater for the invitation and to Wildfire Books, imprint of Headline Publishing Group, for my copy of this breathtakingly gripping book.
About the book:
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…
About the author:
PHOEBE LOCKE is the pseudonym of full-time writer Nicci Cloke. She previously worked at the Faber Academy, and hosted London literary salon Speakeasy. Nicci has had two literary novels published by Fourth Estate and Cape, and also writes YA for Hot Key Books. She lives and writes in Cambridgeshire. THE JULY GIRLS follows Phoebe Locke’s debut thriller THE TALL MAN.
Wow, what a fantastic and impossible to put down read The July Girls by Phoebe Locke is! It grabbed me by the throat from the opening lines and didn’t let go until the final page had been turned. An addictive and unpredictable thriller that kept me reading long into the night desperate to find out how it was all going to end, spinning off in directions I never would have expected when I started it.
Addie is a brilliant protagonist who I warmed to from the very start. A ten year old girl who hasn’t had an easy start in life, with an absent mother and a sometimes violent and unpredictable father. Her older sister, Jessie, has taken care of her from a very young age and the story is told mainly from Addie’s point of view as we join her story on the cusp of her tenth birthday.
On July 7th 2005 Addie turns ten years old. A date we’re all very familiar with as it is the day of the 7/7 bombings, a day that brought fear and terror to the streets of London. Jessie is supposed to be picking Addie up from school to take her out for a birthday pizza but fails to turn up, leaving the young girl terrified for her sister’s safety. Later that night her father arrives home covered in blood and Addie fears he has been hurt in the attack, but then Jessie finds a missing woman’s purse hidden in his room…
Every year on July 7th a woman is taken from the streets of London, snatched by a killer who soon becomes known as the ‘Magpie’. It takes the police a while to make the connection between the missing women and this unknown killer who is moving through the city like a ghost. What, if anything, does this have to do with the purse hidden in Addie’s father’s room? And what secrets is her older sister keeping from her?
What follows is a dark, disturbing and tension filled thriller that keeps you guessing throughout. We see the story through Addies eyes, first as a ten year old girl, then as she approaches her teens and then as a young adult who is desperate to find out the truth. What may seem obvious to us as adults is seen very differently by the young Addie and this added to the menace and unpredictability of the story, so much so that I was taken completely by surprise as we reached the shocking and heartstoppingly chilling ending.
The July Girls is an addictive, atmospheric read, with many twists and turns along the way. It’s beautifully written by Phoebe Locke, whose writing draws you in from the very first word, leaving you breathless with the spellbinding story and wonderfully realistic characters who you quickly come to care about. Addie is an unexpected protagonist, adding a fascinatingly different dimension to the story, as we see everything from the perspective of a child. I loved how unpredictable the story became because of this, as Addie tried to fit together the pieces of the puzzle.
A psychological thriller that I will be thinking about for some time to come. Highly recommended.
The July Girls by Phoebe Locke is available to buy now: Amazon UK
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