Book review: These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

accreditation
These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly (first published in 2015 by Random House Delacorte)

When her father dies after accidentally shooting himself, Jo is highly suspicious.

Her father was a careful man.

After meeting a dashing young reporter, Eddie Gallagher, she decides to try to discover the truth and catch her father's killer. However, she has to try to unveil the secrets surrounding the murder quickly as more and more people are getting hurt and she knows that sooner or later she could be next.

I seriously loved every single thing about this book. The plot and the setting were perfect. It was fascinating learning about the customs of that time and the strict propriety that society imposed upon its people.

I loved how I got to see the glitz and the glamour of the upper class but I also got to explore the darkness of New York, which was filled with madness, danger and intrigue.

I was gripped the entire way through and though I did guess who the killer was around half-way through the book, there were a lot of other twists and revelations that I wasn't expecting at all. Also, the last 100 pages or so are INTENSE.

Things go down, stuff escalates quickly and I found myself not wanting to put the book down because I HAD to know how everything was going to be resolved.

This book is 500 pages long, which I thought was going to be quite tedious, but it's so incredibly fast-paced and thrilling that I flew through the book. Seriously, why isn't this a series? That ending was too open.
I need more closure.

The characters. These characters are my life. Especially Jo and Eddie because they're just the most adorable murder-solving, butt-kicking characters ever. You know you get those novels leaves you feeling like you've lost a friend when you’re done reading the book?! That's how it felt with These Shallow Graves.

Jo is from one of the richest and popular families in New York and although she's one of the luckiest girls in the city and will be even more fortunate when she marries Bram Aldrich - who just so happens to be kind of a big deal - she doesn't feel lucky.

She wants to marry someone who drives her crazy with love and wants to wander the streets by herself without her circles gossiping about her scandalous behaviour. She wants to become a journalist and bring awareness to the voices who are crying out for help but whose anguished screams fall on deaf ears.

She wants to tell the stories of those who are shut down and ignored. I LOVED how determined and strong-willed Jo was.

She knew what society's expectations of her was and was all too aware of the  confining limits on women but she also knew what she wanted and despite risking everything, still pursued her dreams, her search for justice and the truth. She’s not perfect, but her willingness to not become another puppet on a string was something I found highly admirable.

Read the rest of Kyra’s review on her blog.

Keen on reading this book? Buy your copy now.

Sign up for Women24 book club newsletter and stand a chance to win our top ten books from takealot.com.

Follow Women24 on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Do you think it's important to get married in this day and age?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, it's important in order to create a family unit and for companionship
23% - 1165 votes
Not at all. Being single is far more liberating
9% - 455 votes
There is no general answer to this, it's each to their own
49% - 2514 votes
Yes, society still frowns on unmarried people, especially women
1% - 68 votes
It depends on whether you are able to find a compatible partner
18% - 910 votes
Vote