Jul 24, 2021susan_findlay rated this title 3.5 out of 5 stars
I liked it, but it didn't capture me.
Part of it was that there were so many different stories being told that there simply wasn't enough time with any one character to really become attached to them. I also could have lived without all of the chapters narrated by "blue eyes" - which were presumably intended to build suspense and remind us that Laurie was in danger, but mostly felt repetitive and with this being book #1 in a series there was a limit to how successful he could possibly be.
I think the other reason this doesn't hit 4+ stars for me is because I was more interested in the "graduation gala" story than in Laurie's story and, while the first half of the novel sets that up nicely and introduces you to a set of interesting and potentially sympathetic characters, the second half was intent on destroying any empathy you might feel for most of them. By the time the murderer was revealed, I no longer cared who had killed Betsy. (And, yes, I guessed correctly, but that's not a problem. The problem was that I got no satisfaction from guessing correctly.)
So, I think I'm done with this series. From what I've read, Higgins Clark does well at focusing on one story/mystery. It seems that when she layers a second story on top of that, the mystery suffers.