These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

 Jo Montfort is beautiful and rich, and soon—like all the girls in her class—she’ll graduate from finishing school and be married off to a wealthy bachelor. Which is the last thing she wants. Jo dreams of becoming a writer—a newspaper reporter like the trailblazing Nellie Bly.
    Wild aspirations aside, Jo’s life seems perfect until tragedy strikes: her father is found dead. Charles Montfort shot himself while cleaning his pistol. One of New York City’s wealthiest men, he owned a newspaper and was a partner in a massive shipping firm, and Jo knows he was far too smart to clean a loaded gun.
    The more Jo hears about her father’s death, the more something feels wrong. Suicide is the only logical explanation, and of course people have started talking, but Jo’s father would never have resorted to that. And then she meets Eddie—a young, smart, infuriatingly handsome reporter at her father’s newspaper—and it becomes all too clear how much she stands to lose if she keeps searching for the truth. But now it might be too late to stop.
    The past never stays buried forever. Life is dirtier than Jo Montfort could ever have imagined, and this time the truth is the dirtiest part of all.
These Shallow Graves is a great YA/ NewAdult crime novel set in the past (1890 to be exact). There's intrigue, mystery, drama, love and action galore.

I've never read a book by Donnelly before, but was pleasantly surprised to discover an easily read and enjoyable story. From a Danish perspective it can be compared to Lene Kaaberbøl's books about French 17 year old Madeleine (Kadaverdoktoren / Det Levende Kød). Similar to these books the main character Jo is a bit naive in her attempt to play investigator/journalist, but she still manages to stumble on all the right people while accompanied by a guy who makes her question her life and status.

The book is divided into 100 fast-paced chapters and almost each and every single one manage to somehow end on a cliffhanger of sorts, making it very hard to put the book down, once you've gotten started on it. The story is excellently and richly structured, and while we only get close to a select few characters, these are far from simple. There are more to them, even though some might tiptoe on the border of stereotypical.

All in all, it's a great book I really enjoyed. YA/NA crime books is rather growing on me.

by Jennifer Donnelly
496 pages / Expected publication on October 27th 2015

This book was an ARC from NetGalley

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2015


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