Thursday, June 18, 2015

Get Dirty by Gretchen McNeil

Get Dirty by Gretchen McNeil
Release Date - June 16, 2015
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 384 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
The members of Don’t Get Mad aren’t just mad anymore . . . they’re afraid. And with Margot in a coma and Bree stuck in juvie, it’s up to Olivia and Kitty to try to catch their deadly tormentor. But just as the girls are about to go on the offensive, Ed the Head reveals a shocking secret that turns all their theories upside down. The killer could be anyone, and this time he—or she—is out for more than just revenge.

The girls desperately try to discover the killer’s identity as their personal lives are falling apart: Dont√© is pulling away from Kitty and seems to be hiding a secret of his own, Bree is under house arrest, and Olivia’s mother is on an emotional downward spiral. The killer is closing in, the threats are becoming more personal, and when the police refuse to listen, the girls have no choice but to confront their anonymous friend . . . or die trying.
Get Even was a bit of a departure from Gretchen McNeil's previous novels. It's didn't have the darker, horror filled atmosphere that the others did. It read as more of a thriller. Get Dirty shows, however, that this series is just as intricately plotted as anything else Gretchen has written, and comes loaded with it's own chills. A novel that is part John Hughes movie, part murder mystery. Which is basically to say that it is completely unputdownable and engrossing.

The humour infuses this story with texture. It's just enough to break the tension and provide much needed laughs without overpowering the story. The addition of Olaf, the bodyguard Bree's mother brings around, is hilarious. Combined with Ed (whom you'll definitely recall from the first book) it creates more than few laughs that are timed with a precision that cuts the tension just when you need it. It adds to the 'John Hughes movie' atmosphere that is done so well.

The novel has a large cast and while Gretchen does a fantastic job in balancing the characters, and keeping all the chess pieces in play, it's at the detriment to the characters. There is a bit of character development but overall, I felt they could have been fleshed out more. It's a minor thing, and one that Gretchen's abilities made less evident and glaring.

There is a surprising amount of layers to this story, and the girls learn that perhaps revenge isn't always the best answer. That perhaps there is more going on underneath and that they should think before they act. Gretchen paints a much more complex picture of not only the girls of DGM but also those they seek revenge upon. Neither side is shown to be innocent, but neither are they fully vilified. It's one of the most well done elements of the novel, and adds some depth to what could have been a one dimensional plot point.

This mystery comes with plenty of potential suspects, and as the truth unravels you'll begin to suspect everyone. This tension is something Gretchen creates in spades, and is much more palpable in this instalment than it was in Get Even. The stakes felt raised in very real ways, and there are plenty of secrets left be revealed. It ends up being a well plotted, engaging thriller that comes with a satisfying ending.

A taunt thriller that will keep you on your toes, and one that is just as fun as it is unpredictable. Gretchen McNeil once again showcases her talent with this sure to please sequel that manages to be even better than the first.

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