by Kim Gruschow
Karen M. McManus’s mysteries are perennial bestsellers and her fans certainly won’t be disappointed by her latest book, The Cousins. Milly, Audrey and Jonah are teenagers and cousins that have been invited by their extraordinarily rich grandmother to spend the summer at her island resort. Their grandmother disinherited her own children abruptly many years ago, so the teens are curious to meet the mysterious Mildred and to find out what really happened with their parents way back when. As soon as the teens set foot on Gull Cove, however, things start to seem weird. They are all well aware that their family has plenty of secrets, but that doesn’t make what they discover any less shocking!
McManus has a real knack for revealing character in her novels; personalities develop along with the plot and many first impressions are turned on their heads by the end of the book. The plot is clever and the surprises are genuinely shocking. There are a few moments that feel quite Scooby-Doo-like but please know I mean that in a good way: it’s contemporary with a classic feel. This book is truly a lot of fun. If you’re looking for escapism, there’s nothing like a gripping mystery that features drama, an inheritance up for grabs, a holiday locale and a web of lies. The ending hints at the possibility of a sequel, so here’s hoping we get another book soon!
Kim Gruschow is the children’s book buyer at Readings St Kilda.
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