Dead Time: The Murder Notebooks by Anne Cassidy
One night, Rose’s mother and Josh’s father go to their favourite restaurant for a date-night dinner. They never come back. The police sit Rose down and tell her that they are dead. Probably.
Five years later, Rose and her stepbrother meet again. Josh is obsessed with finding their parents, while Rose wants nothing more than to forget the past. Coupled with the search for her parents and the turmoil of connecting with Josh again is another string of murders – which Rose seems to be at the heart of.
With the police unwilling to solve the deaths of a working-class couple, Rose tackles the mystery herself, struggling to keep a balance between the cases and her various relationships.
Fans of Lili Wilkinson’s A Pocket Full of Eyes will adore this book. After navigating the waters of British cultural references, this is a fantastic story.
The reader feels Rose’s frustration at her life as the two mysterious cases both seem to lead to dead ends. Her transition from being a loner girl at school to juggling numerous relationships – her cold grandmother, the cute policeman Henry, the cyber genius Skeggsie and her long-lost brother – is totally believable.
Recommended to both genders, ages 13 and up.
Review by Miranda Stewart, age 15