A Twist of Oleander by Raven McKray

A twist of Oleander

A Twist of Oleander by Raven McKray

Published on the 2nd of August 2019

Published by BooksGoSocial/ Brownridge Publishing

208 Pages


Purchase from | Amazon AU | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Booktopia | Book Depository| | Dymocks|

My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, BooksGoSocial, and the author via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Actual rating of 3.75

Maddie has had a rough go. She had a mental breakdown, has had to take a possible extended break from her job, if she decides to go back at all, and everyone looks at her like a leper. When her Mum suggests going to stay with her Aunt Cassie and Uncle John in Kenowa for a little while, she jumps at the chance. Things are going well on her arrival until her Uncle John falls ill and dies. While the police believe it was suicide, Maddie and a few others in town don’t think that’s a possibility, so they start to investigate the suspects who could have been responsible. Was it John’s supposed friend from the hunt club? Young Alex who stood to gain everything? Or was it Tuppence, a possible old flame from way back? Time is running out for Maddie, and she needs to uncover the truth quick, all while fighting off the advances of the nice Dr. Clayton and Alex’s jealousy.

I was pleasantly surprised by this novel. I honestly forgot that I had it sitting in my Netgalley list. I was absolutely riveted and kept glued to the page. The pacing is incredibly fast, and the story is a quick, simple read that keeps you guessing. I had a couple of ideas about who could’ve done it, but I wasn’t a hundred percent sure until the reveal. One of my suspects did turn out to be the killer, but for a different reason than I expected.

The characters are likeable and quirky, each with their own distinctive voice, and I feel that should this continue as a series (as I’m hoping it does) the characters will be given a chance to grow even more and develop with the story and world. One thing I was sure of, the story had a very juvenile feel to it. I’m not sure if this was because the characters came across a bit juvenile, or whether the writing itself made the story sound young. I can’t quite put my finger on it. This gave the story a bit of a messy feeling vibe as the characters and narrative sometimes read rather stilted which had the power to jolt me out of the story itself.

The story itself also came across as a bit airy fairy at times, that’s honestly the only way I can describe it. Very naive sounding, the characters and the narrative itself came across rather over dramatic when it wasn’t necessary which irked a little bit. The romance between Maddie and Clayton felt rather forced and dramatic, as well as unnecessary, but maybe that was the point? I was rooting for Alex the whole time anyway.

The mystery was well thought out and plenty of red herrings were in play to make you question everyone in Maddie’s world. I understand Maddie’s breakdown being the reason behind her going to Kenowa to stay with her Aunt and Uncle, but I don’t understand the point of it in the bigger picture? I’m not sure if it was just used a plot mover, or if it’s going to be more involved as the series continues. I did like that one of the characters, Randy, is autistic, and I really hope that this characters gets time to develop in future instalments.

All in all, this was a light hearted, quick and easy read, a nice little mystery if I do say so myself. I’m looking forward to continuing with this series and seeing where Maddie and Co. end up.

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