Gramps always said that when the crickets were quiet, something bad was coming. And the crickets have been as silent as the dead. It started with the murdered deer in the playground, a purple foxglove in its mouth. But in the dying boondock town of Emerald Cove, life goes on.
I work at Gramps's diner, and the cakes-the entitled rich kids who vacation here-make our lives hell. My best friend, Alex Pace, is the one person who gets me, and I'm starting to have more-than-friend feelings for him-feelings I don't want to have. But he's changing. He's almost like a stranger now, keeping secrets and picking fights with the cakes.
Then one of the cakes disappears.
When she turns up murdered, a foxglove in her mouth, a rumor goes around that Alex was the last person seen with her-and everyone but me believes it. Well, everyone except my worst enemy, Jenika Shaw. When Alex goes missing, it's up to us to prove his innocence and uncover the true killer. But the truth will shatter everything I've ever known about myself-and Alex.
About the Author
Tara Kelly adores variety in her life. She's an author, one-girl-band, graphic designer, editor, and she's back in school getting her M.Ed in School Counseling. She lives in Portland with her ten guitars, sound design master bf, and a fluffy cat named Maestro. Tara is also the author of Harmonic Feedback, Amplified, and Encore. You can find her at www.thetaratracks.com.
Read an Excerpt
The Foxglove Killings
By Tara Kelly, Alycia Tornetta
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2015 Tara Kelly
All rights reserved.
Alex saw it first.
We were cutting through Neahkahnie Park, the morning sun warm on our backs. I was telling him we should take his grandpa's El Camino SS and drive down the coast to California for the summer.
"He left that car to you," I said. "You know he did." I reached over to muss his light brown hair. It always stood straight up afterward, as if he'd been electrocuted.
"We can't, Nova. I —" He stopped walking, his eyes widening at the playground.
Clumps of fur blew across the grass, like the cotton blooms did in July. I didn't think it was real at first. Some kid's stuffed animal, maybe.
But the stench was unmistakable. I'd practically been raised in my grandpa's diner. I knew the smell of meat past its prime. Raw. Metallic. Even a little sweet.
A deer's carcass was a twisted heap in the playground, its legs jutting out like winter branches. Bits of flesh, ranging in color from pink to dark red, were strewn across the wood chips. The head of the deer sat on the middle bucket swing. A misty film covered its eyes, and its mouth was open, as if it were gasping for air.
My stomach muscles began to knot.
I saw a dog get hit by a semi once. The scene replayed in my mind for months. The thud of the impact, the way he'd yelped. The last second of that dog's life seemed to echo forever.
This was worse. Someone planned this. Put it on display, like it was entertainment.
"What the hell ..." Alex said, his voice barely above a whisper.
Alex had been on an animal-saving crusade since birth. He'd tried to bring a rabbit back to life the day I met him. In fifth grade he'd called the police on his neighbor for yelling at her cat.
This wasn't something he could handle. Especially not now.
"There's nothing you can do," I said, the words slipping out automatically.
"I know. I'm not nine anymore." He glanced down at his busted Vans. Years of skateboarding had turned them from black to gray.
"I didn't mean it like that."
"Yeah, you did." He held my gaze this time. His eyes looked almost yellow in the dull light. Usually they were green.
I knew whatever came out of my mouth wouldn't be the right thing to say. He'd been so weird since his grandpa died last month. Happy one minute. Pissed off the next. Sometimes he didn't talk at all.
I slowly moved toward the deer, wishing I could ignore its vacant eyes, the drone of the flies pecking at its belly. My gramps used to clean up crime scenes back in the day. He swore by downing a few dozen peppermint Tic Tacs, claiming it obliterated his sense of smell. He was also a chain smoker ...
A handful of mints wouldn't take this image out of my head. Nothing would.
"We should call someone," Alex said behind me.
Neither of us had a cell phone. He couldn't afford one, and my mom thought they caused brain cancer.
I held my breath, trying not to gag. If I wanted to be a detective one day, this was the crazy shit I'd be dealing with. Too bad I'd inherited my mom's weak stomach.
Something bright purple sat on top of the deer's limp tongue. Darker spots peppered the inside, like a rash.
As I leaned closer, I realized it was a wilted foxglove. Or deadmen's bells, as Mom called them. They were bell-shaped flowers that grew all over coastal Oregon. When I was little, she told me not to eat them or I'd end up like Sleeping Beauty. I used to think they belonged to the fairies. The evil ones, anyway.
A chill swept across my skin, the kind that came from inside.
Laughter echoed from the hiking trail that led out of the woods. Matt Delgado and Jenika Shaw emerged from the shadows of the trees, shoving each other playfully. I could already smell Jenika's cheap off-brand cigarettes.
They were probably on their way to the first day of summer school. Jenika and Matt cut so much school they always had to make up a class or two.
"You think they did this?" I asked Alex.
"I don't know ..."
Emerald Cove bragged about its low crime rate, but that could be said for the entire Oregon coast, since it was 363 miles of boondocks. My gramps said this area was cursed, a magnet for psychos and other things that went bump in the night.
Jenika, Matt, and their friends wreaked their share of havoc around here. They were all about destroying property and beating up the "cakes," what us locals called the rich kids who lived and partied here every summer. But animal mutilation didn't seem like their style. Most of their destruction had some message about "sticking it to the man." They grew up together in the Pacific View trailer park — same as Alex and his sister. But unlike Alex, they thought the world owed them an apology for it.
"What's up?" Matt called out. His cowboy hat hid his dark eyes, but his wide smile was unmistakable. The silver rings around his bottom lip made it appear to glow.
"Let's get out of here," I told Alex, not in the mood for Jenika's shit. I was already late for my morning shift at the diner — we could call the cops from there.
Alex kept his gaze on the deer's head, like he was in a trance.
"Quack, quack," Jenika said.
One day she'd decided I looked like a duck and never got over it. Even so, her dumb insults still got to me. "Find a new line, Jenika."
She scanned me from head to toe, that slow, icy drink girls seemed to pull off so well. "Lookin' more like Mom every day."
My skin was darker, like my father's, but I was almost a mirror image of my mother. Thick brown hair. Deep-set hazel eyes. Overly plump lips and a cleft chin. But that wasn't what she meant.
In her mind, I was my mother.
Jenika had been out for my blood since second grade — the year her dad moved in with my mom and me.
"What the fuck ..." Matt gaped at the deer's remains, one foot behind him as if he wasn't sure he wanted to get closer.
Jenika walked right up to it like she couldn't wait to inspect the carnage. And knowing Jenika, she couldn't.
She fished through her ratty old military backpack and pulled out the 35mm camera Eric, her dad, gave her. She took that thing everywhere, like he used to. It was the only part of him she wanted anything to do with.
She tossed her backpack on the grass, near where Matt was standing, and squatted in front of the swings. The heel of her left boot sank into a piece of flesh, but she either didn't notice or care.
Most people never saw her coming. Petite. Doe eyes and delicate features. Before she hacked off all her blond hair last summer, she kind of looked like a Russian doll. But she sure knew how to throw down. Almost broke my nose once with a single punch.
"You're twisted, Jen." Matt laughed, shaking his head.
Jenika took the lens cap off her camera and leaned closer, studying the deer's face. As if she was plotting the perfect angle.
"You need help, you know that?" I said. I'd never seen her feel bad about anything. Not even the time she wished her dad dead to his face.
"Nobody cares what you think." She paused, aiming the lens right between the deer's lips.
Matt remained on the edge of the grass, his arms folded. He wasn't watching her, though. He was watching me.
I shivered inside, trying to block out the night I fell apart last summer. The night I let him touch me. His rough lips, the bitter smell of vodka. His hands, cold and completely wrong, underneath my shirt.
I'd never live that night down.
Matt turned his attention to the swings now, his lips parted. "That's messed up."
Jenika's finger hovered over the shutter button. "No shit."
"Did they glue the head or what?" he asked.
Nobody answered. I didn't want to know.
"Anything for a little attention, right, Jenika?" Alex asked, coming up behind her. He was careful where he stepped.
"Shut up, Boy Scout," she said, lowering her camera.
Alex leaned into her ear, his lips curling up the slightest bit.
"What are you doing, Alex ..." I said under my breath.
Jenika didn't let him finish whatever he was saying. She shoved him away from her.
Alex put his hands up, backing away onto the grass.
"What'd he say?" Matt dropped his backpack and moved between Alex and me.
Jenika didn't answer. She continued to glare at Alex, her entire body tense. "He's just talking shit," she said, finally, turning her attention back to the deer.
I didn't believe her. And I was pretty sure Matt didn't either, from the way he was squinting, his dark brows pinching together. He took a step toward Alex, but I blocked his path.
"Back off," I said.
Matt stared down at me — it seemed like he was ten feet tall. I was pretty strong for a girl, but he outweighed me by at least fifty pounds.
He leaned closer, lowering his voice. "What's your problem with me?"
He was there. And I was stupid. Now the whole school whispered skank and smells like trout when I walked by. That was my problem.
Alex wedged himself between us. "Leave her alone, all right?"
Matt moved closer, getting right in his face. But Alex didn't budge. His fingers clenched at his sides.
"What happened?" Matt asked, smiling. "You finally hit puberty?"
Alex shoved him. Matt staggered and fell right onto his butt with his mouth agape, that cocky grin wiped right off. I wanted to laugh, but I couldn't.
Alex used to look away and mumble an apology to avoid any confrontation with Matt. But now he just stood there, his expression unreadable. He had to have been freaking out on the inside.
Matt scrambled up, wiping his jeans. "Cheap shot, little man."
But he wasn't so little anymore. There was barely a couple inches difference between them.
"You're one to talk," Alex said.
Redness inched up Matt's neck, like it always did when he was pissed.
"Stop it," I mouthed to Alex. Matt always fought dirty, and Jenika would have no problem jumping in.
"Boob just rolled up," Jenika said, stomping out her newly lit cigarette.
She meant Officer Bube, the youngest and newest cop in Emerald Cove's police department. His last name was actually pronounced "Buh-be," but Boob was what stuck. His biggest accomplishment was busting some poor granny for having a pipe in her glove box — it turned out to be her grandson's. Polite locals called him overeager. Most people called him a douche.
"Watch your back, Pace," Matt said.
Alex watched him, like a silent challenge. I finally let myself breathe, even if the stench of rot and copper in the air made me queasy.
Bube slammed his door shut and walked toward us, talking into his radio. A staticky voice replied, but all I could make out were numbers. Codes.
"What's going on?" he asked, giving each of us a quick once-over. He was short, but built like a linebacker.
"Nothing," Matt said, picking up his backpack. "We're going to class."
Bube cocked his head toward the deer. "You know anything about that?"
We shook our heads or muttered no.
"It happened hours ago," I said, wincing as soon as the words escaped my mouth.
"Really?" Bube took a step toward me. "How do you know that?"
His lips ticked upward. "You a medical examiner?"
Someone snorted. Probably Matt.
"You think this is funny?" Bube asked.
Matt shook his head, failing to hold back a smile.
"There's nothing funny about that." Bube jabbed his thumb toward the swings. "Absolutely nothing. You hearin' me?"
Matt nodded, keeping his eyes downcast.
Another police car pulled in behind Bube's car, and Officer Mackey got out. She'd transferred here a couple months ago from some town in Nevada — which didn't make her too popular. Locals didn't trust new blood, especially if it was from out of state.
"Turn around," Bube said as Officer Mackey approached. "All of you."
"What for?" I asked.
"Do it!" he shouted.
I was terrified they were going to try to pin this on all of us to have a quick and easy culprit. I'd been interrogated more times than I could count, just for walking around past 9:00 p.m. They didn't want tourists to be turned off by us "seedy-looking" locals.
Gramps said the heart of the town was destroyed when the fishing industry died, making our survival completely dependent on tourism. Then Steve De Luca arrived from California and decided it was the perfect place for his world-class golf resort, the Inn. His next mission was to turn Emerald Cove into Laguna Beach. Minus the sun. And decent surfing. And, well, everything else.
"You're Sam Morgan's granddaughter, right?" Officer Mackey asked me. "Nova?"
I nodded. Everyone in town ate at my grandpa's diner, the Emerald Spoon. They called him a crazy hippie and raved about his food in the same breath.
"Hold your arms out and to the side," Officer Mackey said.
Bube had already started patting Alex down, paying extra attention to the pockets of his jeans.
I obeyed, wishing I had the guts to ask them if they had reasonable cause. But that would just make me a target. I was tired of being a target.
"I'm checking for weapons, okay?" Mackey patted the sides of the army jacket I'd stolen from Alex. "You got anything sharp on you?"
"No." I'd stopped smoking pot a few months ago, mostly because all it did was make me sleep. Suddenly I was real glad.
"Take your coat off, please."
Damp air crawled up my bare arms as I let the army jacket and purse fall to the ground. I fought the urge to hug myself. Summer didn't get here until after the Fourth of July, if it showed up at all. "Me and Alex had nothing to do with this."
"Yeah? Why didn't you call the police?"
"I don't have a —"
"Too busy gawking and taking pictures, huh?" Bube said as he moved from Alex to Matt.
I bit my tongue. Maybe remaining silent was the best choice here.
"And if the devil is six, then God is seven ..." Officer Mackey read off the back of my Pixies shirt. "What's that mean?"
Alex gave me a side glance and smirked.
"It's a song." It never ceased to amaze me when adults weren't familiar with big singles from their generation, even cult hits.
"Huh." Mackey finished checking the outside of my jeans. "Mind if I check your bag?" She motioned to my black crochet bag on the ground.
Yes, I wanted to say. That's what my mom and Gramps would do. They'd tell me not to give up my rights. But I had nothing to hide. "Go ahead."
It didn't take her long to pull out my wallet, my ancient MP3 player, a compact, a tube of mascara, lip gloss, and my Emerald Spoon T-shirt. She unraveled the shirt, staring at the green spoon on the back.
"Your grandpa makes a killer salmon scramble," she said before handing me everything.
I smiled, not sure how I was supposed to respond to that. The last thing on my mind right now was food.
Bube rummaged through Matt's backpack, probably hoping to make his ultimate bust. If you wanted pot or Adderall, Matt or Jenika were supposedly the people to hit up. Where they got it or how they'd never gotten caught was a mystery, though.
Bube only came up with a Zippo. "What's this for?"
"It generates a flame, sir," Matt said without a twitch.
They stared each other down for what seemed like minutes before Bube turned his attention to Jenika and Officer Mackey.
"Are me and Alex free to go?" I asked. "I'm late for my shift at the diner."
Bube opened his mouth, but Mackey beat him to the punch. "Yes."
"Thanks," I said. I couldn't get out of there fast enough.
"Can we go, too?" Jenika asked as we walked away.
"Not yet," Bube said.
Jenika said something that sounded like a protest, but her voice faded as we crossed the street.
"What were you thinking?" I asked Alex. "Matt's got it in for you now."
"Then he can bring it on."
I touched his arm. "You don't mean that."
His muscles tensed for a second. "I'm not afraid of him, Nova."
I wasn't convinced.
We walked to the diner in silence, an overwhelming sense of dread growing inside me. Just knowing there was someone in town capable of gutting a deer and staging its corpse kept me looking over my shoulder. People that unhinged didn't stop with one act.CHAPTER 2
The Emerald Spoon sat on the corner of First Avenue and Beach, right in the heart of the downtown, but it was nothing to look at. Moss and grime dulled the bright green paint, and the neon spoon in the window didn't light up anymore. Tourism had been down for the last three years. We were lucky to still be open.
Excerpted from The Foxglove Killings by Tara Kelly, Alycia Tornetta. Copyright © 2015 Tara Kelly. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Note to squeamish readers: the first couple of pages of Chapter One are a little stomach-churning. You have been warned. The Foxglove Killings has been billed as a thriller but I can't really say that's so. Once the deer is found in the first few pages (which should have led to a true thriller), absolutely nothing happens for more than a third of the book other than we hear that a girl is missing and the other characters occasionally mention it, wondering if she ran away. All those pages are devoted to character development which is fine but it goes on much too long. With the somewhat lackadaisical attitude about the missing girl, there really isn't even any suspense. So, I'd say this is really a character study that happens to involve killings and Ms. Kelly does this very well. All those pages give us the opportunity to really know these people, the teens as well as the adults in their lives, and that knowledge is sometimes quite uncomfortable. It's not so much the "class" difference between the townies and the cakes (I really don't like that term) as the level of hostility. In fact, you might think that no one is ever happy but that isn't really true. Nova and Alex are very appealing even in their discontent because, while both have reasons to be that way, they have each other to rely on and they trust each other. We're not all lucky enough to find that kind of friendship and that makes it all the more painful when a creeping distance begins to intrude. The ultimate outcome was a surprise to me, always a good thing in a mystery, and was very sad. That's as it should be because murder itself is a very sad happening, isn't it? It's that touch of feeling that makes me look forward to reading more of Tara Kelly's work in the future.
Let’s be honest who doesn’t like a good mystery with a sprinkle of romance. That’s exactly what I got when I decided to pick up Tara Kelly’s The Foxglove Killings. Now I won’t stay that I was glued to my Nook until the last page, but my attention was kept in spurts. The story is heart racing and well writing and it does keep you guessing, right up until the last chapter. Someone in Emerald Cove has mutilated a deer and put it on display. Not knowing if this was a one time incident has everyone in town on edge. Nova and her best friend, Alex have a few ideas of who it could be, mainly the “cakes”, which happen to be the rich kids they had problems with.I have to admit I had a few guesses out there myself. When the actual killer was revealed I was both surprised and disappointed. The reasoning made complete sense, but yet unsatisfying. TFK is told solely from the main character Nova’s POV, her character was rather likeable, but she also irritated me by being young and impulsive. Made me absolutely crazy. Her theories and emotions were all over the place. Not to mention she was kind of a crappy friend to Alex. The relationship felt one sided. Things became a tad awkward at times when new feelings that developed between Nova and Alex only complicating their friendship. Overall The Foxglove Killings was an intense nail biting thriller that I truly enjoyed.
The writing was fine but the plot was sub-par.. One of the things that bothered me the most, were the characters. They were all irrationally moody. Seriously, I wanted to strangle every single one of them. I had to set the book down quite a few times because it was just so irritating. It was so obvious, that at one point, I thought maybe it’d turn out that the whole town was being poisoned by foxglove, but nope. Before I’d read a hundred pages, I knew how it was going to end. So the end didn’t shock me at all. I don’t know how to elaborate on it, but it was all entirely too boring and obvious. Also, This book is called The Foxglove Killings, which I get, because the victims all had foxglove in their mouths…..but we never got an answer as to whyyy there was foxglove in their mouths. I mean, clearly it was because the killer put it there…but we never learned what the significance behind the foxglove was. So, there’s this thing (foxglove) that’s apparently so plot centric that the novel is titled after it…but we don’t know why? Killers only stage victims to send a message, they do it for a purpose (perhaps a twisted purpose that only makes sense to them, but a reason nonetheless.) So what was supposed to be the message? We never know what the purpose behind it all. We get a vague reason…. But not really. Weaksauce. Another thing, is that this book clearly takes place in the present day….but half the teenagers don’t have cell phones… and it seemed like the only reason they didn’t have them, was because the plot wouldn’t have worked right if the characters did have them. Also, I’m really curious, GR says there is 320 pages in the book, but my ARC has 425 pages…is it formatting? or was stuff cut? Is the font size different? I don’t know. Either way, I wouldn’t recommend this book. The pay-off wasn’t worth dealing with the rest of it. I had really high hopes, and none of it panned out. L Pick up The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting or The Christopher Killer by Alane Ferguson. The Body Finder has a cute best friend turned boyfriend element to the murder, and Alane Ferguson’s Angel of Death series is absolutely chilling.
**I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review** 3 ½ stars! In the small coastal town of Emerald Cove, Nova Morgan lives on the wrong side of the tracks – at least in the eyes of the “cakes” or rich kids that come there to their summer home every year. Along with her best friend Alex Pace, Nova is terrorized and tormented on a daily basis by the cakes while working in her grandfather’s bustling restaurant – one of which is her ex-boyfriend she thought she’d never have to see again. But this summer is about to be even worse than past summers…this summer, someone is on a killing spree. At first it’s just animals mutilated and left with a beautiful yet poisonous Foxglove flower in their mouths…but when one of the cake girls goes missing, the breezy summer town turns upside down with talk of murder and the fingers start pointing of someone local being the culprit. And when Nova and Alex end up in the middle of mayhem – along with the local hoodlums Matt and Janika, the officials start looking their way. Especially when not just the one missing cake shows up dead, but two – and Alex is supposedly the last one to have seen one of them alive. And so as soon as Alex goes missing, only Nova and her nemesis Janika believe in his innocence. But if it’s not enough, that could mean that a murderer goes free and Alex could be lost to Nova forever… While I had a hard time digesting a lot in the story – like how the cakes answered to virtually no one, they always get their revenge, and their willingness to hurt people – I have to say that I didn’t see the ending coming from a mile away. It was so out of the blue – a little crazy and didn’t necessarily make the most sense for me as a reader, but it sure did catch me by surprise – that alone was worth the extra half star for me! While I really enjoyed seeing Nova and Alex’s relationship bloom and grow, I was left with a lot of unanswered questions upon reading the last line – it felt like a lot went unfinished or unsaid to explain the ending and the choices of the characters to the readers.
**Thank you to Entangled Teen for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest review!** I've not always had the greatest luck with mystery stories. I tend to always want to read them, but then I solve the mystery on my own and lose interest only to be correct with my suspicions in the end. That's why I try to stay away from them. However, when I saw The Foxglove Killings, I knew that there was something different about it. I'm quite glad that I made that realization. The Foxglove Killings was utterly creepy, which is definitely a plus for a mystery novel. I also love how it started off incredibly creepy just in the beginning, within the first chapter even! I absolutely loved that, because I was thrown right into the story from the very first page and didn't have to wait for any action! I really dislike slow stories, and The Foxglove Killings was definitely not slow-moving for me. Tara Kelly doesn't hold back with the gruesome, which I liked as well. This mystery and it's murder aspects were definitely well thought out. Going back to what I said before about always guessing correctly when it comes to mysteries... that was not the case with The Foxglove Killings. I changed my thoughts on who I thought it was a few times, and I still ended up wrong! It's just another reason to love this story and recommend it to others! After reading The Foxglove Killings, I've decided that I should probably read more mysteries, because not all of them are so easily guessable! If you've not read this book yet, you should pick it up and give it a read!
When I originally read the synopsis, I didn't know if I wanted to read it. I wanted to because it sounded so interesting and I love watching those crime shows. At the same time, knowing how big of a pansy I was, I knew I'd be scared if I read it. I pulled through and kept reading because once it really started, I couldn't put it down. I needed to know who did it! The concept isn't anything new, there's a bunch of murder mysteries out there but the plot was really fantastic. I really liked the direction that it went and I even enjoyed the romance. I love best friends discovering feelings for each other. The writing was really great and detailed. It pulls you right into the story and the imagery gave me chills. I think that with the addition of the diary/journal entries before the chapters added extra mystery and really strings you along. It was hard to put down the book when the next chapter starts with the thoughts of the killer. My only issue, which I dropped half a star for, was that the beginning was a little slow for me. After the discovery of the deer, things slowed down a bit and I was waiting for something to happen. It was also unclear when exactly Amber (the bully) disappeared. I felt like it was a tiny plot hole there, where one day they were talking and the next people where whispering about it but the main character already knew. I think that was the only part in the writing that bothered me. Kelly did really well to build the anticipation and deflecting blame to make it hard for you to guess who did it. I couldn't really relate to any of the characters since they've gone through so much worse in their lives than I ever had. They grew up in such bad situations and I really liked how strong Nova, Alex, and even Jenika are. I like Nova's investigative side. Her voice was very likable and I didn't get annoyed by her. She's a smart kid and deals pretty well with her circumstances. I really liked Alex -- I can't really explain why because it took me by surprise. One moment, he was just best friend Alex and then the next it was different. I know it had to do with how much he loved Nova and everything he does to protect her and stand up for her. I have to say though, he does get pretty sketchy and sometimes I wavered on whether he was guilty or innocent. Jenika was an interesting character, definitely memorable. She was very snarky and feisty. I kind of liked it. The Foxglove Killings was more 4.5 than 4 stars to me. I have to say it did scare me and I could feel my heart beating like crazy when a dead body was discovered. It was all a part of the thrill I guess. I tried to be a detective while reading this and let's just say Crime Scene Investigator or being a part of the Behavioral Analysis Unit is not in my future. I could not guess who the killer was! So finding out who was behind it all along was a huge shocker! It blew my mind!
This book is intense. Very suspenseful, it kept me guessing to the end. If you want to read a book that is one of those gritty, realistic looks at teen life, then this is it. The Foxglove Killings doesn't pull any punches when it comes to what some teens mighht get up to in their spare time (but it's kept low-key, not too graphic, so no worries there). TFK also has a theme that I've always enjoyed (not murder, k? *wink*), that of a friend turning into something more. Nova and Alex are great characters. Besides their relationship, my next fav was between Nova and her grandfather. The setting is the Oregon coast line, which Tara Kelly did a great job of making it sound gorgeous and rustic and mysterious, all at the same time. A good majority of the book takes place in a diner, and I always love restaurants in books, so another plus. Themes of family (and not the 'perfect' kind), mental illness, and bullying are strongly present too. If you're looking for a 'who-dunnit' kind of YA that isn't all rainbows and sunshine, I say pick this up!
Wow. Color me impressed with The Foxglove Killings by Tara Kelly. It is full of mystery and suspense. It will keep you on your toes guessing and drive you crazy trying to figure it all out. Definitely a job well done. The Foxglove Killings starts out with Nova and Alex walking through a park. They assume that their walk is going to be like any other day with nothing eventful going on, but they are wrong. They come across a mutilated deer. The body parts spread all around, the head put up for display on the swings. In the mouth of a deer Nova finds a Foxglove. Very suspicious. If the mutilated deer wasn't bad enough, another animal was found at house of local rich girl Gabi's house. It too had a Foxglove in its mouth. But it doesn't stop there. Nova receives a strange letter from an anonymous person in a purple envelope. And one of the rich girls visiting the town for the summer with her family goes missing. Find the rest of my review here: http://readingwithcupcakes.blogspot.com/