Published: January 7th 2014
Small towns are nothing if not friendly. Friendship, Wisconsin (population: 688) is no different. Around here, everyone wears a smile. And no one ever locks their doors. Until, that is, high school sweetheart Ruth Fried is found murdered. Strung up like a scarecrow in the middle of a cornfield.
Unfortunately, Friendship’s police are more adept at looking for lost pets than catching killers. So Ruth’s best friend, Kippy Bushman, armed with only her tenacious Midwestern spirit and Ruth’s secret diary (which Ruth’s mother had asked her to read in order to redact any, you know, sex parts), sets out to find the murderer. But in a quiet town like Friendship—where no one is a suspect—anyone could be the killer.
This book lured me in with its creative cover. At first glance it seems like a jolly Christmas sweater—then you notice the position of the deer (reindeer?) and oh, it’s not so jolly.
This book is not for everyone.
It is filled with dark humor, awkward and ultimately flawed characters—and a grisly storyline. Kippy was a great protagonist; she is just so perfectly odd. Hale created an authentic and real voice with Kippy, She was a fantastic character. If it weren’t for Kippy, I wouldn’t have finished this book.
The story was intriguing, but it was quite unnerving. The world can be an evil place, and tragedies happen daily…so, sometimes reading about fictional (but, very believable) dark tragedies is not always entertaining. I like to read to find an escape from daily life…This story just left a foul taste in my mouth and darkened my mood…
It wasn’t my particular cup of tea, but I see it finding great success with younger audiences who will see the story as more thrilling rather than interpret it as a real-life possibility.
Thank you, Harper Collins Canada for the review copy.