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What is this book about?
Melville Heights is a pleasant, affluent neighborhood located in Bristol, England. When the wife of a well respected and much beloved principle of a local high school is found murdered in her families kitchen, everyone is shocked. As investigators begin to pursue leads, it seems that there is no shortage of secrets among the neighbors, and there is no shortage of suspects.
Point of view
So this read is told from a few different characters points of view which also alternate between the weeks leading up the murder to the interrogation transcripts from after the murder.
The plot mainly focuses on a few main characters from the neighborhood; Firstly, the Fitzwilliam family which consists of Tom, esteemed principle and husband of murder the victim, and their teenage son Freddie.
Everyone loves Tom, especially his teenage students, which leaves the reader to think that perhaps he is not as squeaky clean as his colleges and students parents perceive him to be. Freddie is a voyeur. Taking pictures of the women on his street without their knowledge and cataloging everyone’s moves in a journal he keeps in his room.
Joey Mullen is new to the neighborhood and living with her new husband in her brother and sister in laws house. She immediately becomes infatuated with Tom, and him with her, and the weeks leading up to the murder are filled with increasingly flirtatious interactions between the two until eventually Tom reserves a hotel room for them the night of the murder.
Teenager and student of Toms, Jenna has her suspicions about Tom herself. Living with her mentally unstable mother, she soon finds herself sucked into (at least some of) her mothers delusions about the Fitzwilliams. The unreliability of Jennas mother really makes for an interesting perspective for the read. How much is paranoia and how much is rooted in fact?
So like I said up top, this one was far too predictable as a thriller. I knew about halfway through how it would end (and I was correct). There were small, insignificant differences to how the reader wound up with all the info for the big reveal in the end, but they were inconsequential in the grand scheme of things leaving me really left wanting for some shocking turn of events. I kept waiting for the rug to be pulled out from under me but it just didn’t happen.
Since I still really enjoyed Girls in the Garden, I haven’t given up all hope in Jewell, and will more than likely pick up some more reads and hope for a redemption.