Book Review: The July Girls

THE JULY GIRLS | Phoebe Locke
07.25.2019 | Wildfire
Rating: 4.5/5 stars


Every year, on the same day in July, a woman disappears from the streets of London, never to be seen again. Addie knows that date well. July 7th is her birthday and on her tenth year celebrating in 2005, her life changes forever. On that day bombs go off in London. Addie is alone after school, unable to find her sister or her father. That night her father comes home with his clothes soaked in blood. Addie thinks he was a victim of the bombings, but then her sister, Jessie, finds a purse belonging to a missing woman stashed in their dad’s bedroom. A woman who vanished on July 7th. Is Addie’s dad a serial killer?

I can’t give you more of a synopsis than that! If we’re honest, I think you should go into this one totally blind, so quickly forget what you just read!

There is a moment with each of them. A look in their eyes when the know it’s over. He likes to watch that realisation finally dawn, see them accept that there is no escape. The feeling of it is electric. Each time, he holds them close to him. He cradles them, a calm taking over.

THE JULY GIRLS is an exhilarating thriller surrounding a serial killer, who comes to be known as Magpie, who each year on the 7th of July steals a woman from London’s streets. What he does with them is unknown, but they never make it home. Told through the eyes of Addie, who has just made a life-changing discovery potentially linking her father to the missing women, this story sweeps the reader into her world. While Addie is a young narrator, readers should not worry that her thoughts will read like a YA novel. In fact, they are sometimes much beyond her years. You do get the peak into a young mind and the thought processes she is experiencing, but in a very grown up way.

There are many reasons we do the things we do and sometimes that reason is just that it feels good.

My favorite part of this book was how Locke chose to break the book into sections. These sections are from a specific year, which means the story can accelerate rapidly without any jarring transitions. Despite missing a few years of Addie’s life, the time gaps and the character’s actions during these time periods are easily explained in the beginning of each new section/year. I felt that these breaks helped to keep the story streamlined and avoid bogging the reader down with unnecessary details.

This is the first book I have read by Phoebe Locke, but it’s safe to say it will not be my last! I absolutely loved the fluidity of Locke’s writing and her clever plot devices to trick me into falling for a handful of red herrings. The majority of the book is very straightforward and headed down a concrete path, but the ending is a twisty ride to a heart-pounding finale. I loved the mixture of tempos and being fooled by the ultimate grand reveal! This book is currently out in the UK, but US readers can easily snag a copy on Amazon or Book Depository to add to their shelves!

This book is available to buy from: Amazon | Book Depository

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

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