THE DEAD GIRLS CLUB | Damien Angelica Walters
12.10.2019 | Crooked Lane Books
Rating: 4/5 stars
In 1991, Heather Cole and her circle of friends formed the Dead Girls Club. They were a group of friends interested in the macabre, from ghost stories to serial killers. One day group member, Becca, shares the story of the Red Lady, a vengeful witch who was killed centuries ago. Stories are just stories until they start to feel real. Becca is insistent the Red Lady is real and will stop at nothing to prove it to her friends. Becca ends up dead.
Thirty years have passed and Heather has built a life hiding the past from those around her. She doesn’t want to relive what happened the night Becca died, but someone has made it their mission to bring the truth out. When Heather receives a mysterious package containing the other half to a friendship necklace she gave Becca, a chain of events will start to unravel. Heather feels like she’s losing her mind. Who is this mystery person following her and sending her packages from the past?
THE DEAD GIRLS CLUB is an exciting supernatural thriller that alternates between a present day storyline and the events of the past that led to the death of Becca. Immediately the reader is aware that something happened back in 1991, but what was that event and who was at fault? Heather seems to be the likely person to blame since she has worked her whole life to bury her past, however, nothing is what it seems. I loved trying to solve the mystery of present day, as well as the truth behind the past. Dual storylines always add something a little extra to books for me and this book was a prime example of how they worked to build tension through the journey to truth.
The main character of Heather is our narrator, but she’s quite unreliable and the reader can’t be sure if they truly trust her accounts for either timeline. In the present we watch as Heather goes to great lengths to use deception to investigate people from her past. If she’s willing to do so much now, who is to say she’s not hiding something incriminating from her past? Clearly she knows something about Becca’s death that she does not want the world to know. I appreciate that Walters doesn’t make Heather unreliable to the point where she’s unlikeable. She’s more of a character who has lost her reliability because she is slowly unraveling.
I found the pace of THE DEAD GIRLS CLUB to be perfectly plotted. There were moments of tension that propelled me to keep reading to either return to sections in the same timeline where I was desperate for answers. This book isn’t a slowburn, but it’s also not a breakneck paced thriller. I think the tempo of the story is overall at an even rate with bursts of frenzied tension. One of the benefits of this pacing is that the reader truly gets to savor the coming of age story we receive from the sections from the past. I loved learning about Heather, Becca, and their friends when they were younger. I think this connection truly made the present day situation more impactful while I was reading.
This is one of those books I would recommend to anyone! THE DEAD GIRLS CLUB spans a few genres that will check the box for multiple readers. If you’re looking for something mysterious and a bit spooky, check this one out!
Disclosure: A huge thank you to Crooked Lane Books for sending me a free copy of this book!
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 Amazon.com. This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.