My Rating: 4 StarsA special thank you to Atria and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Lisa Jewell returns following The Third Wife
(2015) and The House We Grew Up In
(2014) with her latest complex atmospheric domestic psychological suspense, THE GIRLS IN THE GARDEN.
From dark secrets, an intriguing gripping mystery, keeping readers glued to the pages.A picturesque communal garden,
in urban London, a midsummer night, in July--a party. Things go wrong. The mix of homes, families, personalities can become toxic, and dangerous. Who can they trust? What lies beneath this paradise? From the teens to the adults. Is it safe to enter another's home? Neighbors, friends, and family
are in attendance. Clare and her two daughters, Pip (twelve) and Grace (thirteen) have moved to the new flat, overlooking a private park area. Where things are not as serene and peaceful as they appear.A secret garden
is hidden inside an old wall covered with ivy. A rose garden with benches and a playground and even some swings. In the beginning Grace does not like the communal park. She says its weird and scary, probably full of murderers. Pip thinks it is kind of interesting and mysterious. People come and go. Grace later begins to become involved in the lives of the people who reside in the commune. On the night of Grace’s birthday,
she goes missing and is attacked. When Pip finds her, all does not look good. Bloody and half clothed. The mystery begins and ties to another past mystery. Let the dark games begin! Jewell takes readers
on a journey, beginning with Grace's tragedy. Then we move to the background, before the move to the communal garden. Through colorful art drawings and letters written by Pip to her Daddy, she illustrates the events of their daily lives through the eyes of a twelve-year-old. (a nice twist) Readers meet a variety
of neighbors (suspects) with evil and mystery lurking behind every window. From peer pressure, lies, secrets, teens, sexuality, perversion, deceit, jealousy, and more. Adele, Gordon, Leo, Tyler, Dylan, Willow, Fern, Catkin, Robbie, Rhea, Mrs. H., Cecelia, Mrs. Wild, Don, etc. (sure I am leaving out many). The gang. A dad (schizophrenic)
burned down their previous home and Pip is writing letters to him. Due to the tragedy, Clare has moved her daughters, Pip and Grace to Virginia Terrace. Lots of people, open to one another. However, are the children really safe? What secrets are they hiding? Friends, strangers, or killers? Clare’s daughters
finding safe places away from her. Lies to cover up. Secrets to keep. Is her husband reentering the world, and will he turn their lives upside down? Claire and Pip prefer to stay to themselves; however, Grace is immersed in her new environment. From quirky, eccentric, disturbing,
with animals and a dead fifteen-year-old girl. A multi-generational family drama, full of dysfunction. With Jewell’s own trademark style, she takes readers through several mysteries, and twists and turns---from Grace’s attack, to the previous past murder.Rich in character,
(many flawed, mental illness, struggling); Readers who enjoy intense dark, complex family drama with a psychological twist, will appreciate. An explosive thrilling page-turner that will make you think about family, community, and who you can trust.