The Search Party by Simon Lelic
Release Date - August 18, 2020
After 16-year-old Sadie Saunders disappears, the town and investigating detectives are all certain she's dead. Not only are they certain she was murdered, but they're also acting as judge and jury at the same time and have targeted a local boy as her killer.
Sadie's closest friends aren't sure the town or the detectives have it right. They sneak into the woods to uncover what really happened. All five are hiding secrets and they may have just gone into the woods with the person to did kill Sadie. They may enter the woods together and alive, but what happens in the woods will impact them forever.
I never got into the flow of the story, which made it hard to read. You had the lead detective telling the story from his point of view. You saw the story from the past as the teens all headed into the woods. You also have chapters where the teens are talking directly to the police during interrogations. It seemed disjointed as the story flipped from past to present and back and one viewpoint to the next.
I really liked D.I. Fleet's character and wished the story had just stayed with him. I never connected with the teens and didn't like the way it seemed they were talking directly to me. While that wouldn't usually bother me, it was distracting in comparison with D.I. Fleet's chapters. I kept getting distracted with the shifts in voice and struggled to keep reading.
The mystery isn't easy to figure out. I loved that. I like having a challenge trying to decide who the killer is. I did have that emotional tug as things started making sense and the details of the murder are revealed. That's what kept me from giving up.