Review: Dead Time

Author: Anne Cassidy

Publisher: Bloomsbury (10th May 2012)

Pages: 344

ISBN: 978-1408815502

From Goodreads
Rose and Joshua first met when Joshua and his dad came to live with Rose and her mum. Then their world turns upside down when their mother and father go out for dinner one evening and never return. With police inquiries going nowhere, Rose is dispatched to live with her chilly, unfriendly grandmother and Joshua is sent to live with his uncle. Then Joshua comes to London to study and Rose is witness to not one, but two murders. Why is this happening to Rose? Can it be anything to do with the investigations Joshua has been doing into the disappearance of their parents? A taut and pacy thriller that is the start of a stylish new series from an acclaimed writer for teens.

If it’s a murder mystery you’re after you can’t really go wrong with Dead Time, the first book in Anne Cassidy’s The Murder Notebooks series. It came just at the right time for me – I was looking to read something drastically different and having not read a mystery / detective story in a while it fill the bill like a glove.

Dead Time is the story of Rose and Joshua who could be kind of described as step siblings (though technically they aren’t) who have experienced the tragic loss of their parents. As a result they are split up and sent to live with respective members of family (not all together happily). Though as strong a story as this might be this isn’t the main theme – more something that hangs over the pair.

The story really gets going when the murder of Ricky Harris takes place right under Rose’s nose and as she starts to (unintentionally) get involved with his family.

I’m going to throw this out there, I loved Dead Time, it’s a fresh story which takes a very original approach to a murder mystery – we don’t find out about the murder after the event but experience the feeling of being a witness and the subsequent police interrogation – I would not like to be on the wrong end of that thank you very much! Especially after murder number 2 *shivers*

I don’t want to give too much away but I have to applaud how Anne managed to lead me up the garden path, presenting all the clues in all their glory so that you might suspect something but dismiss it as some other explanation seems more logical.

I loved how the bond over the missing parents united Joshua and Rose and kept hanging over them – they were told by the police that they were dead but with no body I think it would be hard not to keep up the hope and it’s for this that I respected Joshua so much – yes, you should leave the police to do their job but his determination in setting up those websites to try and find out more I think showed him in a brilliant light.

I can’t not mention Skegsie who has to be my favourite character – probably because he in a way reminds me of me – I don’t do half the stuff he does (well … none of the illegal stuff) but he’s an absolute computer whiz and spends so much time on his computer and this, well this is a LOT like me! I completely got his awkwardness around people and lack of social skills (me again) – it’s like he was based on me – there isn’t a bug in my room is there? Anne? :s

Overall, Dead Time is a fantastic start to a brand new series, fast paced, full of action and an intricate plot that will keep you guessing and going … “of course – why didn’t I see that!”. I can’t wait for book 2!

Thanks to Bloomsbury for sending me a copy


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