Thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: July 26th, 2018
Synopsis: “I will never forget the night I drowned…”
Seventeen-year-old Eleanor Parker wakes up cold and alone in the river that twists through her quiet village. She remembers a hand on her chest, another on her head, water in her throat, those final gasps for air…
Her brother’s girlfriend was drowned in the same river the summer before, held under the water by an unknown killer.
Determined to unlock the mystery of what really happened that night, Eleanor can’t escape the feeling that something terrible happened links her to the previous summer’s murder. But will she discover the shocking truth, before it’s too late?
This is going to sound strange, but I’m actually surprised by how much I loved The Death and Life of Eleanor Parker. I’ve read and enjoyed several of Kerry Wilkinson’s previous books, so I’m a fan of his writing style, which is why I immediately requested it as soon as I saw it on NetGalley.
My favorite part of this book is the first person voice of Eleanor/Ellie herself. Although I’m not sure I would have been quite as calm if I found myself rising from a watery grave, I admired Ellie’s self possession and determination to discover not only who killed her, but also her brother’s girlfriend one year previously. And I absolutely loved her dry sense of humor as she investigates, while dealing with the physical effects of being dead, like being freezing cold in the middle of summer, not being able to eat, and so on. All this while keeping her new physical state secret from her family and friends.
The secondary characters are well-rounded, and relatable. I especially liked the loving yet occasionally combative relationship between Ellie and her mother. As far as the mystery goes, although Ellie is a likable girl, due to something that happens the night she dies, there are a few suspects that could be the villain. I was kept guessing until just before the end. There’s also a twist that took me completely by surprise and it fit in with the storyline perfectly.
The only reason why I’m not giving giving this 5 stars is that there’s something about Ellie’s death that for me, isn’t explained. It’s not a major plot hole but it bothered me nonetheless. Overall though, I loved this book and highly recommend it to YA and adult fans of shows like Twin Peaks and Riverdale.