I am indebted to Emily Burns for a copy of All The Wicked Girls by Chris Whitaker in return for an honest review. I thought Chris’s first novel Tall Oaks was fabulous and you can see my review of that book here.
All The Wicked Girls was published by Bonnier Zaffre and is available for purchase here.
All The Wicked Girls
Everyone loves Summer Ryan. A model student and musical prodigy, she’s a ray of light in the struggling small town of Grace, Alabama – especially compared to her troubled sister, Raine. Then Summer vanishes.
Raine throws herself into the investigation, aided by a most unlikely ally, but the closer she gets to the truth, the more dangerous her search becomes.
And perhaps there was always more to Summer than met the eye . . .
My Review of All The Wicked Girls
I previously read and loved Chris Whitaker’s Tall Oaks so I had extremely high hopes for All The Wicked Girls. I’d thought Tall Oaks was exceptional but All The Wicked Girls surpasses it and is sublime. What a writer Chris Whitaker is. He can show such depth through even the shortest of sentences so that I found myself on a complete roller coaster of emotion. I laughed. I wept. My heart broke for so many of those between its pages that I’m not sure I’ll ever be the same again. Several times I exclaimed aloud, most frequently for Raine, Noah and Purv, but also for Savannah, Black and Peach and indeed for just about every character between the pages of All The Wicked Girls.
In the same way the storm cloud gathers, the pages glower with suppressed violence, secrets and tension so that it is impossible to stop reading. When I slept I dreamt of the characters as they had pervaded my soul so deeply.
The religious fervour and belief, the deceptions and the love that Chris Whitaker reveals are almost too much to bear. I found his writing utterly heartbreaking, especially through Raine’s desperation to find Summer and the relationship between Purv and Noah because they are indeed they are so brave, so fierce and so beautiful. I wanted to take these three into my arms and hold them close until all their hurts had gone.
The plot is fabulous. Small town America lends itself to the claustrophobic feel so that the events fit the setting perfectly. At times I almost couldn’t bear what I was reading. I can’t explain more about the plot without spoiling the read but rest assured it is gripping, absorbing and brilliant.
I defy anyone to read Chris Whitaker and not feel they have been touched by genius to their very soul. All The Wicked Girls is utterly, utterly wonderful and I don’t have sufficient words to do it justice.
About Chris Whitaker
Chris Whitaker was born in London and spent ten years working as a financial trader in the city. When not writing he enjoys football, boxing, and anything else that distracts him from his wife and two young sons. Tall Oaks was his first novel.
You can find Chris on Twitter.