All Unquiet Things
By Anna Jarzab, read by Mike Chamberlain and Allyson Ryan
Published 2010 by Listening Library
Carly was one of the brightest stars at Brighton Day school. And then she was murdered. Now, her cousin Audrey - whose father is in prison for the murder - wants to find the truth of what happened to Carly. And the only one who can help her is Neily - Carly's ex-boyfriend, a boy who was under a great deal of suspicion himself. Can the two uncover whether the right man is in prison for the crime?
As I mentioned recently, I've gone back to the beginnings of my TBR whenever I need to download a new audiobook, so you'll be seeing quite a few older titles appearing on the blog (particularly as I get back into my long runs). This is one such title.
I really wanted to like this book. I enjoy a good mystery and, like most people, I have a bit of a fascination with private schools and the lives of the kids who attend them. But really, I didn't like this book very much. It's very slow to develop and this is basically a death knell for an audiobook. I actually feel like the entire first section of this book could be cut out and it would be a much more interesting story. I think the first section - part one of Neily's story - is meant to establish some background on the characters and Carly's murder before Neily and Audrey begin their amateur investigation. Unfortunately, it's really just kinda boring and annoying. It didn't put me in the right frame of mind when it came to Neily - I found him off-putting. I think it was supposed to show me how much he loved Carly, but I got more of an uncomfortable vibe about their relationship. Whatever this first section of the book was supposed to do, it didn't get me started on the right foot with this novel.
On the whole, I didn't much care about the characters here. Where I think this book succeeds is the mystery - I definitely didn't see the revelations surrounding the murder coming. As pieces were revealed, it was clear that Jarzab had really taken her time constructing this aspect of her novel (a fact made abundantly clear in the interview that followed the story) and I'm glad she did.
While I didn't particularly care for this book, I'd be interested in reading another of Jarzab's titles, this time in print and seeing how I feel about her writing then.