“Good Girl”

“Good Girl” by Mel Sherratt is packed with emotional turmoil. It starts with the death of sixteen-year-old, and the investigation of that tragedy reveals a very nasty, distasteful, and tragic social problem. Lives and families are fragmented, perhaps beyond repair.  With that caution, the book is well written, compelling, and filled with twists.

The narrative opens with a mugging gone wrong; Erin, a sixteen-year old girl, was stabbed while walking home with her friend, Molly, Unfortunately it is now a murder investigation.   The story is structured in conversations that reflect everyday activities and events as well as personal trauma, emotions, and reality. Separate points of view allow readers to understand how events influence each person, and to learn what people want to hide from others. Readers are also taken back in time one year to gradually learn what brought Erin and Molly to that fateful evening walk. The two separate accounts continue slowly and purposefully; readers watch the precise detailed murder investigation on one hand and the coming trauma and disaster on the other, waiting for the inevitable point In time when the paths cross.

“Good Girl” is powerful and gripping. What started as a “mugging gone wrong” evolves into a complicated and dark story of exploitation and abuse. It is book four in the “DS Grace Allendale” series. It is not necessary to have read the previous books to appreciate this book, but first-time readers will appreciate Sherratt’s organized and disciplined writing style and will be inspired to read prior books. I received a review copy of “Good Girl” from Mel Sherratt and Avon Books. It is a cautionary tale of fabricated stories and deceitful promises. I highly recommend it but with a caution for the shocking but sadly genuine social problem. This is my first time reading a “Grace Allendale” book; I will be going back to read the previous books and am awaiting the next in the series.

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