Every year, on the same night in July, a woman is taken from the streets of London; snatched by a killer who moves through the city like a ghost.
Addie has a secret. On the morning of her tenth birthday, four bombs were detonated across the capital. That night her dad came home covered in blood. She thought he was hurt in the attacks – but then her sister Jessie found a missing woman’s purse hidden in his room.
Jessie says they mustn’t tell. She says there’s nothing to worry about. But when she takes a job looking after the woman’s baby daughter, Addie starts to realise that her big sister doesn’t always tell her the whole story. And that the secrets they’re keeping may start costing lives…
On Addie’s 10th Birthday, her sister Jessie is supposed to take her for pizza, but she’s late…..so not sleeping, Addie here’s her dad come home, he smells meaty! He has blood on his clothes too….
She later finds out there has been a terrorist attack on the tube…..is this where the blood came from….?
Each year on 7 July a woman goes missing, the police finally link these disappearances, but they have no leads…..yet!
Jessie and Addie find a missing woman’s purse in their father’s room …scared what will happen to them if he leaves, they decide to keep it a secret….so many secrets!
The tale is told from Addie’s perspective, with a few small asides by the Magpie and snippets of real events over the years, the various terror attacks in London which build the atmosphere.
As the story continues, we see Addie grow from a 10 year old to a young adult, with the Magpie in the background all the time….there is an ever present feeling of menace, like something seen in the corner of your eye, building until the marvellously twisty and surprising ending. Original and compelling, definitely one of my favourites this year.
Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book and this is my honest, unbiased review.
You can buy a copy here (unbelievably it’s on 99p for Kindle at the moment too)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
PHOEBE LOCKE is the pseudonym of full-time writer Nicci Cloke. She previously worked at the Faber Academy, and hosted London literary salon Speakeasy. Nicci has had two literary novels published by Fourth Estate and Cape, and also writes YA for Hot Key Books. She lives and writes in Cambridgeshire. THE JULY GIRLS follows Phoebe Locke’s debut thriller THE TALL MAN.
‘Loved it as much as THE TALL MAN. Chilling, gripping and unputdownable, with a wonderful protagonist. A must-read this summer’
Karen Hamilton, author of The Perfect Girlfriend on THE JULY GIRLS
‘An original take on the serial thriller killer that grips and disturbs, filled with characters who will linger long after “The End”. As a reader I’m so excited that I’ve discovered Phoebe Locke’ Catherine Ryan Howard, author of Distress Signals on THE JULY GIRLS
‘The July Girls is a page-turning, atmospheric thriller about a serial killer, but at the same time a sensitively written coming of age story with a wonderful central character.’
Jenny Quintana, author of The Missing Girl on THE JULY GIRLS
‘Stayed up late last night to finish THE JULY GIRLS, a beautifully written, expertly crafted thriller packed with genuine surprises. I also loved the contemporary London setting and how the book showed the coming of age of the heroine, and the city itself’
Amy Heydenrych, author of Shame on You on THE JULY GIRLS
‘Thrilling, poignant and unpredictable, Phoebe Locke takes this serial killer chiller to a whole new level. I loved the Tall Man, The July Girls is even better.’
Chris Whitaker, author of All The Wicked Girls on THE JULY GIRLS
‘One of the most atmospheric and original thrillers I’ve ever read, THE JULY GIRLS is full of twists and turns, and memorable, realistic characters. I didn’t want it to end. It’s a book I’ll be thinking about for a long time. I can’t wait to read what Phoebe writes next’
Charlotte Duckworth, author of The Rival on THE JULY GIRLS
‘So creepy and chilling. Loved it!’
Laura Marshall, author of Friend Request on THE TALL MAN
‘Genuinely scary contemporary novels are rare but Phoebe Locke’s debut – a taut, complex but brilliantly constructed supernatural thriller – is not one to be read alone at bedtime.’
Metro on THE TALL MAN
‘Creepy and unpredictable’
Woman & Home on THE TALL MAN ‘a gripping chiller’
Good Housekeeping on THE TALL MAN
‘A gripping blend of dark psychological suspense and spine-tingling chills’
I News on THE TALL MAN
Find Phoebe on Twitter on @phoebe_locke
Praise for Phoebe Locke
‘a gripping read and almost impossible to put down’
Jo Jakeman, author of Sticks and Stones on THE JULY GIRLS
‘Beautifully written, not a word out of place, this deserves to be the summer’s breakout hit’
Fiona Cummins, author of Rattle on THE JULY GIRLS
‘An extraordinary novel that gets under your skin from the very first page. Shocking, yet subtle, the menace drips off every page, making it an almost unbearably good read. Such an intricate, absorbing story that more than delivers on its knock-out premise (and boy, is it a knock-out!)’ Caz Frear, author of Sweet Little Lies on THE JULY GIRLS
‘I have just ripped through The July Girls in less than twenty-four hours – what an absolute *corker* of a novel!’
Lisa Hall, author of Tell Me No Lies on THE JULY GIRLS
‘Phoebe Locke has knocked it out of the park once again with THE JULY GIRLS. Atmospheric and beautifully written, it really is stunningly good.’
Cass Green, author of In A Cottage In A Wood on THE JULY GIRLS