Reviews for Killing Rachel

Booklist Reviews 2012 December #2
In this second installment of the Murder Notebooks series, following Dead Time (2012), Rose and her stepbrother, Joshua, are still sorting through coded clues to find Rose's mother and Joshua's father, both London police officers who disappeared five years ago. Rose becomes sidetracked as she solves the puzzling death of Rachel Bliss, a notorious liar and student at her former boarding school, while Joshua follows more leads, landing in the clutches of a Russian organized-crime boss. Well-placed twists will keep fans guessing about both mysteries as Rose and Joshua continue to uncover the truth about their parents--and their feelings for each other. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
Rose is too preoccupied with the mystery of her parents' disappearance, and her feelings for her stepbrother Joshua, to notice cries for help from her ex-friend Rachel, a compulsive liar--until Rachel turns up dead in the school pond. Cassidy's portrayal of self-absorbed teenagers is skillful; the school drama is more interesting than either of the parallel mystery plots.

Kirkus Reviews 2013 January #2
A limp murder mystery, needlessly prolonged. The second installment in Cassidy's Murder Notebooks series takes 42 pages of awkward exposition to bring readers up to speed on the events of the preceding volume (Dead Time, 2012). As with the first book, Cassidy employs stiff dialogue and clipped sentences to describe Rose and her stepbrother Josh's interminable investigation into the disappearance of their parents five years earlier. Meanwhile, Rachel, Rose's former frenemy from boarding school, reappears in her life with a litany of desperate letters and phone calls, then conveniently provides surprising evidence that the missing parents are still alive just before she herself drowns under mysterious circumstances. Supernatural red herrings abound, as do unsettling references to romantic tension between the stepsiblings. The diversionary plot device feebly resolves itself when the killer, unprompted, confesses. Rose and Josh stumble upon a few important clues this time, but this wooden tale does not deliver significant intrigue. For enthusiastic fans of amateur detectives only. (Mystery. 12-16) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2013 April

Gr 9 Up--Rose Smith, 17, is the type of girl who works hard to earn good grades and doesn't take too much for granted. It is still five years since her mother, a detective, went missing, along with "stepbrother" Joshua's father. Rose is too skeptical to get drawn in to Joshua's amateur sleuthing, but when Rachel, once Rose's close friend, starts sending her letters and then drowns in a lake at the Mary Linton School in the English countryside, Rose feels compelled to return and ask questions. Rachel was as unlikable as Rose is solid. She had some disturbing habits, such as a tendency to lie one minute and ask forgiveness the next. Cassidy does a fine job of balancing Rachel's reports of seeing the ghost of another girl who died with the everyday things experienced but not seen, and Rose's sense that what she's starting to feel for Joshua may not be appropriate. The novel's excellent plot turns on whether or not the truth should come out not only when people we love are concerned, but also when people we don't much like at all are victims.--Georgia Christgau, Middle College High School, Long Island City, NY

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