Title: Sadie
Author: Courtney Summers
Published in Australia by Pan Macmillan
RRP: $24.99 (AUD)

When Carl Earl reported a fire at the old school house on the outskirts of Cold Creek, no one expected to find the body of 13-year-old Mattie Southern. The younger sister of nineteen-year-old Sadie had been murdered and her body left. The girls’ lives were not easy. Born to an addict mother, they have been cared for much of their lives by their late Grandmother’s best friend, May Beth Foster. Sadie has always looked after Mattie, more so since their mother left a few years previously. However, when Mattie is murdered, Sadie thinks she knows who did it and, armed with a switchblade, she embarks on a road trip to seek revenge. May Beth calls West McCray, radio personality, asking he investigate the disappearance of Sadie. McCray has few clues to follow, but he does find a trail left by Sadie. The more McCray discovers, the more is revealed in this sordid story. Sadie is tough, resilient and persistent, and she is determined to find the man she knows as Keith. The more she delves, however, the more she finds out about this man with a mysterious and malevolent past.

This is a difficult book to review, as I do not want to give too much away. The plot is intricate and the characters fascinating. Some are truly evil, while others helpful and caring. The writing is incredibly well crafted. Many phrases, sentences and sections are refreshing in their authenticity but hard hitting with their inferences.

I’m going to carve my name into his soul.
(p. 45)

I could include more quotes, if I were able to stop reading so many times to write them down. But this book did not allow for that, for I was captivated from the very start.

Chapters alternate between the text of the podcast, narrated by West McCray, and prose written in the first person from Sadie’s viewpoint. This is an interesting device as the reader constantly wonders if McCray catches up with Sadie before she finds her target, before it is too late, for you get to know just how evil Keith really is. The twists and turns are revealed slowly throughout, pacing the novel well and always keeping the reader on the edge of their seat.

I could not put this book down. It is gripping and suspenseful. Highly recommended for young adult and adult readers who enjoy a thrilling murder mystery.

Many thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia for supplying this book for review.