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Review of The List of Suspicious Things by Jennie Godfrey

If you loved The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry then do we have the book for you! Jennie Godfrey’s heartwarming debut, The List of Suspicious Things, follows main character Miv, a young girl living in Maggie Thatcher’s England. As fear surrounding ‘The Yorkshire Ripper’ takes over her town, Miv decides to take the bull by the horns and catch the Ripper with her best friend, Sharon. 

Miv begins to draw up a ‘List of Suspicious Things’ and as she does so she encounters all kinds of characters - rebellious boys, kind shopkeepers, caring librarians and more. In her investigations, Miv begins to look at her family more closely. and finds out things she could never have expected (no spoilers!) which change her life forever.

This is a coming-of-age story mixed with a murder mystery that reminds you how communities and the people within them unite and support one another even in the darkest of times. Miv’s youth and innocence offer a unique and somewhat underrepresented perspective on an infamous period of English history. Godfrey writes with a vitality and energy that has you speeding through the pages, desperate to find out what happens next.

If I were to pose one criticism without giving the game away, I personally struggled with the character of Miv’s mother. Her complete character change at the end of the book felt a little unbelievable to me. All in all, this is a veritable triumph of a debut!

Reviewed by Helen.

The List of Suspicious Things was published on 13/02/24 by Hutchinson Heinemann.



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