BOOK CLUB: She Was The Quiet One

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Author: Michele Campbell
ISBN: 978-0-008-30184-2
Publication Date: 19 November 2018
Publisher: HQ Fiction
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher

Michele Campbell has quite an interesting background that ties in beautifully with the novels that she writes. It’s Always the Husband was her debut and a book we featured as a book club read in January 2018.

She Was The Quiet One is another intense suspense that flips from the past to present as we try to piece together the clues that will point us to the perpetrator of a shocking college murder.

Odell is a prestigious school that has housed many wealthy and successful students through it’s long history but the reputation of the school has become a little tarnished by the antics of one particular dorm.

Sarah and Heath have been employed to teach at Odell, as well as be co-dormheads and try to bring the behaviour of residents in that dorm back into line with the philosophy of the school. The wealthy often feel they are above the rules and can get away with things the less well off could not, if all else fails mummy and daddy will buy their way out of trouble.

Sarah and Heath are both graduates of Odell and Heath is honoured to return to his old school as a teacher and hopes to rise through the ranks into a prestigious position at the school.

Bel and Rose are twin sisters whose parents were once students of Odell. They are left orphans after their mother loses her battle with cancer and move in with the paternal grandmother they haven’t seen since the much earlier death of their father. The girls are affected very differently by their mother’s death and they both need different things through their grief.

Rose wanted nothing more than to attend the presitigious Odell Academy where their parents met, but Bel hated the place on site. She would have much preferred to stay with their grandmother and forge a close and supportive relationship. Academics aren’t really her forte but she promises Rose that she will give it her best shot.

Bel manages to get in with the trouble-making crowd from day one and it puts a strain on the relationship with her twin, who just wants to fit in and find somewhere she belongs. Rose has always been the quiet studious one who has tried to look out for the more rebellious Bel.

The sisters join the school when most of the students have cemented their friendships but instead of having them room together they are in separate rooms, on separate floors, of the same dorm. In what’s possibly a little predictable, the girls do not get along with their roommates; they probably should have been in opposite rooms because they got on better with each other’s roommate.

The twins don’t make it through their first year, a murder rips them apart and all the evidence points in one direction. But does mean that’s who did it?

Secrets, lies, betrayals and a mass of hidden agendas mean that there are dark twists throughout and you’re never quite sure who you can trust. This one had twists that just kept coming and I never quite managed to uncover what was really going on and that was something that added to my enjoyment.

She Was The Quiet One was more of a slow burn suspense that kept us guessing because it was all about who the characters were as much as what they got up to.

A gripping read that I quite enjoyed, some sinister character exploration that had me feeling for those who stood by blinkered when they really should have done something, but didn’t allow themselves to really see what was going on.

Michele Campbell is definitely on my must watch list for authors and I look forward to what she comes out with next.

Michele Campbell can be followed on Facebook, Twitter and the Michele Campbell website.

She Was the Quiet One is published by HQ Fiction and is available now from Angus & Robertson, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

Thanks to HQ Fiction 15 of our Beauty and Lace Club members will be reading She Was The Quiet One so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments.

15 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: She Was The Quiet One

  1. She Was The Quiet One is a fantastic read. From the very first page to the last it had me. Michele Campbell is an amazing author.

  2. Michele Campbell’s It’s Always The Husband was a impressive debut novel and thriller so I was keen to see where she decided to go with her sophomore book. And She Was The Quiet one did not disappoint.

    Her latest book is an intense thriller with some dramatic sibling rivalry at its core. There is Bel, a girl who happened to fall in with the bad crowd and Rose, the studious one who always does well academically. They are enrolled in the prestigious Odell Academy in the aftermath of their mother’s death. The school is headed up by two of its alumni, Sarah and Heath, who are also the parents of young children.

    What follows is a deep web of lies and betrayal, as we press on to get to the bottom of a brutal murder.

    Michele Campbell’s thrillers boast clever characterisation and they would appeal to fans of Jan Harper’s work, provided that these readers don’t mind an American college setting, rather than rugged, Australian terrain.

    This is ultimately a gripping read that will keep you guessing.

  3. I thoroughly enjoyed reading “She was The Quiet One “. There are many twists and the plot sustained my interest throughout. Characters were well developed and showed the many faceted human responses to crisis situations. For me, the weaknesses of Heath and grandma make them real and memorable characters evoking certain conflicting emotions as the storyline unfolds. Even the classic ‘bad girls at school’ scenario becomes more than superficially relevant when viewed retrospectively. Congratulations to Michele Campbell for a great novel.

  4. First I would like to say thank you to HQ fiction and Beauty and lace as I have recently joined and this is my first book and review. I appreciate it greatly.

    I have not read Michele Campbell’s previous book but I wish to now as I was gripped by She was the quiet one.

    The twins Rose and Bel, sent to Odell boarding school after their mothers death, were different in every sense. Rose was studying hard while Bel mixed with the wrong crowd from day one which tore the twins apart.

    What followed was an intense story of trust turning to deceit, betrayal and lies. It was written well to keep you guessing the whole way through about who could be trusted and who was behind the murder. Students, Sarah and Heath ( the new teachers at the school) as well as the twins were all mixed up in the gripping tale.

    Right to the very end I was hooked. New years eve was spent in bed finishing this book. Well worth the read.

    Thanks again.

  5. When I was a kid, I loved Enid Blyton books, and in particular, loved the boarding school books. Ah, The Twins at St Claire’s was a particular favourite! I was excited to see Michele Campbell’s new book – twins at a boarding school? Take me back to my Enid Blyton days! Ha! Enid never wrote like THIS!

    Loved this book, and already highly recommending it to anyone who will listen. I spent a couple of days glued to it. The story will keep you guessing and wondering what really matters in relationships, what really is ‘truth’, and how deception can occur. So many layers to this story. And if, like me, you happened to love boarding school stories of the Enid Blyton days, then this is definitely a must read.

    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and HQ Fiction for this book in return for an unbiased review.

  6. Thanks for the opportunity to read ‘She was the Quiet One’ by Michele Campbell! I was excited to read this book as I had really enjoyed her first book, ‘Its always the Husband’, and this just as good.

    The relationship between the twins, Bel and Rose as they navigate the prestigious Odell Academy is so well written. You can feel the tension and the stresses as they settle into the school after the death of their mother and the misunderstandings between them compound.

    The politics of high school, the cool girls and guys and the geeks rings so true, as does the dangers of internet to instantly stream misbehaviour (thanks Snapchat).

    Also the complex relationship of Sarah and Heath Donovan as a married couple and the Dorm heads of Bel and Roses dorm…..and the betrayal, makes for an engrossing read. So much going on in this book – so many layers – you are going to love it.

    Thanks again!

  7. ‘She was the Quiet One’ by Michele Campbell was a great book and Michele is an author I’ll be following.
    Sarah and Heath Donovan, parents of two small children are appointed Dorm Heads of Moreland Hall in the prestigious boarding school Odell Academy.
    Both having been former pupils they are familiar with the school but not experienced in a counselling situation. Heath has his sights set on eventually becoming headmaster.
    Black haired Bel and blone Rose Enright 15 year old twins have been sent to Odell Academy by their wealthy grandmother following the recent death of their mother. Still upset from their loss and not accustomed to fitting in at a school where the pupils are rich it is quite an adjustment.
    Bel is befriended by Darcy who is part of the cool crowd who enjoy bending the rules and this causes problems between the twins, especially as Rose is more studious and quieter.

    This book kept me enthralled to the last page just like a really good book should.
    Thankyou HarperCollins and Beautyandlace for the chance to review.

  8. Michelle Campbell is a first for me, but most certainly not a last. Brilliantly written, as you toggle between past and present to piece together the “who” , this a page turner that had me wanting to cut off my siblings and submerge into the tale of sibling teenage drama of Rose and Bel.

    There is also the complex relationship of Sarah and Heath Donovan, the Dorm masters of the prestigious high school where the past sometimes, isn’t truly The “past”.

    This book has greed, lust, ambition, jealousy and insecurity.
    Be prepared to be engrossed.

  9. Campbell’s first novel was a thriller that relied heavily on an insightful awareness of the nature of friendship and the way people interact; it had an epilogue that delivered an additional kick in the pants. “She Was the Quiet One” follows the same pattern. Campbell understands friendship, sisterhood, and the way people act when they love each other but don’t always like each other. The result is a deeply engrossing novel.

    Rose and Bel, twin sisters who are newly orphaned, are overwhelmed when they start at Odell, one of the most prestigious boarding schools in America. They grew up poor – or close to it – and after their mother’s death, have been taken in by their rich grandmother. Rose revels in the academic opportunities open to her; Bel is more interested in finding a lively social life. Both find the traditions of the school, and expectations and backgrounds of their classmates, intimidating.

    Sarah and Heath both graduated from Odell years ago, and are now back as teachers. Sarah loves to teach; Heath doesn’t, but is ambitious to rise through the ranks to become headmaster. Accordingly, they’ve accepted roles as dorm heads as well as teachers. Sarah is well suited for the role, but uncomfortable with it. Heath is wildly unsuited to it, but blind to his own shortcomings.

    We know from the first page that one of the twins winds up murdered, and the other accused of her death. The novel then reverses six months, to examine what led up to the death. We’re left to guess which twin is dead, and what roles her sister, teachers, and peers might have played. The novel keeps us in suspense, without being obviously manipulative. It examines the way different people might interpret the same incident, how others might view relatively innocent behaviour, and how sometimes, one action snowballs into something unintended.

    For me, the final act became a little overheated, a little too reminiscent of the kind of melodramatic movie where there always has to be shock after shock in the last fifteen minutes. Mind you, Campbell still delivers this with style, and it’s a relatively small blip in an otherwise excellent novel.

    I’d recommend this highly to readers who favour thrillers or crime. Non-genre readers who enjoy good characterisation and a sharp examination of relationships may also enjoy it.

  10. Thank you so much to Beauty and Lace and Harlequin Australia to review She Was The Quiet One. This was my first chance to read a Michele Campbell book and she didn’t disappoint.
    Once I picked the book up I couldn’t put it down.
    It followed the ups and downs of twins who ended up orphaned and were able to go to the same prestigious school their parents did, Odell Academy.
    Amongst the walls of that school were many secrets and disturbing events.
    The twins, Bel and Rose couldn’t be more different and Odell certainly made that even more obvious.
    When the twins arrived so too did a new married couple as the new dorm heads. They also play an integral part in the novel.
    I don’t want to give too much away but Campbell delivered surprise after surprise and twist after twist.
    I highly recommend She Was The Quiet One and can see myself reading it many times over.
    Thank you again.

  11. Thank you for the opportunity to read and review this fantastic book. I originally read It’s Always the Husband in January 2018 and loved this book, so was glad that when I read this book that the story line captured my attention from the start. I actually read most of this book in one day I just could not put it down!

    The story of two now orphaned twins living with their grandmother and attending the family boarding school Odell Academy has many twists and turns. The shift from the present day to the past is enough that the story in between outlines what happened and who was there and who did what to whom without giving it away who the murderer was.

    Michele Campbell writes a compelling story with enough twists and turns to keep you interested without losing the reader. The way the story is written takes the reader on journey and steps them through the events and surroundings from when the twins arrive at the school … until the end….. The story is based on a very believable scenario of rich and pampered students, teachers and old boarding school rules and regulations and the temptations that lie everywhere in between.

    I cannot recommend this book enough and look forward to reading more from this author. Thank you again … it was a great read!

  12. Thank you Beauty and Lace for giving me the opportunity to review She was the Quiet One.
    I thoroughly enjoyed it.
    It is a well written crime story which is easy to read and intriguing to the end.
    I just couldn’t put it down as I was drawn into the story of the orphaned twins and their experiences at the exclusive boarding school.
    She was the quiet One is the first book by Michele Campbell I have read and I look forward to reading more of her novels.

  13. She was the Quiet One was a real page turner! Rose and Bel are orphaned twins sent to live with their grandmother and her lawyer boyfriend after the death of both parents. Rose is so happy when the grandmother sends both girls to boarding school, Odell. The school of only the best. Bel is not so happy as she feels outcast, set aside.
    Bel falls in with the popular crowd, notably Darcy and Tessa’s crew, but she holds a secret crush on new teacher and advisor Mr Heath Donovan, whereas Rose sees Mrs Sarah Donovan (her adviser) as the mother she never had. Friendships and sisterships are strained when Bel has a secret relationship with her teacher.
    Bel is found murdered but who is the murderer? That is the question. Could it be the crowd that gets expelled and holds grudge? The hook up that turns stalkerish? The teacher? Mrs Donovan? Or her sister, Rose?
    Michele Campbell is a must read author or those whom enjoy an easy to read thriller!

  14. She was the Quiet One by Michelle Campbell had me gripped. This is the second of Campbell’s novels telling a suspenseful tale of the Enright twins and their unfortunate, limited time at Odell Academy.

    Throughout the novel, there were continual questions leaving the reader hooked and questioning how the story and characters would unravel. This was a relatively easy read though had plenty of substance to maintain interest.

    Campbell’s next novel will surely be one to look out for.

  15. I loved Michele Campbell’s first book It’s always the husband, so I was very keen to get into this one. I liked how the cover was very similar, it’s great to have a way to recognise further books by Michele just by their pictures as often I forget authors names.

    This book was crafted so well and kept so much mystery running throughout. The blurb and introduction let us know that one of the twins was murdered and one was the main suspect, and you would think the title was a clue, but until about three quarters of the way through it could have gone either way as to who was who!

    The book goes back to exploring the lives of the main characters in the lead up to the murder, and has snippets of police interviews interspersed to keep us guessing. I liked Rose and Sarah, and could connect to these characters, but I didn’t like Bel or Heath and many of their actions.

    The ending of Michele’s first book is one that I really enjoyed as it was thought provoking, full of twists and ended in an interesting way so I was a little disappointed by this one. This ending is quite clear cut and predictable, with not much left the imagination which you may enjoy if you like to finish with all the answers. Overall I did really enjoy this book and will definitely read whatever Michele writes next!

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