Author: Michele Campbell
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.
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.