Title: The Flower Girls
Author: Alice Clark-Platts
Publisher: Raven Books
YOU’LL NEVER FORGET THE FLOWER GIRLS
The Flower Girls. Laurel and Primrose.
One convicted of murder, the other given a new identity.
Now, nineteen years later, another child has gone missing.
And The Flower Girls are about to hit the headlines all over again…
The Flower Girls is an intriguing read and one which had the added bonus of being sharp and super stylish, too. I loved Alice’s writing and felt that the story flowed at just the right pace, with plenty of intrigue but never feeling rushed.
The characters within the novel are excellent because I felt like they could be real people, and this is a testament to Alice Clark-Platts’s writing – realistic, measured and not too ‘black and white’ in terms of one character shown as ‘good’ and one shown as ‘bad’… despite the subject matter being shocking and very much out-of-the-ordinary. The plot centers on Hazel, whose sister Laurel is in prison for a crime that stretches back to the 90’s, when they were children and went on to abduct and kill a young girl, called Kirstie. Although she was deemed too young to be culpable and therefore to stand trial for the crime, Hazel’s life (and those of her parents) has still been turned upside down by her sister’s conviction and prison sentence, as they all had to go into witness protection. Now she’s getting on, under her new identity, until a child goes missing at the hotel they’re staying at and she panics that this could reveal her true identity.
I really liked that there were the two, seemingly separate, storylines. I did guess one of the twists but then found myself surprised again and again, so it’s certainly not a ‘predicable’ read, and there are plenty of important themes and messages presented throughout the story. The novel made me think about the treatment of people who commit crimes as kids – just because someone is 10 years old, does that make them able to stand trial for murder when a 6 year old cannot? Should either of them have been properly charged? It’s a difficult subject and one which I found fascinating to read about.
The various timeframes, which hopped between present day and back when the crime first occurred, were so interesting. I loved that there was an additional crime which may or may not be linked with the original case, and that we got other points of view too, from characters including a journalist and Joanna, the aunt of the little girl who was killed . This all adds up to a fascinating and atmospheric read which I’d really recommend.
Many thanks to Raven Books for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.
The Flower Girls is out on 24th January.