Publisher: Kensington Books, Kensington
Date of publication: April 30th, 2019
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Where you can find Pray for the Girl: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub
Joseph Souza, acclaimed author of The Neighbor, brings readers into the dark heart of a small town in this riveting, relentlessly twisting new novel . . .
Lucy Abbott never pictured herself coming back to Fawn Grove, Maine. Yet after serving time in Afghanistan, then years spent as a sous chef in New York, she’s realized her only hope of moving on from the past involves facing it again. But Fawn Grove, like Lucy herself, has changed.
Lucy’s sister, Wendy, is eager to help her adapt, almost stifling her with concern. At the local diner, Lucy is an exotic curiosity–much like the refugees who’ve arrived in recent years. When a fifteen-year-old Muslim girl is found murdered along the banks of the river, difficult memories of Lucy’s time overseas come flooding back and she feels an automatic connection. At first glance, the tragedy looks like an honor killing. But the more Lucy learns about her old hometown, the less certain that seems.
There is menace and hostility here, clothed in neighborly smiles and a veneer of comfort. And when another teen is found dead in a cornfield, his throat slit, Lucy–who knows something about hiding secrets–must confront a truth more brutal than she could have imagined, in the last place she expected it . . .
Mystery and thrillers have always had an enormous appeal for me. I love reading a book that makes my heart race. I also love reading a book where I have to figure out who the bad guy is. Of course, I have read duds, but it comes with the territory when you read as much as I do.
Pray for the Girl takes place in the fictional city of Fawn Grove, Maine. Lucy, a disabled veteran, has gone back to confront and make peace with her past. Soon after her arrival, Lucy gets caught up in the murder of a young Muslim girl. Investigating on her own, Lucy finds out that her hometown is not what she remembered. Secrets are many in Fawn Grove, and Lucy has her own. Who killed that girl? Why? The truth will be stunning.
I got caught up in Pray for the Girl’s main plotline. It was well written. I will say that the book is slow to start. But, it was laying the groundwork for the rest of the book. After the first couple of chapters, the book is on fire and doesn’t stop. I couldn’t put it down.
There was a massive twist in the middle of the book. I was not prepared for it. Not. At. All. After I got over my initial shock, I loved it. So much made sense when I looked back in the first half of the book. I do wish that it had been revealed a tad bit sooner. But then certain scenes wouldn’t have played out the way they did.
Lucy was one of my favorite characters, ever. She had my sympathy because of what happened to her. I liked that the author didn’t hold back when it came to her PTSD. Instead of glossing it over, he chose to go into detail about what Lucy went through daily. Being back in such a toxic town such as Fawn’s Grove didn’t help her either. I was a little surprised when she took it upon herself to look into the death of the Muslim girl. I didn’t understand why she took such an interest in that girl’s death. But, everything was explained around the same time the twist in the plot was revealed. Then it made perfect sense.
The end of the book was fast paced. There was a point where I had to stop and reread paragraphs to digest the information that was given. The very end of the book threw me for a loop. I am wondering if the author is setting up for another book involving Lucy? I hope so. That would be a book that I would love to read.
I would give Pray for the Girl and Adult rating. There is not sex (but there are mentions of sexual situations). There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.
I would reread Pray for the Girl. I would also recommend this book to family and friends
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**
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3 thoughts on “Pray for the Girl by Joseph Souza”
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Wonderful review Jolie. This one sounds very good and very timely as well.
Thank you Carla. It was a very good read. And the twist. Took me by surprise (if you couldn’t get that from the review…lol)