The Innocents by Nette Hilton
Woolshed Press, 2010. ISBN 9781864718744.
Best suited for: 12+. Recommended. Missie Missinger is a normal girl growing up in 1950's Australia. When tragedy hits her town, they call it an accident. But as more accidents happen, the frightened locals start looking for an answer, and find an easy target. Can Missie piece together the truth in time to save an innocent friend? And if she ever finds out the real killer, will she ever be able to confront them without putting herself, and those around her, in danger?
This book was interesting in different ways. The story flowed well, but it was unusual because the murders took place over a span of three or four years, unlike some stories when the murders happen within a few days of each other. This meant that most of the story was based around Missie growing up.
Although some readers might find parts of this novel boring, such as when the author is simply writing about Missie's normal life, I found it fascinating. It was described with such sensitivity to Missie's world and everything she thought that I could sense how well the author had adapted herself to that particular setting.
I liked the characters; in particular Oleksander. He was a really good character and it was interesting reading his story.
One of the few bad things is that it was a bit too long to gain a stable amount of interest for occasional readers. It would be a good length for advanced readers though.
While not one of the best books I have ever read, it was still enjoyable. Slightly less violent than most murder-mystery novels, but just as suspenseful, it would still be a good read for those who enjoy this particular genre.
I recommend this book.
Rebecca Adams (Student)