Review – Red Leaves – Paullina Simons

 Four friends at an Ivy League college – one is found dead, frozen in the snow, having lain there for nine days – her disappearance is somehow overlooked by her bosom buddies.  Spencer O’Malley, local police detective, is assigned to the case and is soon drawn into the web of deceit and secrets which ties the four students together.  Further complications arise when it turns out that Spencer knew the victim.

In this, Simons’ second novel, she creates a tight and suspenseful thriller peopled with mostly unsympathetic characters who lead elitist, over-privileged lives.  Indeed, Spencer is possibly the only potentially likeable character although he sometimes strayed into cliched cop territory and did eventually grate on me!

Overall, I enjoyed Red Leaves – I loved the college setting and the tight knit group of friends reminded me of the characters of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, one of my all time favourite novels.   The pace is a bit laboured and slow at the start but I found the second half gripping.  I’ m looking forward to reading more from this author.

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  1. Stephanie says:

    This sounds really good. I am a big fan of The Secret History, so I will definitely keep this one in mind, Love the cover!

  2. admin says:

    I didn’t find it as gripping as The Secret History, Stephanie but overall it was a good read. I really love university settings in novels especially when the students have dark secrets! ;-)

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