Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday
Hartley Featherstone is having one of those days where everything seems to go wrong. When she gets to school she finds that her relationship with boyfriend Josh has been circulating throughout the rumor mill of Herbert Hoover High School. Word in the halls is that Josh cheated on her with head of the chastity club, Courtney.
At first she doesn’t readily believe the rumors. But when she finds an empty condom wrapper buried deep between books and jock straps, but not deep enough to dig out, she knows in her heart of hearts that the rumors were right.
Hurt and embarrassed, Hartley enlists best friend Sam to confront boyfriend, or rather ex-boyfriend Josh. But when they break into Josh’s house they don’t find Josh. Instead, they find Courtney – dead in Josh’s closet.
From the apparent evidence all fingers point to Josh. But Hartley knows that he didn’t, wouldn’t, couldn’t do such a thing. Cheating on her was one thing, killing someone was entirely something else. So when Josh reaches out to her, she takes the biggest risk, and decides to help prove his innocence.
But if Josh is really innocent, how many people will have to die to prove it?
Deadly Cool written by author Gemma Halliday is a fast paced read that mystery and non-mystery fans will flock to. Not only is it full of foreboding mystery (obviously), but there’s quick and catchy dialog, characters that are believable, and even the slightest spark of a charming romance.
Now I’ve only read a few mysteries in my reading lifetime, but Deadly cool seemed like it wasn’t your typical mystery. Sure there were twists and turns, chapter endings that won’t just leave readers hanging from a metaphorical cliff but will leave them slack-jawed, and some genuinely creepy moments. So what makes this mystery so atypical? For one thing there was a certain lightness to it. It has some real laugh out loud moments. For example when main character Hartley finds herself squeezed tightly under hottie Chases’s bed – while he’s undressing.
Secondly, main character Hartley is charming . She’s smart, sometimes snarky, and an all time terrible liar, which makes for some real life blunders. Hartley is very reminiscent of famed girl detective Nancy Drew. She has a real knack of solving the case while getting herself into some hot water situations.
Halliday’s writing is strong and engaging. By the time readers reach the end, they’ll be craving more. And luckily, there’s another Hartley filled murder mystery on the horizon (Social Suicide, Book 2 of the Deadly Cool Series comes out April 2012). It doesn’t really matter if you are or aren’t a mystery fan/reader, all that matters is that there is something with in Deadly Cool’s* pages that readers will genuinely love.