Cover Image: The July Girls

The July Girls

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Member Reviews

Please note that this book is not for me - I have read the book, However I had to DNF and because i do not like to give negative reviews I will not review this book fully - there is no specific reason for not liking this book. I found it a struggle to read and did not enjoy trying to force myself to read this book.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused and thank you for the opportunity to read this book
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Thoroughly enjoyed this book, particularly the narration. Addie's point-of-view, first as a 10-year-old, and slowly getting older, finally 18 or 19, was really well done. Her voice came across as so very authentic, particularly when her OCD started to take hold. Even though I initially struggled with the timeline, particularly as the story moved between Addie's viewpoint and Laurie's book, but it all came together eventually. The ending wasn't a huge surprise, but this is one of those books you read for the sheer joy of reading.

(Review copy from NetGalley)
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I received a copy of this ebook from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was drawn to this book because of the premise on the cover: Every year, on the same night in July, a woman is taken from the streets of London. I was immediately intrigued to know why this happened, why the date was significant and how many missing girls it would take before the perpetrator was caught.

The story starts off gently, about the lives of siblings Addie and Jessie who live with their Dad, and you don’t even realise how it’s pulling you in. As events started to unfold, I found it really difficult to put this book down for any length of time. The story is told from Addie’s perspective, she is nine at the start. I really liked how the whole story is given from her POV and told over a straight linear timeline, it was really fresh and original compared with the format of multiple POVs and timepoints which many thrillers follow. The story covers a long time-period so towards the end, Addie’s point of view is that of a teenager, with the greater understanding that a teenager has.

What I liked best was the way the story progressed (never dull despite spanning many years), that true London events occurred (making the story feel more real), the character development (especially the sweet friendship between Addie and Jessie’s boyfriend). What I liked less was the solely positive interaction between the sisters (not one argument, not one time that Jessie lost patience) and the fact that new information was introduced late in the story (made the ending feel slightly rushed after 'years' of build up, and the reader slightly cheated as it wasn’t a revelation which could be anticipated). Overall though, a good thrilling read with an original plotline and some really chilling moments.
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This is my first read by Phoebe Locke and what a first! This book is a sort of coming of age story but it’s also a psychological serial killer thriller all rolled into one, and it’s excellent.

The story follows a young girl, Addison, through childhood and into early adulthood, as she lives and contends with the idea her Dad might be a killer.

The story is told over a number of years, when a serial killer is active and killing a girl every July 7th. It follows Addison trials and tribulations. 

Interspersed with excerpts from a book written in the future about the serial killer, these little excerpts add depth and twists to the cracking story,

I found the pacing almost perfect, never really racing but never slow, constantly keeping my interest as I just wanted to get to the bottom of the mystery.

Addison is a wonderful character, and this book was beautiful but also Harrowing and upsetting at times, but still there was always hopeful Addison.

Highly Recommended 

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Thanks to Headline/Wildlife and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Facepaced and absorbing, I was completely engaged by this book.
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Thanks to Headline/Wildlife and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

'The July Girls' deserves all the plaudits it receives and more. This astonishingly compelling novel should be read by all lovers of crime fiction, bar none. Compared to other novels of its type, this is a rare gem. It is just a shame that I cannot give Phoebe Locke's epic thriller more than the puny 5 stars that is the maximum allowed. This book gets under your skin from the off. Though the original plot has much to do with this, it is the pitch-perfect dialogue and wonderfully realised characterisation of the main protagonists that truly enraptures the reader. Addie, in particular, a precocious latch-key kid with a strong moral imperative, carries the burden of the narrative with breathtaking realism and considerable aplomb. When Addie finds a purse belonging to a missing woman in her fathers bedroom, she considers the possibility that he could be the serial killer nicknamed 'Magpie'. Magpie abducts and kills a woman on the 7th July every year, this is also the date of Addie's birthday. The first crime occurs amongst the carnage of the 7/7 attacks, when coincidentally Addie's father comes home covered in blood. Other strands include sister Jessie's relationship with Lex, the husband of the missing woman whose purse was found in the home of Jessie and Addie's father. There is much more to come, and Addie is the cipher for the twist and turns to come. Occams razor cannot be applied to this story, however, with the many intricacies in the plot defying any hint of predictability. Taut and crisp, oozing in tension, with a menacing resonance occupying every inch of the page, 'The July Girls' is a must-read for 2020.
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When Addie is ten the 7/7 bombers bring destruction to London and her father comes home covered in blood.  Her sister tells her not to worry but a murdered woman's purse is in their flat.  Every year on Addie's birthday a woman disappears and Addie suspects her father.  Soon the police suspect him and he flees, living Addie to live with her sister.  Her sister however is working for the husband of a victim and, as Addie grows older, she realises that there is more to the tale.
In many respects this is a great summer read.  It races along at a great pace and there is the innocence of Addie to contrast with the terror of life in the big city.  However it asks a lot of the reader in terms of great gaps in the plot which is frustrating as I think Locke is potentially a good writer of this sort of novel.
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It's very rare to find a book that ticks all the boxes, but The July Girls is one of them. Suspenseful and absorbing with a perfect pace, I absolutely devoured this book. 

Bonus points for Locke being able to firmly centre the story in its setting without making the book entirely about one event or another - something I've always enjoyed and try to do in my own books - by including the 7/7 bombings and the 2011 riots.
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Gosh, what a fantastic  book!  This coming of age story drew me in from the very beginning and kept my interest throughout. 

Addie lives with her father and sister Jessie and she is the narrative voice in this novel. The story begins when Addie is ten years old and spans the next decade. Set in Brixton, London, it tells the story of the two sisters, raising themselves more or less alone and their lives become unwittingly entangled with that of a seemingly untouchable serial killer. Every year, on the same day in July, the killer, dubbed the ‘Magpie’, takes another girl’s life and then sends back an item of her jewellery to taunt the detectives trying to catch the said killer.

For most novels, this would be plenty to be getting on with. Yet here, this is merely the backdrop against which a far more moving and engaging story also unfolds. With multiple timelines, this was a very well constructed story with brilliant characterisation. I think the fact that Addie was narrating the story made it more believable.  The book maintained a high suspense level throughout and there were twists and turns towards the end that I didn't envisage. The plot itself was intricate and kept me ineffectively guessing.

 'The July Girls' is exactly what I yearn for in a crime novel.  A fast-paced story that’s so immersive and finely crafted I forget I’m reading and end up feeling as though I’ve just lived through it. 

Phoebe Locke is a new-to-me author and I fully intend to read 'The Tall Man'.  

I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel, at my own request, from Headline via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion
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The July Girls is wonderfully narrated by Addie the youngest for two sisters living with their father. Growing up with an absent mother and a short tempered father, Addie is mostly raised by her older sister.   The story centres around Addie and the fact that on her birthday in July every year a girl appears to be being murdered by a serial killer. But what is the connection to these murders  for Abbie and her family ? 

Just when I thought I knew what was going to happen next in The July Girls I was wrong. If you’re a fan of Belinda Bauers Snap then give this book a go and find out the connection between Addie and the murdered girls.
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I read The Tall Man by Phoebe Locke when it first came out and I absolutely loved it, so my expectations for The July Girls were high, and I’m pleased to say those expectations were met – and then some. The story follows Addie and her sister Jessie, whose mercurial and changeable father is keeping secrets. There is also a serial killer stalking London and killing a girl every July 7th. I really don’t want to give much away but lets just say things develop in a twisty and sinister way.

One of the things that Locke does so well is atmosphere. Right from the very beginning of The July Girls I could feel a creeping sense of unease. There is an unsettling atmosphere thats seeps off the pages and will get into the readers mind. Additionally, Addie is an intriguing character to follow. I loved the evidently strong bond between her and her sister, who has in reality been more of a mother figure. Their relationship is the heart of the  book and I thought it felt authentic and complex. Another thing I loved about Addie was her love for reading. It made me instantly feel a connection to her and I’m sure most book lovers will feel the same. The development of Addie’s character as she grows up and begins to uncover some deeply sinister truths was consistently compelling.

The July Girls is constructed in a different way to most thrillers. This genre can occasionally feel predictable in some ways but this book doesn’t fall into that trap. I felt on edge the entire time I was reading and I genuinely couldn’t guess the direction the book would take. A couple of twists really took me by surprise and Locke did a great job weaving in the very real 7/7 London attacks which makes the story hit home just a little harder.

The July Girls is an unusual and well written psychological thriller which I think will resonate with many readers. I adore the way Locke creates real tension through her writing and I thoroughly recommend giving this book a go!
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Oohh, this was really enjoyable, you really get into the girl's lives very swiftly and feel for them, Jessie is a great character and you do feel the weight on her. 
I would recommend this book, it sped along, was intriging and human, and had a good air of mystery.
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The story is told through the eyes of ten year old Addi.  I feel that this was more of a young adult novel than a crime thriller. 

However, that is not a criticism because I love young adult! 

This story was full of twists and turns and I found it hard to put down. 

I loved this.
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The July Girls is a multi timeline story which revolves around an anniversary, 7th July which is Addie's birthday but as she later discovers this date has another sinister part to play. Due to her mother no longer being around Addie is often left home alone but on the night of her 10th birthday, the day of the London tube and bus bombings in 2005, she is frantically trying to contact her older sister Jessie who hasn't come home when her dad, a cabbie, arrives home earlier than expected covered in blood. A subsequent discovery makes her doubt his story and the actions of her sister bring them into contact with the family of a missing woman.

Addie as a narrator was older than her years, circumstances have forced her to be, but at the same time she had a childlike naivety about her and even when things started taking a particular turn she didn't want to believe that anyone she loved could be keeping things secret from her or be responsible for these horrific events. Jessie too had to grow up much quicker than she should have, as a teenager she should be out enjoying herself, but instead she had to step into the mother role to look after Addie since her mother disappeared.

This isn't a fast paced story by any means but yet you can't help be drawn into the drama as we follow Addie over the years as she grows into a strong, independent young woman who isn't afraid to speak out when the time comes even if it means putting herself into danger. It's an intriguing story featuring a fractured family at the heart of it with a menacing undertone, as I was reading I found myself wanting to know the answers to certain questions so much so that I ended up reading the book in two sittings. I was glad that I was proved right in my assumptions with regards to one strand of the storyline, but yet didn't figure it out wholly, but was totally caught off guard with another aspect which is testament to the writing skill of the author.

I can't really say much more about The July Girls without giving away any spoilers, but it's fair to say that I've now added another new author to my list so will now have to find the time to read her previous books at some point in the future.
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This was a gripping, atmospheric read set in London. I was a big fan of Phoebe Locke's previous novel too. This one wasn't as creepy but I felt for the two girls on their own, managing without their father - and trying to figure out really happened all those years ago, and how they end up caught in a web of lies. The ending was very tense and I was practically yelling at the book "Nooooooooooo don't go in there!!!!" as if I was watching a horror film! A good solid read.
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I preferred this book to the author's first.  This is a really gripping read and kept me hooked.  I really enjoyed it, can't wait for her next one.
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On Addie’s 10th Birthday, her sister Jessie is supposed to take her for pizza, but she’s late… not sleeping, Addie here’s her dad come home, he smells meaty! He has blood on his clothes too….

She later finds out there has been a terrorist attack on the tube… this where the blood came from….?

Each year on 7 July a woman goes missing, the police finally link these disappearances, but they have no leads…..yet!

Jessie and Addie find a missing woman’s purse in their father’s room …scared what will happen to them if he leaves, they decide to keep it a secret….so many secrets!

The tale is told from Addie’s perspective, with a few small asides by the Magpie and snippets of real events over the years, the various terror attacks in London which build the atmosphere. 

As the story continues, we see Addie grow from a 10 year old to a young adult, with the Magpie in the background all the time….there is an ever present feeling of menace, like something seen in the corner of your eye, building until the marvellously twisty and surprising ending. Original and compelling, definitely one of my favourites this year.

Thank you to The Author, The Publishers and NetGalley  for the opportunity to read The July Girls and for a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.
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I absolutely loved The Tall Man so I was very excited to have a chance to read more from this author. The July Girls is another fantastic, atmospheric and gripping read that was almost impossible to put down.

Firstly I loved that the author set this at the start of the 21st Century and all the terrible things that happened in London around that time. These are events that I clearly remember and I felt this set the atmosphere nicely as it describes an unsettled London where you felt anything could happen.

Addie is a fantastic main character and a great narrator for the book. The fact that she’s only ten years old adds a slight edge to the story as we see everything through her eyes. I found I felt quite protective of her from the start and wanted to keep reading to make sure she was ok. The first part of the book could almost be described as ‘coming of age’ as Addie learns a few hard truths about the world and that not everyone will tell the truth. Her relationship with her sister was great to read about and I enjoyed reading about their close, caring relationship. Addie has had a bit of a neglected childhood by all accounts and so it was great to see her being cared for.

I thought this was a well paced, gripping book with lots happening to keep the reader’s interest. There are lots of twists to the story that kept me firmly on my toes as I tried to guess what was happening and whether Addie’s theories are right. This book is very well written and I felt I could felt I could feel Addie’s and London’s anxiety and fear which helped create a very atmospheric read. I flew through this book whilst on holiday and think it will be a great summer read to enjoy in the sun this summer.

Huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Headline for my copy of this book.
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I loved this book, it was super entertaining, and perfect summer read :) 
It was a little slow to get into, but then the pace picked up and became very exciting. The story is over a time period of 10 years. The main character Addie is very likeable. 
It was a really good thriller, full of secrets, twists and turns. It had really good characterisation as a bonus. So, I'd highly recommend it. 
Thanks a lot Netgalley and the publisher for this copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Once I picked this book up I just couldn't put it down and read it in just over a day. The story is set in London against a background of real life events at the time including 7/7 London bombings and the riots of 2011.

Addie is celebrating her 10th birthday on 7th July and it's the date the first woman goes missing. Her family presume she's been caught up in the tube bombings. Some time later Jessie and Addie go to the Emerson's house on some pretence and Jessie integrates herself into the lives of the missing woman's husband and child, for reasons that aren't clear at the time.

Addie saw something she wish she hadn't on her 10th birthday and can't get it out of her mind. Her sister, Jessie who works part-time at the wig shop with Laine looks after her like a mum, since their mum moved abroad and encourages her to forget it.  

Another woman goes missing the next year on the 7th July and then the next... The police are looking closely to see if there are any connections. They find out Addie's been receiving something on her birthday from the man they believe can help with their enquiries.

I had of course accepted who the Magpie was for the story to head off on another curveball. A twisty read which I enjoyed (and I never saw that ending coming!)
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