Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.
NOTE: I was provided with an ARC of this book from the publisher and author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much, Lori and Seventh Street Books!!
Last year I read and LOVED Lori Rader-Day’s debut novel The Black Hour (which I reviewed over on WatchPlayRead), so when Lori said she would send me an ARC of Little Pretty Things, I was SO excited! Lori’s second novel was just as thrilling, suspenseful, and well-written as her first.
I was immediately drawn into Juliet’s world – her job as a cleaning lady in a dive hotel in a small town, her compulsive desire to take the “little pretty things” left behind by her customers, her friendship with Lu, the slightly older Mexican woman who cleans at the hotel too, and her decade-old, but not forgotten rivalry with her best friend from high school, Maddy. Juliet and Maddy haven’t spoken in ten years, but Juliet hasn’t forgotten always trailing behind Maddy during all their track races, so when Maddy comes into town, Juliet brushes her off. But then Maddy gets murdered, Juliet is a suspect, and a lot of secrets come to light.
I am a big fan of books with flawed, far from perfect characters. They feel more human and more believable to me. This is a big reason in why I loved Little Pretty Things so much; Juliet is pretty messed up, she struggles with her compulsions, with her relationships, with her future, and I found myself rooting for her the whole time. She was stronger and more independent than she thought, and I liked seeing her realize who she could be. All of the characters in the book had their own problems and were all well-rounded and three-dimensional. I especially enjoyed the friendship between Juliet and Lu.
Lori did a great job at subtly hinting at who the real murderer was. I will say that I figured out who the murderer was pretty early on (I read and watch a lot of crime fiction), but it did not hinder my enjoyment of the story in the least. In fact, I was on the edge of my seat, racing through the book to see everyone figure it out. Lori does suspense SO well with pacing that reminded me of Maddy’s and Juliet’s races, fast and powerful.
The bottom line: While the story revolves around murder, this is a story of self-discovery and it questions how much our past can affect and shape us. It’s full of flawed, interesting, human characters that will pull you into the story immediately. Little Pretty Things is the best kind of mystery, and it’s not one you want to miss.
Rating: 8 – freaking fantastic