At first we’re introduced to Rain, a girl with a hole in the top of her mouth that means for a lot of her life, she couldn’t talk properly. Couldn’t pronounce her s’s or t’s. Got picked on a lot at school for being the girl who spoke like a three year old. And the only person who gave her the chance to be herself? Who tried to get her to speak up and not be scared to talk? Party girl, Wendy Geller, who made a game of sleeping with the boyfriends of girls who pissed her off.
The book is heart breaking and hope inducing and beautiful all in one. When Wendy is killed, she and Rain aren’t so close anymore. You know how it is. Friends start to realise they actually don’t have much in common anymore. But her death still rocks Rain, and when it’s all people can do to slander Wendy’s name, Rain decides to finally speak up.
There were a lot of characters to remember and interact with throughout the novel. And Fredericks does a fantastic job in developing each secondary character so we remember who they are even fifty or so pages after they were first mentioned. Though the story is told in present tense, day by day as the police investigation goes on, we’re thrown back in time every so often to get a real look at the characters we’re dealing with. There’s much mystery around the killer, and just when I think I know who it is, I’m thrown a new clue that ruins everything.
Towards the middle, I was totally invested in finding out who the killer was. I wasn’t disappointed, although when Rain confronts them, I did long for a more…dramatic show down I guess. Because everything else was so honest, I expected a hugely honest and raw scene of revelations. It slightly lacked there for me.
But all in all I very much enjoyed this book. I’m liking thrillers more and more, and the whole ‘whodunnit’ aspect of this novel was definitely done well and realistically. It was fun piecing the clues together, and Rain was a smart character that made her own decisions and thoughts while at the same time learning that if you have something to say, you should speak up and say it.
4 out of 5 stars. I recommend The Girl in the Park to anyone who enjoys a good murder mystery.