Review: Dead Time by Anne Cassidy


Title: Dead Time {The Murder Notebooks #1}

Author: Anne Cassidy

Published: Bloomsbury June 2012

Synopsis: Rose and Joshua first met when Joshua and his dad came to live with Rose and her mum. Then their world turns upside down when their mother and father go out for dinner one evening and never return. With police inquiries going nowhere, Rose is dispatched to live with her chilly, unfriendly grandmother and Joshua is sent to live with his uncle. Then Joshua comes to London to study and Rose is witness to not one, but two murders. Why is this happening to Rose? Can it be anything to do with the investigations Joshua has been doing into the disappearance of their parents?

Status: Read from June 07 to 08, 2012 β€” I own a copy {Courtesy Bloomsbury ANZ}

My Thoughts:

Book One of a new young adult mystery series, Dead Time is set in London featuring common law step siblings Rose and Joshua. Five years ago, Rose’s mother and Josh’s went out to dinner and never returned. Separated, Rose and Joshua have had little contact in that time but now Josh is in London attending university where Rose lives with her grandmother and attends college but renewing their relationship is proving complicated. While Rose accepted the official explanation for her mothers death, Josh has never stopped trying to trace their last movements and his continued investigation opens old wounds for Rose. When Rose unknowingly witnesses the murder of a college classmate she becomes embroiled in a mystery that only deepens when another murder occurs. Lacking confidence in the police after her own experiences Rose is determined to find the killer of her classmates, only to discover a link to the mystery of her own parents disappearance.

Tagged The Murder Notebooks, Dead Time features two murders in which Rose becomes involved first as a witness and then as an amateur sleuth as she grows frustrated with the lack of progress by police. I really liked how Cassidy handled these two separate but related cases, there are interesting misdirects and twists that are credible and they resolve satisfactorily. With the help of Joshua and his flat mate Skeggsie, Rose slowly puts the pieces together to solve the murder of Emma but not without making some foolish mistakes that may allow the murderer to get away with it.
The fate of Kathy, Rose’s mother, and Brendan, Joshua’s father will obviously be the mystery that runs through the series. It’s an interesting one and some progress is made throughout the book but its clear there won’t be answers any time soon.
While I thought the plot of Dead Time strong and intriguing, I am not very fond of Rose and it impacted on my enjoyment of the novel. Her history affords he some leeway but her manner is abrupt, she is antagonist towards everyone and I had to keep reminding myself she is seventeen because her behaviour is more like a petulant and spoiled fourteen year old. I wasn’t entirely convinced that Rose would care enough to involve herself in Emma’s murder and her choice to not share major evidence with the police was frustrating. Though Rose does suffer some consequences for her decision, which I was glad of, when she chose to do the same thing a second time I lost patience with her.
Luckily I found Joshua much more likeable, he is far more easygoing than Rose, despite his obsession with his fathers disappearance. I hope that he has a larger role in upcoming sequels. Josh’s flatmate Skeggsie also is a surprisingly strong character. I liked that he refused to put up with Rose’s attitude and that he has a practical and supportive role throughout the story rather than be relegated to a convenience.

Apart from the likes of Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew, I don’t remember any young adult mysteries being available when I was a teenager so I appreciate that the mystery genre is finding a place in today’s market. While I didn’t enjoy Dead Time as much as I hoped, mainly because of Rose’s abrasive character, the series does have potential and I hope Anne Cassidy builds it successfully.

Available To Purchase

@Allen & Unwin I @BoomerangBooks I @Booktopia

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Margaret Lynette Sharp
    Jun 09, 2012 @ 17:45:44

    Your comments bear out the importance of readers liking and caring about the book’s characters, just as we are most engaged and interested in those we like and love in real life.



  2. Rachelle Lerner
    Jun 10, 2012 @ 05:29:58

    I guess you did not have Judy Bolton, Connie Blair, or Dana Girls to read. I love mysteries especially those by women.



  3. Ashley Prince
    Jun 10, 2012 @ 08:16:30

    This sounds really good. I am always open for a mystery. Great review. πŸ˜€



  4. Amritorupa Kanjilal
    Jun 12, 2012 @ 22:59:04

    The mystery sounds intriguing, but I’m with you. if the protagonist doesn’t appeal to me, the reading experience is lessened.



  5. Stephanie @ Read in a Single Sitting
    Jun 23, 2012 @ 16:26:14

    I really struggled to get through this one, to be honest. It just felt so slow, and I really found it hard to connect with Rose. Not my thing, I’m afraid!



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