There’s a new boy at the school for gifted musicians in Suffolk, Edmund, the small, quiet, home schooled cello prodigy.
Everybody’s very excited to have him there, not least the boy himself who’s finally getting to taste a little of the real teenage life which has been denied him for so long. Harriet, his teacher is keen to take him under her wing too, to bring him on, while Edmund’s mother Imogen is a little less keen on this new relationship. But what about Justine, the pretty and talented teenage musician who Edmund will displace at the concert? What does she think about his arrival and what does Edmund think of her, in her emerald green concert dress, her face prickled with tears?
These are the questions asked by Steph Grant, an ex-copper, now school administrator who just happens to be starting at the college at the same time as Justine’s body is discovered slumped over the piano.
Who did it? Who wanted her dead and why?
Steph’s old boss Hale is the investigating officer, but ropes Steph in to help. With her ability to ask the right questions, peek around the right doors and listen into the right conversations she’s best placed to investigate. But as the danger mounts, so do the bodies and Steph finds herself in a race against time to find out who is killing off Edmund’s rivals.
She knows a lot but what doesn’t she know?
Thanks to Edmund’s budding interest in composing, not just music but also his autobiography, the reader is privy to the fascinating interiority of the teenage boy. Think, less Adrian Mole, more American Giglio!
If Steph only knew!
Will she get her hands on the information in time?
You’ll have to read it to find out.
This is Lin Le Versha’s debut novel, but you’d be forgiven for thinking she’s an old hand at this. She’s devised a clever story, full of intrigue, with well-developed characters, some of whom you’ll love to hate and a very believable school environment, full of the petty competitiveness, the ineffective self-important types, plus a murderer! It’s cosy but not too cosy.
But most importantly, Le Versha’s has found an ingenious and entertaining way to tell the story, the two points of view between Steph and Edmund, create a real puzzle for the reader to devour, like a cunning Venn Diagram, where the truth lies somewhere in the middle, and it will keep you guessing and gasping till the very end.
ARC copy of ‘Blood Notes’ by Lin Le Versha received from Hobeck Books in return for my honest review.