A review of Cry Blue Murder by Kim Kane and Marion Roberts

Reviewed by Lorraine Dobbie

Cry Blue Murder
by Kim Kane and Marion Roberts
University of Queensland Press
24 April, 2013, 240pages, ISBN: 978 0 7022 3926

Cry Blue Murder is a crime thriller written for the YA audience but guaranteed to satisfy any  adult reader who enjoys a tense, chilling psychological novel.

A blanket of fear hangs over the city of Melbourne, when the Herald newspaper publishes a Missing Persons poster announcing the disappearance of Hallie Knight, a Year 9 student from one of the city’s prestigious private schools. The disappearance is believed to be connected to the unsolved murders of two other schoolgirls whose bodies, tinged with blue, were discovered wrapped in cocoon-like handwoven shrouds.

Posting to the online memorial page for the missing girl, Celia and Alice commence an on-going correspondence where they confide their most intimate thoughts and fears, exchange stories of the peculiarities and the antics of their slightly dysfunctional families and publish their poems.  Celia is a city schoolgirl and a peer of the missing girl. Alice is at an exclusive private school in country Victoria and each finds solace in sharing their personal feelings and fears with each other.

Unique in its telling, the story unfolds as a series of legal documents, police interviews and statements, pathology reports and the e-mail correspondence between the two Year 9 private school students.  From within these Police investigation reports and statements, clues are unlocked and our suspicions focus upon a particular suspect who is a member of the school community. Another interview and the focus of guilt changes again.

A cautionary tale, about friendship and trust and the murky side of the social media landscape.  Highly recommended for 13 years +

About the reviewer: Lorraine Dobbie works as a teacher/librarian in the Independent Learning Centre of a leading private Girls High School in Sydney, Australia. In this role she teaches Research Skills and Literature appreciation. She has had a Literature unit of work published for teachers which used a novel study as a vehicle to teach Asian Studies in the English classroom. Her passion is to instil a love of reading to the students in her classes through the promotion of quality novels. She is a regular reviewer for Fiction Focus, an Australian magazine which is published by the Western Australia Dept. of Education. A recent book she reviewed, The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte by Syrie James inspired her to create a book trailer about that novel as a tribute to the Brontes. http://www.syriejames.com/videos.php. She aspires to be a professional book editor/reviewer/trailer creator.