'Oh, it's not a shock... it's not a shock in the slightest... because I'm the one who killed her.'
Welcome to Durham, home to the prestigious Durham University. Within this university are a range of colleges but the one that homes the country's future elite is Joyce College. On the outside it looks innocent as ever, with students working hard to ensure they graduate and are offered positions in their fields. However, a culture of secrets, sex, jealousy and unhealthy obsession is embedded within the college. It's become a way of life for the close-knit students. The young women of the college want to show their strength and stand in unity with feminism by showing they can do the same as men, but it is the devastating effect of the Internet that breeds a new beast of bullying--a beast that leads to death.
Detective Inspector Erica Martin has recently been promoted and her first case surrounds the death of Emily Brabents, a 'fresher' at Durham University. She is found by the weir over the Regatta weekend, and it is seen as an unusual death. Suicide is seen as a possibility, but DI Martin feels differently. It is after a conversation with the principal of the college when a young man with the name Simon Rush steps in. He's the student president of Joyce and is believed to have been the last person to see her. It is in this early scene where, in a huge twist, he confesses.
'Welcome to Edinburgh. Murder capital of Europe.'
This book is, as you can guess from the line above, a story about murder set in Edinburgh. Perfect Prey by Helen Fields takes the horror of crime and murder and twists it to focus on the dark capabilities that lie within the depths of the Internet. I'm sure we're all aware of the dangers that lurk on the web, particularly with the growth of social media and communication apps that make it so easy to connect with others. However, Fields is able to produce something more horrifying, an aspect of the Internet away from social media that affects everyone... and we don't even realise it.
Imagine living your life as you do today. You head to work, you do your job, you see your friends, you may even donate to charity every so often. Then, you are targeted to be murdered. You have no idea why. You may not even know it's about to happen until it's too late. Here's the kicker: you are not chosen explicitly by name but by a mere attribute of your life. It could be your job, it could be the way you are around your friends, and it could also be the fact that you donate to charity. How is this coordinated? It's simple. The Internet.
Fifth Grade Screams: The Roaming Dead by Frank Livingston and Janee’ Livingston is an eBook written for kids. It follows three main characters: Phoenix (Nix), Jean-Luc (Jean) and Eddy (Earth Blossom). You might be thinking gosh, what weird names for kids? Well, there is good reason for them. Nix’s father calls his children names that relate to states in the US. His older sister is named Savannah and the youngest is Memphis. There’s more to his family but we’ll get into that later. Jean’s family are crazy about space and aliens, and Eddy’s… well, his mother takes the stereotype of a hippy who only eats food that isn’t processed.
They’re fifth graders who live in Bellybutton and go to Swashbuckler Elementary (what great names!). Everything runs like normal, the only real disturbance to begin with is the introduction of new kid Eddy. That is until they’re sent home early one day for no particular reason… but that can tell it’s something serious and want to investigate further
Charlotte is a reading and writing lover who has completed a creative writing intensive course at the University of Oxford and is a current university student studying a double degree in journalism and creative writing. If you are curious to learn more, check out the 'About' page.