An eerie ambience suffuses The Broken Girls. It is a mystery wrapped in a ghost story or perhaps the other way around. “Ghosts and dead babies and murdered girls. What next?”
Roberta, Katie, Cece and Sonia were all dumped at Idlewild Hall, an all-girl boarding school in 1950 Vermont. Roberta is a victim of a traumatic family event. Katie was a troublemaker. Cece was born on the wrong side of the blanket to her rich father’s maid. Sonia has nightmares about her childhood during WWII. Along with indifferent teachers, the roommates have to deal with Mary Hand, who haunts the school by bringing up each girl’s worst nightmare.
In 2014, reporter Fiona is still shell shocked by her sister’s murder on the abandoned Idlewild grounds 20 years before. When a mysterious elderly woman begins to restore the school, Fiona decided to investigate.
There are many plots running concurrently. There are the 1950 roommates, the 1994 sister, the 2014 investigation and the ghost story shown in alternating chapters. It sounds confusing but it works seamlessly together.
The Broken Girls works as a “Northern Gothic” but also as a straight mystery. It is highly recommended for fans of mysteries with paranormal twists. I did not see the end coming at all, which is great! 5 stars!
Thanks to the publisher, Berkley, and Edelweiss for a copy.