Author: Dawn Kurtagich
Genre: Psychological thriller
Released: 26 August 2015
Publisher: Orion Children's Books
Twenty five years ago.
Elmbridge High School burned down. Three students were killed in the blaze, twenty were injured, and one, Carly Johnson, disappeared.
For two decades, little was uncovered about what became known as the 'Johnson Incident.;
I was kindly sent a copy of this book from Hachette Australia in exchange for an honest review.
I. Am. Speechless.
I have no idea what just happened. This book was an insane ride that had me hooked within the first few pages and my brain is still trying to catch up with everything that happened.
Now, let me try and give a brief summary of what happened, because I'm still not sure myself what went down:
The book is made up of a series of diary entries, interview transcripts, emails, notes, and video transcripts, which make a police file for the Johnson Case. The Johnson Case revolves around Carly Johnson who suffers(?) from Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and becomes Kaitlyn at night. The two live very harmoniously and leave each other messages and notes - they are essentially sisters who share the same body. Carly has been admitted to Claydon Mental Hospital for treatment of her DID, which is believed to be as a result of her parent's death. Throughout the book, Kaitlyn's diary tells about the events leading up to the 'Johnson Incident' which saw the school burn down, three people killed and 'Carly's' disappearance.
I definitely did not do the book justice with that summary, but I don't want to give away too much of the plot because it's such an insane journey that you have to live it to get the full experience. It's such a unique story that will have you questioning everything you've been told and leave you speechless.
This is the first psychological thriller that I've read and I was not disappointed. Every chapter brought new questions, and every time I thought I found the answer, there was a plot twist that threw me back to square one. For the majority of the book I had no idea what was going on, but it was a good thing - trust me.
The book certainly didn't go where I expected it to go, but I was really happy with the outcome and how the story ended. It's totally crazy and creepy at times, but it was beautifully written and just made sense (even though I still don't know what happened haha).
The last quarter of the book was insanely action-packed and I was gripping the book so that I could read as fast as I could to get through it. Everything fell into place at the end and I felt a little stupid for not realising some of the answers earlier - either I wasn't paying attention or Dawn is a fabulous writer (I'm leaning towards the latter!).
Overall, if you enjoy psychological thrillers, paranormal, and want to give your mind a real work out, run out and pick up this book! You won't regret it and the story will definitely stay with you long after it's over - I know it will for me.
I sense a reading slump coming on... Please bring out a new book soon Dawn!