Review - One of Us is Next by Karen M McManus
One of Us is Next by
Karen M. McManus
It's been a year since the events of
But nothing has settled for the residents of Bayview. Not now someone has started playing a sinister game of Truth or Dare.
You must reveal your darkest secret.
Well, that could be even more dangerous. Even deadly.
(Warning: This review will contain spoilers for One of Us is Lying, but not for this sequel novel)
One of Us is Lying was very much a murder mystery. Simon died in the opening sequences, and we had four suspects. What made it fascinating for me was that the story was told from the perspectives of all four suspects, and the very modern feeling focus on the media reaction, both traditional and social media, and how that influenced the story and the characters. It had some great character arcs and reveals and what was for me a very satisfying conclusion. I loved Cooper coming out, Addy getting out of an unhealthy relationship and becoming her own person, and the romance between Bronwyn and Nate.
So I was keen to get back to Bayview and see what was happening with them.
And that was the first twist in the book. It doesn't go back to the Bayview Four. Sure, they're in it, but we've got a new cast of characters to follow. Bayview, the next generation, if you like.
I love the new characters too. There's a strong sense of continuity too, with Maeve being the sister of Bronwyn. The Bayview Four are still very much in the story and it's nice to see what has happened with their lives, but the focus has moved on. I think the change really works well. There's been so much already happened around and to those four that if they were the main characters again there'd be a sense of "Here we go again!" Instead we have Maeve, Knox and Phoebe. Maeve has the cutest crush we get to see play out, giving the novel it's main romantic thread in charming style.
But this is a mystery thriller, not a romance, and there's plenty of mystery. Someone's making the pupils of Bayview play Truth or Dare and it's quite quickly apparent that they aren't playing nice. There's a lot in here about the secrets we keep, the things we're ashamed of and what happens when they are revealed to the world. Even without the murders of Karen's other novels, the stakes here feel high and the tension really builds through the book. I felt like the truth or dare was a nice new twist on Simon's gossip website from book one. This is a book in which the games are similar but the rules are very different.
This book makes great use of foreshadowing too, with news reports and forum posts jumping about the time frame somewhat, and breaking up the text with a very modern style.
One more thing I loved about this book is the food. A lot of the scenes take place in a Columbian restaurant and its kitchen, and the descriptions of the cooking and the food are mouth watering! It really adds a whole extra sense to the book, as well as some increased diversity.
Brilliant ensemble cast, thoroughly engaging mystery that kept me guessing to the final page. Couldn't put it down! I'm giving One of Us is Next four and a half moons.
One of Us is Next by Karen M. McManus is published by Penguin Random House and is out now. I was given a proof copy in return for an honest review.