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Book review - Red Leaves by Paullina Simons

Updated on November 2, 2010

Paullina Simons was born in Leningrad, but moved to the area of New York in 1973. She wrote several detectives, including this one in 1997. The book is about a group of four friends, who attend Darthmouth College together in New Hampshire. But when one of them is found frozen in the snow, the friendship is closely under investigation.  Kristina Kim, Constance Tobias, Albert Maplethorpe and Jim Shaw see each other daily and are supposedly best friends. But when Kristina is found dead after having been missing by nine days, everything changes.What happened between them that could lead to this string of horrible events. And why did no one report her missing? Detective Spencer Patrick O’Malley is in charge of the murder investigation. But it is difficult to see through the lies and get to the truth. What are these friends hiding, from the police and from each other. What happened that changed their friendships forever.

The book starts a bit slow and it takes a while to get into it. But once you are in, it is hard to put this book down. You just have to know what happened. It is an interesting view on friendship and betrayal. What would it take to betray your friends, and would you lie to protect them or to protect yourself? The fact that Spencer Patrick O’malley is not entirely objective plays an important role in the investigation. Can he really find who did this? And then what?

As you get closer to the end, Paullina Simons gives us more and more information, but this leads only to more questions. She keeps it interesting, she makes you speculate about the murderer, but you keep changing your mind. At the end, the book takes an unexpected turn and nothing is what it seemed. The ending is strong and convincing.

This is definitely a thriller and detective worth reading. So get it now!


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    • Mieka profile image

      Mieka 7 years ago

      Thanks Spunky Duckling! This was a great book, and Paullina Simons wrote a lot more!

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      spunkyduckling @ kids preschool halloween movies 7 years ago

      I love thrillers be they in books or movies! And just in time for Halloween too. My sister would sure love books like book. Great review.