As Good as Dead is the third and final book in the A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder trilogy and therefore this review may contain spoilers for the the previous books.

Pip Fitz-Amobi isn’t sleeping, she can’t stop reliving the shooting, the sound of gunshots, her hands covered in blood, the feeling of life slipping away. She should be getting ready for university, but instead she has to deal with a potential lawsuit and she has the feeling she’s being stalked. Is she just being paranoid, or could her final case be her own?

One more case would do it, put everything right. Just one more.

The final instalment of A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder sees Pip struggling with PTSD and losing faith in the justice system. It’s altogether much darker than the previous books. Trigger warnings for references to rape and abduction.

The book is very much of two parts. Pip isn’t the same girl we met in the first book, she wants everyone in her life not to worry about her, so she told the doctor she was fine and instead is taking pills from the local drug dealer. She’s no stranger to online threats, so at first she takes no notice of the message: who will look for you when you’re the one who disappears?

Then other weird occurrences happen and Ravi convinces Pip to take it to the police, but there’s not much for them to go on. And since Max Hastings was acquitted, she starts thinking that the law will not protect her. No one believes girls like her, not until it’s too late.

He’d get away with it. They always got away with it. Him. Max Hastings. Above the law because the law was wrong. A legion of dead girls and dead-eyed girls left behind them.

Meanwhile, Pip’s own investigations lead her to a serial killer once operating in the area. His mother, convinced of her son’s innocence sends Pip the transcript of the interview where he was coerced into a confession. Another black mark against the law for Pip.

So I really do understand why the story goes where it does. I wanted to scream at Pip not to do what she does, I wanted her to do the right thing at every turn and it made for a much more uncomfortable second half of the book. Loss of faith in the justice system is a very real problem, with prosecutions for rape cases so low and several high-profile cases of police officers being the danger rather than the protector.

So on one hand, the storyline veered into territory that I don’t tend to enjoy, but it was gripping and it all had context. I also feel like it was realistic in that Pip doesn’t come out of her experiences unscathed.

Is it normal for one person to have this many enemies? I’m the problem, aren’t I?

It’s probably right that the series ends, there’s only so much you can put a teenage character through, but I will miss Pip and her friends.

20 Books of Summer #20

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