The Jagged Circle by Shelley Peterson is the second installment in the thrilling Jockey Girl equestrian-themed series for young adults.
It's Spring Break, and Evangeline "Evie" Gibb is spending her time tending to the horses on her Grandmother's farm while her friends are vacationing. Evie loves horses, especially her horse Kazzam, but she is bored with the same old routine. Evie recently rode Kazzam to victory at the races, earning the nickname "Jockey Girl." This excitement was short-lived after Kazzam sustained an injury; now, he can no longer race. Missing the thrills of horseracing, Evie and Kazzam are looking for something new and exciting to bring back the exhilaration of racing.
When Evie takes Kazzam out for a ride, they happen upon a teenage girl who is near death. Suddenly Evie and Kazzam have found themselves in the middle of an investigation involving missing persons, suicide, murder, and cult activity. In addition to this newfound excitement, Evie learns that a nearby farm is holding a steeplechase event. Soon Evie and Kazzam are training to compete in the upcoming event, just as the investigation kicks into high gear. Now there is an excess of excitement that threatens the safety of Evie and Kazzam. Will authorities solve their case, ending the string of harrowing events? Will Evie and Kazzam embrace the world of steeplechasing?
Shelley Peterson has brilliantly woven an equestrian-based storyline with suspenseful, thrilling plot twists, resulting in quite the page-turner! There is a beautiful balance of both of these elements throughout the book. The descriptive writing style of this author made me feel as if I was watching this story unfold. Her character development of both the human and animal characters allowed me to form an emotional connection to the characters. Because of this connection, the thrilling aspects of the storyline impacted me, and I was fully engaged in the twists and turns.
While this is the second book in a series, it is unnecessary to read the first book in the series to enjoy The Jagged Circle. The author does a beautiful job of providing background information to set up the current storyline. That said, I enjoyed this book so much that I do plan to read the first book in the series soon.
Those who have a love for horses will enjoy this book, especially if they enjoy the crime thriller genre. This series is geared towards young adults, there is no profanity, and there are no instances of adult content. Adults who share these interests will enjoy reading this book as well, do not let the young adult distinction deter you from enjoying this book. It is important to note that suicide, murder, death, and cults are included in the storyline. I would not recommend this book to those sensitive to these topics.
There was one aspect of this book that I found unrealistic. I find it highly unrealistic that law enforcement would openly involve a teenage girl in a serious investigation to the extent that Evie is involved in the investigation in this book. This aspect of the book made me struggle slightly with the ongoing investigation as the story unfolded. It is important to note what I enjoyed about this book far outweighed this critical aspect.
I immensely enjoyed this book, and I'm happy to award it an overall rating of 4 out of 5 stars. I would recommend it to others, and I look forward to reading more of the Jockey Girl books and reading the first book in the series. It's not often that I find an enjoyable equestrian-related series, so I appreciated reading The Jagged Circle.
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