Cover Image: Scenes of the Crime

Scenes of the Crime

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This story was interesting and I enjoyed the style of some scenes written like a script. However, I feel like the story was lackluster as were the characters.
Was this review helpful?
ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

This book gave me hope with its complex storytelling and friendships that are struggling in the face of a friend that went missing more than a decade before. The part that really confused and irritated me at times is how most of it is set up as a screenplay since the main character that is telling the story is also a sitcom writer that wants to elevate her career. So most of it is hard to tell if it happened in real life or something she’s writing about for her show. Other than that I really liked all the misdirection and surprises that come up throughout regarding her friend’s disappearance. I would recommend to anyone that likes mysteries and friends coming together to try to solve them.
Was this review helpful?
Sometimes books take a bit to get into.  This one drug out until almost the end before it got engrossing.  This book had a very promising premise. A group of girlfriends get together again on a girl’s trip to get some closure on the disappearance of their friend years ago. This was a let down for me personally.
Was this review helpful?
I loved this author's first book so I was excited to start this one. It's a story of a group of girls going a way for the weekend, one going missing. Now, years later, they return to the same spot to discuss what they think happened to their friend and to try to rekindle their friendships.

I wish I'd loved this one. I think there are a lot of books with this same plot and I'm, maybe, burned out. I struggled to like any of the characters. I found the reasonings and excuses to be a big stretch and really struggled to connect the dots in a way that made sense.

If you like mysteries with remote locations and toxic female relationships, you should give this one a try. I just didn't find a way to connect with it.

A huge thank you to the author and publisher for providing an e-ARC via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion regarding the book.
Was this review helpful?
📕How much of “doing everything for your friend” is too much? At what level it becomes a selfish act instead of helping out a friend out of tough situation? 15 years after such action, we are trying to see if it is possible to answer these questions
📗Friend groups should never have odd number of friends. It would mean that one is always alpha and rest is always split into too. The other problem is two people might think that they are alphas. These cousins in this crime scene were those alphas. One of them wanted to be the alpha for sure, the other one just want to feel support of her cousin
📘With everyone having secrets and wishes, it is easy to manipulate anyone and everyone into believe in a lie. Will you be able to pick these lies? Will you figure out in whose favor those lie work?
Was this review helpful?
This book took me longer to get into than I thought it would.  But once I got started I couldn't put it down.  I enjoyed this read and would recommend to a friend!
Was this review helpful?
I was so conflicted as I was reading this story. I thought that the author's format of how she chose to solve the mystery of a girl who went missing 15 years prior was really unique, but the problem was that I personally didn't like it. Gagnon went from present, to past, to script, as she was she had Emily tell the story and "solve" the mystery of what happened to their "dear" friend 15 years prior. At Emily's request, she and the other girls, Paige, Lydia, and Brittany all to go to the last place they all had been together to try to figure it all out what happened to Vanessa. At the start of the book, one of the girls said they were all really there because of their secrets and she had to make sure that hers was kept safe, so I knew right away that perhaps at least one of them was possibly culpable in some way for Vanessa's disappearance, and my first real suspect was the one character due to her saying that about her secret. 

I am very character-driven when reading a book and these characters did not resonate with me at all. I felt no real empathy for any of them, their relationships were pretty toxic, and they actually weren't even friends to begin with. So I just had a very difficult time buying into the entire story and the girls' various renditions of what happened that night. Emily is totally just trying to make sense of Vanessa's disappearance so she can get a Hollywood type script/movie so she tries different scenarios and sometimes I found there to be plot holes (or maybe just my confusion). So that decreased my pleasure in the book. Plus, I don't know if what was "discovered" and supposedly happened was the truth/reality or something in Emily's head.
Was this review helpful?
I found this book to be very interesting and intriguing. I would recommend this a friend because this is a book for everyone. I really enjoyed emerging myself into this book and it was just wonderful.
Was this review helpful?
I hate nothing more than giving a review that isn't good. What I always think to myself is that just because this one wasn't for me doesn't mean it won't be for someone. I like to give a book a chance, there have been a few times that I have been surprised. For me, this wasn't one of those times. 

The book centers around 5 friends who spent a weekend at one of the family's winery's on the Oregon coast. After they have had a little too much to drink, one of them ends up disappearing. Years later, Emily thinks she sees Vanessa (the one who wound up missing) at a coffee shop and calls the other 3 women for a reunion to try and figure out what happened. 

For some reason, this one just didn't work for me.
Was this review helpful?
The premise had intrigue when I read it. Loved the idea of the girls trip gone wrong and years later secrets about that night are going to be revealed, and what each one has been hiding since Vanessa disappeared. The problem it fell so flat I couldn't stay into it. I hate really long chapters and for most of the book they were so long! I think the story had potential but fell flat with the way it was presented and lacked so much from characters to backstory details. It felt like a lot of plot holes, not really leading up to events more like they were just thrown there when it seemed time. I don't think it was broken up well to really be able to pick up where I left off which is how I read most of the time as a mom with a hectic schedule. I like my reads to be versatile enough so that I can do more reading on the go if I don't have a lot of time. I didn't really like any characters as Vanessa and Brittany were the spoiled entitled ones in their own way, then you have Emily who just kind of existed but was always trying to be the likable one, and Paige and Lydia were pretty forgettable. There wasn't much else to the characters or character development. I'm not a fan of reading an actual book like a screenplay so as soon as the writing changed to that I couldn't get into any of the character conversations. I found it hard to get through this book. I don't mind predictable but this one was a complete miss for me for too many reasons. There have only been a handful of books I haven't been able to finish and this was almost one of them. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the gifted copy to review with my honest opinions.
Was this review helpful?
This book held a lot of promise based on description and there were definite strengths!
What I loved:
1.  The setting - Oregon Coast, winery, windy days and nights - all felt very real and authentic!
2.  Loved the screenplay within the book (however it makes it hard to determine what is real and what is not).

What I wished was different:
1.  There was a formulaic feeling to the book in so many places.
2.  The characters were all "mean girls" and I had a hard time believing that they would come back together again - there seemed to be no reason for them to be friends in the first place.
3.   It was a slow start and while it wrapped up in a great way - still found it could have been stronger.

Thank You to Random House and Net Galley who provided a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Five girlfriends go on a trip to an island winery.  Everything is going great until one of them disappears.  Years later the remaining friends get together again.  This time to solve the mystery.  Can they solve the mystery or will someone else disappear?
Was this review helpful?
This was a good read with an unreliable narrator. It centers on Emily, whose friend Vanessa vanished without a trace during a girls weekend at a winery. 15 years later, Emily gets the girls back together to see if she can find out the truth so she can write a screenplay about it.

Nobody in this story was all that likable but that didn’t bother me. The toxicity of some female friendships is real and I thought the author captured the dynamic well. The story was told in both past and present times and also includes chapters from the screenplay where the reader gets to decide just how many liberties Emily is taking. The atmosphere was cool and creepy and there was tension throughout. I thought the ending worked well. 

Overall, I thought this was a unique and enjoyable read and I’d recommend to those who enjoy mysteries and psychological thrillers. Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
In "Scenes of the Crime" by Jilly Gagnon, I found an intriguing storyline complemented by solid writing. However, the characters were only passable, making it challenging to connect with them. The narrative's back & forth structure, alternating between reality & Emily's screenplay, proved confusing. Despite these shortcomings, Gagnon's writing style impressed me, prompting me to explore more of her works in the future. While the book didn't resonate with me, I believe others may find it an enjoyable read. Thank you #ScenesoftheCrime, #NetGalley & Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine, Bantam for the ARC. My review is strictly voluntary.
Was this review helpful?
Unfortunately, this book didn't work for me as much I hoped based on the premise. None of the characters were very likable and it didn't seem like we knew what drew them together as friends in the first place, as they seemed to be barely tolerant of each other at best. It became increasingly more obvious about what really happened and who was involved, and it made the story drag a bit.
Was this review helpful?
Excellent and exciting read. Completed the book in a couple of readings. While the characters ran the gauntlet from likeable to not likeable, I was still heavily invested in the story and couldn't wait to see how things ended. The writing just flowed and I couldn't believe how quickly I was able to get into the story.  There were a few chapters that could have been rewritten or removed completely, but it still didn't take away from the story overall. 

Was this review helpful?
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Plot: 3/5
Enjoyment: 4/5

Scenes of the Crime is about a group of past friends that go back to a vineyard where a member of their group had disapeared years earlier. Strange things start happening and their secrets are soon threatened to be exposed as one of them tries to figure out what truely happened that night. The characters and the basis of the story was good. It was a quick read and did hold my attention. I found the screen writing pieces a little confusing and it was sometimes hard to tell where we were in the timeline. This had a similar feeling as Pritty Little Liars with a missing person and a group of friends with many secrets, so if you liked that show you will like this.

I received an arc and am leaving an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Scenes of the Crime started out fairly slow for me, but I was curious about it from the blurb, so I kept on reading.  I think this was because there are five friends and the author takes a while to introduce each of them, but it is necessary to the building mystery.  About fifty percent in, it finally grabbed my attention and I couldn’t put it down. The story is mixed with scenes from the movie the main character is writing, adding intrigue and suspense.  I’m still not sure which version was the actual truth, but that’s what a great, unreliable narrator does for you.  And a shocking twist ends  the book leaving you wondering.
Was this review helpful?
This was my second of Gagnon’s, and I really enjoyed this more than the first, although it was a little slow in the beginning and took a minute to pick up speed. It was interesting with the screenwriting element worked in, and I really enjoyed it. I always love a toxic friendship plot, and this one was no different. Secrets long held for years come to a head when these friends reunite at the scene of the crime for a weekend, minus the one that vanished without a trace back then, and one is trying to get to the bottom of what really happened years ago. It doesn’t go as planned of course and I thought this was an entertaining thriller that I enjoyed overall. The audio was great and I loved listening to this one, definitely recommend it.

Thank you to Berkley and PRH Audio for the copies to review.
Was this review helpful?
Scenes of the Crime is a mystery novel with a promising premise. Emily Fischer, a screenwriter, returns to her hometown to investigate the disappearance of her friend Vanessa Morales, who vanished ten years ago. Emily soon discovers that Vanessa was involved in a complicated web of secrets and lies, and that her disappearance is connected to a series of unsolved murders.

The novel has some strengths. Gagnon writes well, and she creates a sense of suspense and dread throughout the story. The characters are also well-developed, and Emily is a likable and relatable protagonist.

However, the novel also has some flaws. The plot is convoluted and confusing, and there are too many twists and turns. The pacing is also uneven, and the novel drags in some places. Additionally, the ending is unsatisfying and leaves many unanswered questions.

Overall, Scenes of the Crime is an average mystery novel. It has some strengths, but it is also flawed. I would recommend it to readers who are looking for a quick and suspenseful read, but I would not recommend it to readers who are looking for a well-crafted and satisfying mystery.
Was this review helpful?