If I had to describe this book to you in a single sentence, I would tell you that it's like Gone Girl meets Darkness Falls. Told in past and present, THE DEAD GIRLS alternates between a group of friends in the 90s who become fascinated by one girl's stories of an evil witch ghost called the Red Lady, and one woman living in the now who is haunted by something terrible and menacing.
Heather and Becca were supposed to be best friends forever. Then Becca started telling Red Lady stories, which are truly horrific. They're about a witch who was murdered by the town and then came back as a vengeful ghost. Becca has a lot of reasons to feel vengeful, and she ends up dragging her whole group of friends, including Heather, into her morbid fascination. Now, Heather is an adult, has a job as a psychologist, and also married. She's haunted by something that happened 30 years ago, and when someone starts stalking her and leaving her morbid clues, she naturally assumes it's someone from her childhood who wants to help her remember what she's tried so very hard to forget.
This was really, really fun. I'm not going to pretend it's high literature, but I don't always go in for that. Sometimes I want to be a low brow basic B who reads trashy mysteries on the bus with titles that scare her neighbors. And yes, I see you woman who was staring at me and this book from across the aisle with obvious suspicion. Welcome to the Dead Girl's Club, population ME. No, but seriously, I literally devoured this in a single day. I actually read this on my lunch break because I wanted closure and it was scary enough that I didn't want to read it after dark. It's the perfect blend of Gillian Flynn-esque murder mystery and supernatural horror, even if the twist at the end is a little diet-meh.
If you love mysteries about dysfunctional women and want to feel a little nostalgic about the 90s, this is a fantastic book. It's breezy, fun, and has a gorgeous cover. Do you need anything else in a book? Probably not, don't be a snob. Only I'm allowed to be a snob, and even I liked this book.
Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!
4 to 4.5 out of 5 stars