Title: Wicked Little Deeds (UK)
Burden Falls (US)
Author: Kat Ellis
Release Date: 5/8/2021(UK)
E.S.C.A.P.E Score: 32
(see below for breakdown)
I received a free eARC copy from Penguin Platform via The Write Reads Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
From Goodreads: From its creepy town mascot to the story of its cursed waterfall, Burden Falls is a small town dripping with superstition. Ava Thorn knows this well – since the horrific accident she witnessed a year ago, she’s been plagued by nightmares.
But when someone close to her is brutally murdered and Ava is the primary suspect, she starts to wonder if the legends surrounding the town are more fact than fiction.
Whatever secrets Burden Falls is hiding, there’s a killer on the loose, and they have a vendetta against the Thorns…
I wasn’t the biggest fan of Harrow Lake (I think it is fair to say I had strong objections to the representation of mental health in that book you can read my full review here) so I was super cautious going into this one. But I always like to give authors the benefit of the doubt and I am glad I did with Kat Ellis. This one was fun. I really do love the small town vibes, the fact that everyone knows everyone, the ancient family feuds and the town history steeped in myth and legends.
I really liked the main character Ava. it is fair to say she had a pretty shit year on the run up to the events of this book and they don’t get much better as the mystery unfolds but she handles it all in a realistic and somewhat healthy manor which is really interesting. I love that she is still a teenager and doesn’t take the burden of the world on her shoulders but instead is still concerned about school, friendships etc. I liked the bonding between her and Dominic over their shared experiences and how she worked through her own reservations about his family.
The plot itself is a little slow to start there is a lot to set up in terms of lore in the town and the various relationships between all the various members of the cast. This makes it a little dull to begin with, however it does start to pick up as the mystery thickens and we find ourselves in an interesting whodunit. It definitely gets gory and spooky. I really liked the atmosphere that the local legends lent to the mystery. They were probably the best bits of this book. The Ghost stories, family legends and how they tied into the actual history of the town was excellent. I also really liked the hint of romance. It was definitely slow burn However, I will say I was a little disappointed by the ending, it was just a bit weird. It seemed a little random and the motivation of the culprit just didn’t feel satisfying. Also the nods to "teen culture" such as rousing games of Rocket league were a bit cringe.
Overall, this was a fun read. It is a solid YA Thriller that had some really good moments and others that just didn’t work for me. I still enjoyed it and I am glad I gave Kat Ellis another chance.