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True Murder [Paperback]

Yaba Badoe
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
RRP: £7.99
Price: £6.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

6 Aug 2009

Eleven year old Ajuba has been abandoned at a Devon boarding school by her Ghanaian father. Haunted by the circumstances of her mother's breakdown, Ajuba falls under the spell of new girl Polly Venus, and her chaotic, glamorous family. As the passionate bond between the two girls deepens, they discover what they think are the bones of dead kittens, hidden in the attic of the Venus home; but the bones are human.

The girls set out to unravel the mystery but as the summer draws to a close, three tragedies conflate, with catastrophic results.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (6 Aug 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099523329
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099523321
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 19.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 570,232 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"The intimacy and uncertainty of adolescence is strongly evoked" (Guardian)

"Commanding... Few readers will not identify with its out-of-depth heroine" (Independent)

"Spookily menacing" (Marie Claire)

"The novel surges with raw emotion: guilt, love, betrayal, loss - and treachery" (Daily Mail)

"An action-packed chiller steeped in the passions and potential darkness of childhood" (Melissa Katsoulis Sunday Telegraph)

Review

`spookily menacing' --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Holiday weekend? Buy this really good read. 6 July 2009
Format:Hardcover
Do not be lulled by the first few pages, this is no teen novel - this is for everyone who has ever been a teenager, or divorced, or filled hours of stark isolation staying with "true" friends. Only a staircase away from the warmth of the Aga is the attic that contains something horrid. The warm beating hearts of the public school girls are filled with malice. So... quite normal really for rural England! Yaba Badoe's words are carefully chosen and issued sparingly. Her sense of humour burns through. Her plot twists like a victim in a noose. I couldn't put it down.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing and gripping. 27 April 2009
By J. Kemp
Format:Hardcover
This is the best book I've read in ages. It is beautifully written and the characters are clearly drawn. Yaba Badoe made it easy for me to experience the turmoil of emotions felt by the child as she built up a strong sense of foreboding in me as the tale unfolded. Her sensitive observation of all of the main characters made each one of them absolutely plausible and people that I cared about. At times I found it difficult to continue reading because I feared the consequences but I had to continue and am very glad that I did even though I was awake well into the night. Please may we have more from this very able new author?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting book 21 May 2009
Format:Hardcover
As I spent all of my childhood in Ghana and some of my eductaion in a boarding school in UK I was intrugued to read this book. I found I could really relate to the emotions of the girls especially those whose families were far away. Yaba has done a wonderful job showing adults the world through a child's mind. The characters feel real and you can't help empathising with them all. The story shows what obsession and poor communication can do to people's lives and the final twist leaves you wanting more.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unstoppable 19 May 2009
Format:Hardcover
I found this novel gripping from the first to the last page. All Yaba Badoe's characters are convincing and especially impressive is her portrayal of the pre-teenage girls at boarding school, the intensity of their relationships with each other and their limited understanding of how the adult world works.
The subtle hints of what is still to come create a mood of foreboding and fear and lead one remorselessly on to the shocking end.
This is a disturbing book, full of insights into human compassion and vulnerability.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Just finished reading my friend's novel "True Murder". Enjoyed it immensely. Very sad. Had me in tears at one point.
Would make a great movie, like "Heavenly Creatures" Heavenly Creatures Remastered - Limited Edition [DVD]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Promising first novel about family tensions 25 Feb 2011
By Maxine Clarke VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
TRUE MURDER tells the story of Ajuba, an 11-year-old girl from Ghana whose parents' marriage is in great difficulty. She's therefore been dumped, uncomprehending, in an English boarding school. She befriends three other girls with whom she shares a dorm, and together they read 'true-murder' stories in American comics, acting out some of the cases in their games. Two detectives in the comic, Malone and Leboeuf, accompany Ajuba in her imagination, becoming substitute parents who guide her and act as her role models.
One of the girls in the dorm, Polly Venus, befriends Ajuba and invites her home at weekends and vacations to share life with her family. The Venus parents, Peter and Isobel, have an extremely brittle and volatile relationship, with Polly being very much a player in the warped dynamics that underlie the adults' superficially charming and sophisticated lifestyle. Ajuba is mainly an observer of these scenes, but they bring to her consciousness events that have happened to her mother in the past, and increase her confusion about her (rather unpleasant) father - a confusion only increased by her awareness of the supernatural, impressed upon her by her unstable mother.
At the Venus house, the girls again play their detective games, but this time they make a gruesome discovery in an old trunk in the attic. Much of the rest of the novel is set against the girls' determination to solve this crime, interrogating anyone they think might have been involved and generally making nuisances of themselves or even putting themselves in danger. What with this and the intolerable strains in the Venus family relationships, which become violent and unpredictable, it seems inevitable that disaster will strike - which it does.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book :) 27 April 2009
Format:Hardcover
Gorgeous book - wonderful tale of friendship, laughter, sadness and adventure. This book has everything you could ask for, and delivers it with panache. Definitely worth buying.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars converted! 25 April 2009
Format:Hardcover
I usually read fat books with pink covers and shiny writing - but True Murder had me gripped - couldn't put it down!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Provocation
I laughed in the last few pages before being shocked at the ending. The author touches on emotions of adult life seen through a child.
Published 4 months ago by red
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
I bought this book because I get to know Yaba last summer at my friend's house in London. The story is great, suitable for adolescents and adults. The ending is just surprising!!! Read more
Published 5 months ago by Carlos Villafáñez Rico
5.0 out of 5 stars True Murder
Fantastic read. Thoroughly enjoyed it. The story was well written and very interesting. It stimulated a lot of discussion at my book club.
Published 11 months ago by Yinka Williams
4.0 out of 5 stars And then I remembered the babies in Miss Fielding's trunk.
This is a lively and gratifying read telling the story of a Ghanian girl abandoned by her father to board in an English prep school. Read more
Published on 6 Nov 2011 by Eileen Shaw
4.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing
Chosen by a member of the Reading Group I attend, I did not expect to enjoy this, as usually this isn't my genre of choice. Read more
Published on 6 July 2011 by Avid reader
4.0 out of 5 stars Murder with a twist
I gave this book as a present to someone who loves murder books.
Very good was the verdict! A story that has a real twist and reveals darker sides to human nature.
Published on 4 May 2010 by Ms. D. Turner
4.0 out of 5 stars Unfolds cleverly
The story unfolds very cleverly. I like the way the different strands are
interwoven. I had huge sympathy for Ajuba and I thought the way in
which Badoe shows her... Read more
Published on 24 May 2009 by L. A. M. Price
4.0 out of 5 stars a dark tale of childhood obsession
This book grips you from the opening page - a dark tale of childhood obsession, it takes you into the mind of 11 year old Ajuba - transplanted from Ghana to a damp Devon boarding... Read more
Published on 15 May 2009 by P. Nightingale
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