Holiday Read #1: ‘A Place Called Perfect,’ by Helena Duggan, cover by Karl James Mountford.

Each year, I take a certain delight in spending all the loyalty points I have dutifully built up on my bookshop reward card in the preceding months with my many purchases. Hours can be whiled away as I contemplate how best to spend them.

However, my first choice this year was an easy one.  Featured as Waterstones’ book of the month, and with a cover to die for, A Place Called Perfect was an obvious pick.  My only problem was going to be avoiding reading it until I’d actually made it on holiday!

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Well I did, and I was rewarded with a sinister, candy-coated Burtonesque suburban nightmare. Amazing!

When Violet’s ophthalmologist father gets a job offer that’s too good to refuse, she and her parents leave their cosy home and move to the town of Perfect.  Violet immediately senses that something’s not quite right.  A feeling which is proved correct when the slightly creepy Archer brothers (her father’s new employers) welcome them to their new house with awkward stances, weird matching rose-tinted glasses and bewildering cups of tea which mimic the flavour of the drinkers’ favourite beverages.

These initial misgivings, coupled with further interactions with some of the other  inhabitants of Perfect and strange whisperings in the night, lead Violet on an adventure which will allow her to uncover secrets, help rally an army and reunite families, ultimately causing the scales to fall from people’s eyes.

This is a delightfully dark tale with just a hint of macabre to tantalise and delight readers aged 9+. Even better, there are some fairly strong hints that there will be at least one, if not more, additional books in this  series.

Completely worthy of the numbernone spot on my holiday reading list.

Fille de la Bibliothèque (aka Library Girl)

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