My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - as able over 4 days
Pages - 452
Publisher - Sphere
Source - Bought
Blurb from Goodreads
As teenagers Poppy Carlisle and Serena Gorringe were the only witnesses to a tragic event. Amid heated public debate, the two seemingly glamorous teens were dubbed ‘The Ice Cream Girls’ by the press and were dealt with by the courts.
Years later, having led very different lives, Poppy is keen to set the record straight about what really happened, while married mother-of-two Serena wants no one in her present to find out about her past. But some secrets will not stay buried – and if theirs is revealed, everything will become a living hell all over again...
Meet Poppy and Serena, Serena is married, kids and still dealing with demons of her past. Poppy is just being released from jail for a crime she says she didn't commit and now twenty years being jailed she is determined to get the guilty party to admit to what they did, that being Serena. Both were referred to as The Ice Cream Girls, both suspected in a murder, one went to jail, one went free.
We go back and forth between past and present, Serena and Poppy, teasing out the details of what happened, the before and build up whilst visiting the present and each of the ladies dealing with their now.
There are a fair few dark themes in this book, predatory teacher/teen pupil(s), self harm, death, ptsd, we visit prison life briefly and have quite long scenes with the abusive/pervert teacher. The gaslighting/manipulation of an adult to minors is shocking and it shows how easily he did it and delving into violence as well as the other abuse perpetrated on them . Themes of revenge, stalking, mistrust, lies, family dramas. The book has just about everything. Also whilst reading this people reached out saying it is a tv series/show too so I need to check that out.
Hard to put down, uncomfortable to read at times due to the content and knowing whilst this is fiction sadly these predators are out there ad very skilled in manipulating these children/teens. 4/5 for me, I have read a few Koomson books and plan to read many more, she is becoming a fave with us.