The Class Reunion- a Review by Allison

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The Class Reunion
By N.L. Hinkens

Thriller/Mystery
262 pages
Published November 19, 2020 by Dunecadia Publishing

When “The Class Reunion” starts, we meet Heather, a somewhat loner with some heavy baggage. She’s been through a lot no doubt and she is spent the last several years working in LA as a private investigator. She receives word that an old high school pal, Lindsay, has died, and she makes the trip back to her hometown in Iowa to pay her respects and attend her 20th high school reunion. Upon her arrival, her P.I. instincts kick in and she immediately begins to suspect Lindsay was murdered.

My initial draw to this book was simply the title. I love anything to do with reunions- family, school, work buddies- you name it. In fact, when the time came, I joined the committee to plan my REHS class of ’92’s 20th high school reunion. (Guys, we rented a photo booth. Totally serious). It was a Chicago Bulls three-peat, You-give-love-a-bad-name, acid-washed-jeans trip back in time to Madonna,Β  big perms and Keds without the laces.Β  (Ah, high school, I miss you. You were like, the BEST, with your banana clips and your Love’s Baby Soft perfume).

So, I went into this book with very high hopes.

While I enjoyed the book, the class reunion itself took up a very small piece overall. It certainly laid the groundwork for the rest of the story; the group begins receiving threatening letters and find themselves the targets of someone hell-bent on revenge. But why?

As Heather and her old high school buddies band together to figure out who is harassing them, past troubles come to the surface and are confronted.

(I mean, who WOULDN’T want to go back and relive teenage drama? Me. I would not.)

There are several characters that the author introduces us to which makes for a nice little group of friends. The class president (and all around bitch) and the sweet guy you root for. Your typical jocks and man-sluts, preps and girls next door. High school personalities – which never really die, sadly- reappear as well and I enjoyed watching 30-somethings act like high school kids again. The twists and turns were there, making me second guess myself more than once.

This author also did something I find worth mentioning. Near the end of the book, she switches to the killer’s story, six months prior. Not just a short synopsis for us to take hold of, but an actual few chapters to fold us right into the events leading up to the crime. This was a really good way to explain the killer’s motivation, without having to find a way to explain it to the reader throughout the story. And she waited to do this until close to the end. It was a bold move; keeping that part of the storyline concealed for that long could’ve frustrated some readers to the point of not finishing the book. I thought it was pretty bad-ass.

All in all, it was a good read. I enjoyed the characters, I liked the “back in time” aspect and I thought that the main character was believable.

I just wish there was more reunion.

Like, totally.

 

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