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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The It Girl

ISBN: 978-1982155261

Publication Date: 07/12/2022

Publisher: Gallery Books

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 5 Stars (ARC)

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the “claustrophobic spine-tingler” (People) One by One returns with an unputdownable mystery following a woman on the search for answers a decade after her friend’s murder.

April Clarke-Cliveden was the first person Hannah Jones met at Oxford.

Vivacious, bright, occasionally vicious, and the ultimate It girl, she quickly pulled Hannah into her dazzling orbit. Together, they developed a group of devoted and inseparable friends—Will, Hugh, Ryan, and Emily—during their first term. By the end of the year, April was dead.

Now, a decade later, Hannah and Will are expecting their first child, and the man convicted of killing April, former Oxford porter John Neville, has died in prison. Relieved to have finally put the past behind her, Hannah’s world is rocked when a young journalist comes knocking and presents new evidence that Neville may have been innocent. As Hannah reconnects with old friends and delves deeper into the mystery of April’s death, she realizes that the friends she thought she knew all have something to hide…including a murder.

“The Agatha Christie of our generation” (David Baldacci, #1 New York Times bestselling author) proves once again that she is “as ingenious and indefatigable as the Queen of Crime” (The Washington Post) with this propulsive murder mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat.


"Deliciously dark and utterly addictive — my favourite Ruth Ware yet!"

—Lucy Foley, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Apartment and The Guest List

“Every Ruth Ware novel is a unique and unexpected gem and this one is no exception. A heady, tense, slowburn dream of a book, multi-layered and steeped in atmosphere and peril. I loved every page."

—Lisa Jewell, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Then She Was Gone

“Ware develops both the reader’s doubts about and concern for Hannah as the suspense builds gradually under a masterful barrage of red herrings . . . Riveting.”

—Booklist (Starred Review)

“This exceptional psychological thriller from Ware probes how much one can trust others—and one’s self . . . . Alternating past and present chapters build toward a gripping denouement as nicely chosen details bring each character vividly to life. This showcases Ware’s gifts to the fullest.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“As usual with Ware, the novel is well crafted—the setting, characters, and dialogue are all engaging . . . Delightfully readable.”

—Kirkus Reviews

My Review

Ruth Ware expertly melds a chilling psychological crime thriller and academic mystery into a compelling story of revenge and grief—THE IT GIRL.

PERFECT SET UP: Could there ever be a better or more perfect fitting title than (THE IT GIRL), a more academic setting than the historical and nostalgic Oxford University campus or the ideal locale for an atmospheric edge-of-your-seat chilling murder scene in Oxford, England, and modern-day Edinburgh—penned by the master of psychological crime thrillers, RUTH WARE? This book was customed-designed for her!

Ruth Ware is a masterful storyteller labeled the Agatha Christie of her generation. Ware writes suspenseful and mysterious gothic novels that all have fantastic plots and truly vivid characters.


All the ingredients for an addictive thriller and campus-lit at its finest!

  • A clear threat

  • High stakes

  • Twists

  • Dynamic characters

  • Memorable locations

  • Action

You can always call upon Ruth Ware when you need an atmospheric and twisting tale. A blending of gothic historical premise...with mysterious modern contemporary twists.

Freshman year at Oxford University's famous Pelham College.

Let the games begin.

Meet April Clarke-Cliveden. She is the "IT GIRL." An extrovert, beautiful, confident, vivacious, privileged, intelligent, wealthy, sophisticated, sexually active, comes from a well-to-do family, designer clothes, and friends. Everyone wants to be her friend, but she can also be a mean, cruel girl, so she will soon have some ENEMIES.

Everyone wanted her life.

Someone wanted her dead.

Meet Hannah Jones. Introvert, boring, and new college roommate of April. She is excited about her life at college but very intimidated by her roommate and comes from a different class and world. Being April's roommate affords her borrowed clothes, party invitations, and an "in" to April's friends—Will, Hugh, Ryan, and Emily.

However, before the end of the second term, April is DEAD.

Flash forward ten years later, the person sent to prison for April's murder was the former Oxford porter, John Neville, who claimed his innocence until his most recent heart attack in prison and untimely death at age 63.

Now a journalist is claiming new evidence that John was innocent. Hannah is now second-guessing herself since her testimony was the critical one that sealed his fate. Did someone else go into the dorm room before John and sneak out?

Hannah now works for an independent book store and is married to Will —Yes, the same Will that dated April, and they all were friends and bonded over grief after April's death. They are expecting a baby.

Instead of planning for the baby, Hannah is too caught up in sleuthing, trying to retrace all the steps and tracking down all the friends from their former college group to determine the actual killer. She is obsessed and cannot think of anything else. If it was not John, could it be one of them or someone she knows? Is the killer still out there?

Hannah feels a compelling need to revisit the murder with the three Oxford friends that knew April best, even though her husband, Will, is against it. He is acting strange. The doctor Hugh, the mathematician Emily, and Ryan, who has suffered a stroke since their college years.


Foreboding and moody, the author keeps readers on a razor-sharp edge in a race against time from before and after.

Utterly propulsive, vivid, and atmospheric. For fans of Lisa Jewell, Carol Goodman, Lisa Unger, Shari Lapena, Megan Miranda, and B.A. Paris.

A special thank you to #GalleryBooks and #NetGalley for an ARC to read, enjoy, and review.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

My Rating: 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Pub Date: July 12, 2022

About the Author


Image Copyright: Gemma Day

Ruth Ware worked as a waitress, a bookseller, a teacher of English as a foreign language, and a press officer before settling down as a full-time writer. She now lives with her family in Sussex, on the south coast of England. She is the #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail (Toronto) bestselling author of In a Dark, Dark Wood; The Woman in Cabin 10; The Lying Game; The Death of Mrs. Westaway; The Turn of the Key; One by One; and The It Girl. Visit her at or follow her on Twitter @RuthWareWriter.







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