From its creepy town mascot to the story of its cursed waterfall, Burden Falls is a small town dripping with superstition. Ava Thorn knows this well – since the horrific accident she witnessed a year ago, she’s been plagued by nightmares.
But when someone close to her is brutally murdered and Ava is the primary suspect, she starts to wonder if the legends surrounding the town are more fact than fiction.
Whatever secrets Burden Falls is hiding, there’s a killer on the loose, and they have a vendetta against the Thorns…
Hi and welcome to my review of Wicked Little Deeds. Huge thanks to Dave @ TheWriteReads for organising this mahoosive blogtour and inviting me to join, and to Penguin and NetGalley for the eARC.
I had made myself promise not to accept any blogtour invites but when I got a whiff of Wicked Little Deeds it was simply impossible to walk away, I had such a great time with Kat Ellis’ Harrow Lake last year I could not pass up the opportunity to get my hands on her new novel ASAP. My breaking my promise to myself turned out to be a great decision because I ended up having a brilliant time with Wicked Little Deeds!
I knew from the get-go this would be a good fit for me. I love those teenage thriller/ drama / horror shows like Pretty Little Liars and Riverdale and, although it’s been ages, The Vampire Diaries, and what I enjoy most about those shows is the setting in these rather creepy, small towns, rife with superstition and legends of their own. It’s that vibe that Kat Ellis knows how to create, it’s just perfection.
In the town of Burden Falls, named for its waterfall, the Thorn family have been living up in Thorn Manor for generations. They have an apple orchard and a distillery where they manufacture Thorn’s Blood Apple Sour.
Ava is the youngest Thorn and life as she’s always known it is coming to an end: she and what remains of her family are forced to sell the manor and move to a cottage in town. And to add insult to injury, the family buying the manor is the family with whom the Thorns have had a feud for generations. Ava is trying to come to terms with that, while also still recovering from the terrible shock she suffered a year ago, when she ends up somewhere she shouldn’t be and stumbles across a murdered girl. The girl’s eyes have been bashed in and she was made to look like Dead-Eyed Sadie, the town’s resident ghost / mascot and its version of the Black-Eyed Kids legend.
Now if there’s one urban legend that creeps me out completely, it’s Black-Eyed Kids. For me, they’re right up there with spiders and clowns. So if Wicked Little Deeds was meant to unsettle me, Sadie did the trick quite nicely. As the line between reality and the supernatural blurs, Ava doesn’t know which way is up, and frankly neither did I… And I loved it!
Typical of the abovementioned teenage shows is the fact that the police always seem pretty clueless, and sooner or later it’s up to the teenagers to figure out what’s what. Wicked Little Deeds takes that notion and runs with it. Once again: I loved it!
Ava is a great protagonist and I was rooting for her all the way. She’s tough but in a way I found realistic. There’s a bit of a love interest that seemed quite obvious but who even cares if it is, it works.
I may have said goodbye to my own teenage years longer ago then I care to share, but stories like Wicked Little Deeds still work like a wicked little charm on me. Thrills and chills, Wicked Little Deeds has them in spades. A sprinkling of dry humour, check. A shocking twist, consider that box ticked as well: there is a reveal, I was shocked, I had not seen it coming and it pissed me off (in a good way). In hindsight, all the clues were there, I just didn’t know where to look for them.
In short: I had an excellent time with Wicked Little Deeds. It’s entertaining and fun and atmospheric and I could read stories like this one all day long. Whatever Kat Ellis comes up with next, I wanna be on the blogtour! Recommended.
Wicked Little Deeds is out now in digital formats, paperback and audio.