Hi friends, hope you’re keeping well in this current abomination that is 2020? Today I am here to brighten your day with a book review for Kelly Creighton’s Problems with Girls. Taking part in blog tours is one of my favourite things to do, so one of my new year’s resolutions for 2021 is to take part in many more.
Firstly, I would like to say a huge thank you to Kelly for getting in touch to read her book. Otherwise I may not have stumbled across this little gem of a book!
Problems with Girls – Kelly Creighton
Pub Date Independently published, 27 July 2020
Available to order now from Book Depository, Amazon.
Where are the young women here? Can you even see them? After taking some leave, DI Harriet Sloane comes back to work at Strandtown PSNI station, East Belfast, to be faced with murder case. A young political activist has been stabbed to death in the office of a progressive political party where she works as an intern. The killer seems to have a problem with girls, and is about to strike again. Problems with Girls is a fast-paced detective novel that will keep you gripped till the very last word.
For fans of Denise Mina.
Set in 2018, a month after the Belfast Rape Trial and the #ibelieveher rallies that took place throughout Ireland, this novel asks questions about cyberbullying, mental health and consent.
Problems with girls is the second book in the DI Sloane series and follows Harriet Sloane, who is the main protagonist and narrator. She has just returned to her day job as a Detective Inspector at Strandtown Police Service of Northern Ireland from maternity leave after having twins. Struggling to balance being a mother and DI is explored throughout the book. Although it isn’t the first in the series, it can be read as a standalone.
Harriet feels like she has to prove “she still has it” and jumps head first into a murder investigation after a young woman is found dead at PACT (Progressive Active Community Together) office and this is where the story begins. Or rather stories! Let’s just say that a lot goes down in this book!
Creighton’s writing style in this book is very dialogue heavy and I was especially impressed by how believable and natural the communications between the characters were.
Stories with Girls is clever but also a very complex story, which for me was it’s downfall as well. Along with the murder investigation, Harriet becomes involved with a number of other cases on top of her very-very turbulent personal life. I struggled to keep up with the vast number of different characters that were introduced to me over the short period, which made me feel quite overwhelmed. But Harriet is thoroughly likeable, and glimpses to her personal life offered a well needed break from the intricate investigation side of the narrative. Keeping a pen and paper next to me really helped me make sense of the characters, the relationships and the general story-line.
But Overall I am so happy I enjoyed the book, despite feeling overwhelmed at times. If you’re after a crime story with depth and a vast number of characters, lots of action and you have an incredible memory then Stories with Girls is the book for you!
Kelly Creighton’s debut novel The Bones of It (Liberties Press) was the San Diego Book Review’s 2015 Book of the Year, and nominated for the Kate O’Brien Award.
Her short story collection Bank Holiday Hurricane (Doire Press, 2017) was longlisted for the Edge Hill Prize and shortlisted for a Saboteur Award.
The Sleeping Season (book 1 in the DI Harriet Sloane series, set in East Belfast) was published in March 2020 to critical acclaim. She was runner-up for the McLaverty Award and shortlisted for a number of fiction and poetry prizes.
Kelly mentors new writers and teaches creative writing to community groups and school children. She is the founding editor of The Incubator, a journal showcasing the contemporary Irish short story, and co-editor of a multi-genre anthology of festive short stories written by writers living in NI.
Kelly has read at Boston Book Festival, Belfast Book Festival, Aspects, Cuirt, Dublin Book Festival and more.