Abby is found dead, face down in a pool and all those around her are the suspects. From her boyfriend to her best friend, her rival to her secret lover – all of them had reason to want her dead and all of them are on the detective’s radar. Told in a 4-part story, each segment is from the point of view of each of the suspects.
Touted as a perfect read for fans of Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars, Alibi certainly lives up to that statement – and then some. Full of steamy lust, deceit and lies, the relationships of these characters converge and dissipate at a moment’s notice. Beginning with Charles’ story, each of the subsequent tales adds to or corrects the established narrative. While understandably that this is a collection of all 4 volumes, I felt it got a bit repetitive. Some conversations and scenes played out almost in full on several accounts where I felt it could have been acknowledged and perhaps moved along – although I do understand the point to establish the same moment in time to link the stories.
I also personally felt it a bit confusing at times with the jump in months that established time in the story. “End of August” or “End of October” didn’t really stand out to me in terms of what was going on with each character at that time. It’s not until I read a bit further into those sections that I remembered what was going on. There were some moments that were occurring in the present, and then flashbacked to recall their stories but at times it didn’t feel completely clear that was happening.
That being said, I am absolutely enthralled and amazed with how well these four volumes meshed together in such a cohesive way given that there were 4 authors – one to each part. I’d be curious to find out the writing process… whether they each took turns in a row to add to an established plot with their own character’s voice, or if they all sat down together to decide on the direction of where it would go beforehand, and then build off of it. A fantastically woven murder mystery that leaves you wondering who killed Abby, while adding a lot of red herrings or diversions along the way. All loose ends are cleverly explained and tied up, and just when I thought they had forgotten to answer one particular moment from the first volume, there it comes at the end. Very very well plotted out. I actually thought I had it all figured out by the 2nd volume at one point and was – thankfully – wrong as I would hate for the story to have cheapened out with that route.
The story is available in separated parts, but that just seems redundant to me. For a fairly quick read, you need to consume all 4 parts together to find out the full story of what happened to Abby Shelton.