“The Truants” is one of those books that I first saw on the blogosphere, but I have no idea how or when it actually got stuck in my mind. A murder mystery set in a university campus, reminding me of a book I loved – what better story to read during my holiday? 🙂
The Truants in a nutshell
“The Truants” tells the story of Jess, an ambitious first-year Literature student. Her new life in the campus has a promising start, as she becomes close friends with a group of rule-breakers, including the famous and charismatic professor Lorna Clay (who is based on a real professor of Kate Weinberg). But Jess learns that all that glitters is not gold, as weird dynamics develop in their group and things take a sudden turn for the worse.
I have mixed feelings about “The Truants”. The first half of the book was ok, with a bit too much romantic drama and teenage troubles for my reading taste. However, the second half brought what I was expecting – the thrill, the mystery and the unputdownable chapters! It is a different type of murder mystery, with a less obvious murder in sight, and I definitely enjoyed the final part of the story!
Influence of Donna Tartt?
Ever since buying this book I thought is was similar to “The Secret History” by Donna Tartt – a book I loved, as you can read in my highly enthusiastic review 🙂 A murder mystery happening in a university setting, a tightly knit group of friends, a semi-god teacher … on the surface it sounds exactly like the recipe used by Donna Tartt. Plus a quote on the back cover that said “Like a wickedly Donna Tartt, Agatha Christie, and Liane Moriarty all mixed into one” (Scarlett Curtis). I loved Donna Tartt’s novels, and my previous read was Agatha Christie … what a great combo!
Yes, the books is similar to “The Secret History” to some degree. But I also found similarities with the other books written by Donna Tartt – there’s a lot of alcohol and drugs, and teenagers who struggle with finding their own path of life (as read in “The Goldfinch”), and there are some exotic elements interwoven in the plot – no spoilers! (as read in “The Little Friend”). So if you like Donna Tartt’s writing, then you might also enjoy reading “The Truants”!
Learning about Agatha Christie
As a side-effect of reading Weinberg’s story I found out interesting things about Agatha Christie’s life. For example, did you know that she went missing for 11 days? At that time Christie was already a well-known author, so her mysterious disappearance started one of the biggest manhunts. It was the first time that aeroplanes were also involved in the search! (HistoryExtra.com)
A modern whodunnit, a story about friendship and betrayal, transition (or not) to adulthood, “The Truants” is a story I recommend if you’re interested in reading murder mysteries and / or stories with a strong literature flavour. For a great experience, try playing truant while reading the book! 🙂
‘Till next time … happy reading!
Cover picture from KateWeinberWriter.com