Book Review; Dragonfly Summer- J H Moncrieff

Page Count 300

Publication date November 2022

Publisher Flame Tree Press





-Jo Carter never thought she’d return to Clear Springs, Minnesota. But when the former journalist receives a cryptic note about the disappearance of her friend Sam twenty years before, she’s compelled to find out what really happened. During her investigation, she learns another high school friend has died in a mysterious accident. Nothing is as it seems, and Jo must probe Clear Springs’ darkest corners and her own painful and unreliable memories to discover the truth – and save herself from the killer who could still be on the hunt.



I grabbed Dragonfly Summer from Netgalley when I spotted it was being republished for two reasons. First, I rarely pass up on a FlameTreePress novel and secondly I was very much a fan of Moncrieff’s horror novel Those Who Came Before.

Dragonfly Summer is a thriller that I must say, is absolutely nothing new. But that’s okay! There are many readers that enjoy formulaic whodunnit style mysteries. I myself tend to read them in between tomes, intensive world building stories or books with brain heavy plots.

You’ve heard it before; adults returning to dig up small hometown secrets, a missing teenager, repressed memories- it’s all here in Dragonfly Summer.

Moncrieff nails the opening pages to hook me in and writes a cast of characters that are easy to care for alongside the urge to discover the truth about Sam’s disappearance.
Rather than have the MC explain any history we learn alongside Jo as she slowly recovers pieces of her own childhood, a common trope but still a good one.

I admit there was a portion of the story I found infuriating, an enormous clue is uncovered and our lead character appears to purposely ignore the blindingly obvious answer to spend pages upon pages pondering lesser theories.
However, Moncrieff doubles down on the red herrings leaving enough doubt to keep the reader uncertain and I had not been correct in my final deductions which always pleases me in a mystery plot.

The writing of Dragonfly Summer is easy to follow, with good pacing, plot twists and the expected ramp up to a big reveal.
I prefer when the relationship focus is on friendship rather than romance as is done here and I’d recommend this to anyone looking for a comfortable mystery novel to pass a rainy afternoon.
Well, I say comfortable but for those who require content warnings they are worth checking for this one.

Features & Functions:

Author: Roxanne Michelle

Dramatic, curly-haired wannabe writer from a nowhere town in Somerset. Stop-starter of all projects great and small. Here to talk books, film, mental health and lifestyle.

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