Book Review – The Things You Find In Rockpools by Gregg Dunnett

First published, 2018

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 

“It’s Tuesday evening now, and my head hurts a little. That’s because I’ve been thinking a lot.”
14% in, Chapter 11, The Things You Find In Rockpools by Gregg Dunnett

In The Things You Find In Rockpools, we meet eleven-year-old Billy Wheatley. As a young lad growing up on a holiday island off the eastern coast of the United States, with single father Sam, Billy has assorted interests, including hermit crabs, wildlife photography and amateur detective work, and everything he does, he completes to a near-professional standard – which isn’t bad for a preadolescent.

However, when teenage tourist, Olivia Curran, goes missing, the rest of the island is prepared to believe she just went swimming late at night and drowned. Always looking for a new interest, Billy decides to solve the mystery of what happened to Olivia, but little does he know, the answer lies a little closer to home than he might have imagined.

The writing is stunning. Billy is a great character, really well-written and thoroughly enjoyable to read. He has a bit of a butterfly brain, always interested in something different to the point of distraction, and he has the semi-formed ideas of a young lad which I really liked. He was terrifically well realised. Actually, all the characters are remarkable. It can be difficult to keep track of who everybody is, and what their relationships are, with a new book and an author you don’t know, but I was able to follow the story really easily, which is pretty amazing given the cast of characters and how complex the mystery is.

I just loved Billy and will look forward to reading the rest of this series.

“I slide back behind my tree and think for a moment. I’ve made good progress: I know where (redacted for the sake of spoilers) lives, and therefore, I probably know Olivia’s location, whether she’s alive or dead. This is good. But I know I need more. If I go to the police now, they still won’t believe me. I’m just a kid, they won’t realize I’m really a scientist. Even if I could get them to listen to me, they might believe me just a little bit and send one officer to ask him some questions, and then they’d probably get kidnapped and be kept in the cellar or killed too.”
17% in, Chapter 14, The Things You Find In Rockpools by Gregg Dunnett

An exceptional story. Must read.