Review: The Bakersville Dozen by Kristina McBride

You have four days to locate five treasured trophies. Break the rules and you all die. Happy hunting!

Back in September, the town of Bakersville, Ohio made national news when a video went viral featuring thirteen of the high school’s elite in compromising positions. Now it’s May, and every month since the “Bakersville Dozen” made their infamous appearance on the national stage, one girl has gone missing. Officials are no closer to identifying the criminal.

Bailey “Like a Virgin” Holzman is getting really fed up with the scrutiny. She just wants to enjoy the rest of her senior year and have an epic summer before heading off to college. So when she discovers a note in her locker on the last day of school inviting her on a scavenger hunt, she thinks it’s just a sweet surprise from her boyfriend trying to cheer her up.

But following the clue leads her, instead, to the first official casualty. And another sinister envelope. The killer is close, and it could be anyone. Even the people Bailey’s always trusted most—her best friend, her perfect boyfriend, or the boy-next-door she’s always pined for.

With the clock ticking, she faces a terrifying choice: play the game by the killer’s rules—follow the clues, tell no one, and no cops—for a chance to save the rest of the missing girls, or risk becoming the next grisly victim.

Song For This Book: Halloween by Aqua
Why? This is my favourite slasher-type song, and it works for this, minus the halloween bit.


I received a copy of this book from Skyhorse Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

You never know what you’re getting when you go into a thriller. Some are great, some are bad, most fall somewhere in the middle. But there was something really intriguing about this book that made me very excited to pick it up.

And holy macaroni, this was good. You know that slightly panicky feeling you get in your chest when you watch scary movies too late in the evening? I definitely got a bit of that with this book. It was twisty and turny and will keep you guessing until you find out just who was behind this whole thing. I’m usually pretty good at guessing who the killer is in these sorts of books, but this one was hard! I got part of it, but not until the very end, and I missed most of the most important aspects.

The Good Points of The Bakersville Dozen:

The twists and red herrings are amazing in this book. Every time you think you’ve got it sorted, someone else shows up and makes you question everything you had previously thought. You get to the point where you start wondering if you were the one to make this video because everyone else has been questioned and pardoned.

The pacing is perfect. Just enough to keep you hooked and mildly panicked, but not so fast that you find yourself getting lost over and over.

Despite the fast pace and the thriller element, there was a solid backstory for this book, which is not something we always get. It’s developed well, which just makes the ending even more dramatic when you reach that point. I don’t feel at all like there was anything missing when it came to the big reveal.

I loved the how the love story played into this book, which isn’t something I say a lot. But it fit so well into the story, and provided the perfect plot device to get some characters from one place to another and to create the perfect tension and suspense to really drive this book. It’s a triangle, but we’ll forgive it in this case, because it just works so well.

The Downsides of The Bakersville Dozen:

There was barely any comment on the slut-shaming and misogyny and degradation of these girls. It was almost like Bailey didn’t care that she and the other girls were being objectified. And I guess when it’s life or death and your friends are getting kidnapped, but I still wish that this had been explored a bit more.

Very little character development, which is common in these sorts of books. I barely knew anything about Bailey though, let alone any of the other characters, and I feel like it would have been even more addictive if I actually knew and cared about the characters a bit more.

Now that I’ve finished the book, the whole mystery is a bit ridiculous. I know anything possible, but this seemed to push the boundaries of reasonable. However, this wasn’t something that I really noticed until after finishing the book, so it doesn’t really affect the reading.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book. It was a fun, fast-paced thriller that could have kept me up all night easily. If you enjoy thrillers, whodunits, scary movies that involve a serial killer or something along the lines of Scream, you’ll likely enjoy The Bakersville Dozen.

Find The Bakersville Dozen on Book Depository

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