‘The Boyband Murder Mystery’ – Ava Eldred

I’ve never found myself being so enamoured with a boyband that I could fully understand the mentality of those who find themselves immersed in the fandom. I know it happens, but there’s something inherently worrying for me that people can become so attached to a construct that they come to define themselves by it. The friendships forged in the name of such fandom can, I’m sure, be intense…and perhaps my lack of understanding for such a situation is why I found myself not quite as engaged with this as I hoped to be.
The Boyband Murder Mystery sounds as if it should have all the ingredients for success. A world-famous boyband, a close friend, an inter-group relationship and something alarming that happens which threatens to rock the band to its core should make for an interesting story, but there were times within the story where I found myself not being quite sure what I was reading.
Our main character is Harri, a nineteen year old in her first year at university, who has spent the last five years defining herself by the friendships formed around her love of the boyband Half Light. For Harri, the boys (Frankie, Kyle and Jack) are everything and she – along with the other millions of girls like her – is convinced she knows everything about the boys, would do anything to save them and can’t live without them.
When Frankie is arrested on suspicion of murdering his best friend, Evan, nobody can quite believe it. Harri and her best friend Jas – who she has never met, and doesn’t really know – are determined that they will use their knowledge of the group to do whatever it takes to prove Frankie’s innocence.
Now, a far more interesting story might have been if such a person had murdered someone…but the focus is really on the girls, so we assume he is innocent and watch as they carry out their own investigations – without ever coming across a police officer – and try to work out who is responsible for setting him up.
There’s no doubt this was entertaining. The story itself, however, felt crazily far-fetched and I found myself quite irritated by Harri and her inability to interact with anyone in the flesh – but it was a good way to while away a few hours. Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to read this before its publication.