Who Killed Christopher Goodman? by Allan Wolf

Who Killed Christopher Goodman? by Allan Wolf | Book Review

Title: Who Killed Christopher Goodman?
Author: Allan Wolf
Published: 
March 2017 by Candlewick Press
Genre: Young adult mystery
How I got the book: I bought it

Summary:

Everybody likes Chris Goodman.

Sure, he’s kind of weird. He wears those crazy bell-bottoms and he really likes the word ennui and he shakes your hand when he meets you, but he’s the kind of guy who’s always up for a good time, always happy to lend a hand. Everybody likes Chris Goodman, which is why it’s so shocking when he’s murdered.

How could a thing like this happen?

My Review:

rp-first-thoughts

I bought this before I even thought to read it for Mystery Month. The title caught my eye and when I read the summary, I was sold.

rp-plot

This book follows multiple first-person points of view of a group of six high school kids. We see how they interact with each other (who’s friends with who) and how they all meet Christopher Goodman. We don’t see through the eye of Christopher, but one of the points-of-view we see is the killer.

Upon reading the title and then reading the summary, I thought this book was going to more so about finding who killed Christopher Goodman, hence what the title suggests. Needless to say, it was pretty misleading.

The story is mainly about the shock of how someone can be there one minute and the next, they’re gone; whether it’s murder or freak accidents. The majority of the book took place before the murder happened so that we would get to know Christopher Goodman and the other characters. However, it focused more so on the other characters’ problems.

And while Christopher Goodman touched each of their lives in a certain way, they were all connected somehow, there was no mystery to this. We’re not on an investigation to find his killer, but we’re on a journey to see why Christopher Goodman was the victim.

Not a bad plot, especially since it’s based off a true story, but the title and summary definitely threw me off.

rp-characters

I enjoyed all the characters. There’s Doc, Hazel, Mildred, Squib, Hunger, Leonard, and of course, Christopher Goodman. Some are friends, some are acquaintances who become friends, but they all seem connected to one another. They’re stories intertwine, which I found to be clever and well done.

They each had their own unique personality and quirk or hobby (such as stamp collecting or sleepwalking) and they all fit in and got along fairly well with one another. While I found them enjoyable to follow, I’ll admit that I didn’t get close to any of the characters.

I didn’t feel as though I could relate to any of them and that included Christopher Goodman. So, while his death was shocking, I didn’t feel for him as much as I probably should have.

rp-writing-style

I think Allan Wolf’s writing style was my favorite part of this book. Each chapter switched POVs, but the heading at the top said which character we were following. Also, each character had a different writing style. Some were written as a narrative, some as poetry, some as block text. When two or more characters were having a conversation, it was written like a script.

It sounds confusing, but the varied writing styles made the book flow smoothly with each character change. I ended up reading this book (about 269 pages) in one sitting. It took me about two hours because it was so easy to read and the different styles kept me engaged.

rp-overall

This book was a good read with quirky characters and an interesting storyline. However, I do wish there was more mystery to it and I wish there was a little more tension. It was a good calming read as I felt like the characters could be sitting in a coffee shop together relaying the story. Still, I wished the title and summary wasn’t so misleading. It made it feel anti-clamactic in a way.

It’s still a good book to pick up, if you’re interested. And, if you do read it, I recommend reading the author’s note at the end. He explains what’s fiction and what the true crime was in real life that this book is based off of. It’s interesting.

Who Killed Christopher Goodman? by Allan Wolf gets…
4 stars book review4 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quote:

“If you want me to do it as a friend, all you have to do is ask. I’d at least consider it.” –Allan Wolf, Who Killed Christopher Goodman?

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Play Mystery Bingo with me! This book was read in part of Mystery Month’s Book Bingo as the “Question Title” square. Feel free to play along with me!

Mystery Month June 2017 Book Bingo

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Mystery is a Mystery

It’s hard to explain why we like something. To quote a video game, “I like what I like.” End of story.

But we all have different tastes and interests in things. Why? Because we all have different personalities. Why? Well, I don’t know. You’ll have to ask the universe that one.

Some people like to watch TV more so than read books. Some people like eating sweets more so than salty snacks. Some people prefer the mystery genre over other genres.

But why? What is it about reading about people getting killed and solving brutal murders and crimes that get us excited?

Mystery is a Mystery - Why do you like mystery novels? Rachel Poli

It’s cooler than it looks.

Most TV shows chalk up the law enforcement to be a lot more fun than what it really is in real life. It’s glamorous, it’s humorous. Sure, the characters get into perilous situations, but they always get out of it. They always win.

Who didn’t want to be a police officer or a detective when they were younger? I know I wanted to be a spy or secret agent when I was a kid. Then I grew up and realized if that ever came true, I’d be cowering behind my partner the entire time.

The world is a scary place. It’s better to follow the main character around in your head and help them solve puzzles while shouting at the TV screen than actually doing so in real life.

The puzzles.

I don’t know about you, but I love sitting on the floor creating a jigsaw puzzle. Or wracking my brain to solve a riddle. I love look-and-find searches whether it’s words or pictures, I enjoy mazes, and I enjoy playing detective games such as the Clue board game or the Ace Attorney or Professor Layton video games series.

Our brains can work in amazing ways and solving puzzles and riddles is just one of those fascinating ways. It’s not easy, you really have to work and think through it. It’s satisfying when you finally so solve a puzzle. You feel accomplished, you feel smart.

I don’t know about you, but if I solve the murder mystery myself before the end of the book, I do a happy dance.

It’s safe.

Whatever you read in a book, whatever you watch on a TV show, you’re safe. It’s not real.

Even if you’re reading a true crime book, you’re still safe in the comfort of your own home. And whatever crime you’re reading about already happened, justice pulled through, it’s over.

I’m sure there are many other reasons why people love mysteries so much. I think, overall, mysteries are great because it’s so interactive with the audience as they try to solve the crime along with the characters.

I could also ask, though, why do you love fantasy so much? Why do you love romance so much? Each answer is going to be different depending on the genre, depending on the person asked.

So…

Why do you love the mystery genre?

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