Razorhurst by Justine Larbalestier

Synopsis: Sydney’s deadly Razorhurst neighborhood, 1932. Gloriana Nelson and Mr. Davidson, two ruthless mob bosses, have reached a fragile peace—one maintained by “razor men.” Kelpie, orphaned and homeless, is blessed (and cursed) with the ability to see Razorhurst’s many ghosts. They tell her secrets the living can’t know about the cracks already forming in the mobs’ truce.

Then Kelpie meets Dymphna Campbell, a legendary beauty and prized moll of Gloriana Nelson. She’s earned the nickname “Angel of Death” because none of her beaus has ever survived knowing her. Unbeknownst to Kelpie, Dymphna can see ghosts, too, and she knows that Gloriana’s hold is crumbling one henchman at a time. As loyalties shift and betrayal threatens the two girls at every turn, Dymphna is determined not only to survive, but to rise to the top with Kelpie at her side.

Review: I’m always drawn to novels featuring ghosts and this one was no exception. It must be said that the cover was fun and I was curious to see how the story would be.

First of all I must say that I was surprised to see the format that the author has chosen to present with this volume. Indeed in the story we follow Dymphna Campbell and Kelpie two young different women but who find themselves together with their ability to see ghosts. Each chapter is from the point of view of one of the two and the events progress like that. But in addition to this, between each two chapters we also have something very different, some ideas of the other characters, the Kelpie’s past; parts which were ultimately not a progress on the story, but that gives us a better idea on the characters. I confess that I had a little trouble to be really interested in these chapters, in what was happening, I wanted to go back to the events. I’m not saying it was not interesting but it is true that I was a little disturbed in my reading pace. After, as I said it’s not a bad thing because the story is very well done and interesting.

The world in which we find ourselves is led by two major Mafia members, a woman, Glory and a man, M. Davidson, two enemies who live together in a kind of uneasy peace. Yet all this will change with Dymphna, a young beautiful girl working for the woman but that Mr. Davidson is determined to recover. In addition to this, as always, the last Dymphna’s boyfriend is found shot/dead … why is that? That’s the big question, but they all end up in the same condition. While she is in a difficult situation, the girl meets with Kelpie, a person she is determined to help! Yes, because unlike her, Kelpie can not separate her world and the spirit’s and she is assaulted by all that is happening. But while the two team up together, they learn to understand, to trust and to need the one and the other, they will also have to help each other to survive whatever happen. In this way, we also have two very different boys but who have a little place in our heart, two people who will help the girls for their own reasons.

I was really curious to see how our two heroines would handle everything, how they would be able to survive what was happening and I admit that the author has really created a very interesting story for it. I will not go into details but it’s fascinating to see the life they follow, and finally even if they have the same age, they are completely different. One seems more adult, more responsible, while the other seems to be a little girl, not really knowing what it means to live.

It was a very interesting and different novel, and I took great pleasure in following the story. I wonder if there will be a sequel later or if it is the only novel but in any case I’m curious.




15 thoughts on “Razorhurst by Justine Larbalestier

  1. Yay for ghost stories! And what an interesting set of characters this one seems to feature… Not to mention the backdrop and an entirely unique mythology. I’ve got to say, it does sound like one heck of a story! Loving your review <3

  2. Oooh, interesting! I don’t think I’ve read a book that had two heroines telling a story. That would be interesting to read their dynamics, especially with their differing personalities. The cover is pretty cool, too. I didn’t expect it to have ghosts at all.

    Faye at The Social Potato

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