Fragmented memories. Blood. A blade. And then darkness. The Hummingbird Dagger provides the intrigue of Sherlock Holmes and the eerie and sinister atmosphere of Stalking Jack the Ripper. With both a mysterious backstory and plenty of suspense, The Hummingbird Dagger by Cindy Anstey is a thriller that teen audiences are certain to enjoy. Violence, lies, and death linger down every cobblestone street and lurk in the shadows of each character.

The Hummingbird Dagger begins with a tragic accident: Lord James Ellerby’s brother, Walter, losing control of his carriage. In the midst of this accident, they discover a girl who has no recollection of who she is or where she was going. This mysterious girl that they soon refer to as “Beth” appears innocent, but her past is certainly troubled — her dreams haunted by a mysterious man and constant flashbacks to a captor with her blood. Beth cannot make sense of these memories and slowly starts to piece together her own past, her life suddenly intertwined with that of the Ellerbys, a rich and prestigious family set on uncovering her past. With a dark and shocking plot, Anstey gives readers a journey full of twists and complexity. Danger is imminent with a madman on the loose and only Beth’s memories as a guide, and finding her way may prove more difficult than anyone could have imagined.

The Hummingbird Dagger was an engrossing, pulse-pounding read. While the story was interesting enough, the flashback scenes brought the story to life, keeping me constantly guessing and flipping pages, needing to find out about Beth and her mysterious dreams. While some points in the novel felt a bit slow and lacking endurance, Anstey proves her ability as a novelist, crafting a vibrant and thrilling world of deceit and mystery, one that felt like a modern rendition of Sherlock Holmes. For those in search of the next great thriller, look no further; this story is impossible to put down and completely riveting.

Beth is haunted by a history that she cannot remember. The Ellerbys are struck with guilt and are determined to help a desperate girl with little memory and unspeakable odds against her. As Beth comes to terms with her past, The Hummingbird Dagger drags readers into the dark allies and gloomy streets of London, constantly providing enough thrills and suspense to keep readers guessing until the very end.

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