Reader Reviewed The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher

The Killing Woods

Written by Lucy Christopher

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Shortlisted for the Leeds Book Awards 2014, 14-16 age category - October 2013 Book of the Month

Suitable for older teenagers as contains some explicit content - we recommend 16+

The stakes are very high in this tragically dark teen novel by award-winning Lucy Christopher. When a young girl is found dead in the woods it is easy to blame the local war veteran who is still suffering from mind-changing flashbacks. But his daughter Emily is sure of his innocence. Determined to prove it Emily probes behind the scenes. Talking with the dead girl’s boyfriend Emily discovers the terrible game that she and her friends played. It’s a game so dangerous that can end in death. Lucy Christopher pulls no punches in this chilling story about teenagers and the risks they take.

A Piece of Passion from Barry Cunningham, Publisher,

The Killing Woods is an emotionally charged, beautifully told story about the loss of innocence and the tangled games that teenagers play. It’s a book that award-winning author Lucy Christopher was driven to write – bringing together, in one gripping narrative, her intuitive understanding of teen attraction and the tipping points between love, sex and danger.
It has been a fascinating process: watching Lucy battle with her deeply-felt themes, shifting the points of view within, and even the setting of, the novel, and then hitting her stride.
What happened to the girl found dead in the woods? Who are the real victims in the story? Where is the truth? The answer is an extraordinary exploration of both the dark side of being human and the nature of collective responsibility.

It’s a tour de force.

reader reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for The Killing Woods a small number of readers were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here's a taster....'An intricate plot keeps readers enthralled and mystified, emotional and empathetic...A wonderful book recommended for all.'

Scroll down to read more reviews...


The winners of the Leeds Book Awards are chosen by you! Read the books, talk about them with your friends & teachers and decide which one is your favourite. You can vote in your local library or at Voting closes on Friday 25th April and the winners will be announced on Tuesday 20th May.

See below for the entire shortlist.


The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher

Emily's dad is accused of murdering a teenage girl in the woods behind her house, the place she played in as a child. She's sure he's innocent, but what did happen? Determined to find out - and afraid of what she might discover - Emily seeks out the boyfriend of the murdered girl. He also knows these woods. Maybe they could help each other. But Damon Hillary has his own secrets about the dangerous games that are being played in the dark.

Visit The Killing Woods blog page for more news, exclusives and competitions.


Leeds Book Awards 2014

The Battles of Ben Kingdom by Andrew Beasley

Ways to See a Ghost by Emily Diamand

The Child's Elephant by Rachel Campbell-Johnston

11-14 Shortlist

After Tomorrow by Gillian Cross

The Poison Boy by Fletcher Moss

Geek Girl by Holly Smale

The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher

Hostage Three by Nick Lake

Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher

The Quietness by Alison Rattle


A small number of readers were lucky enough to be invited to review The Killing Woods. Read their reviews below.

Sarah Murray, age 15 - 'Yet again Lucy Christopher has written a nail biting, thrilling novel that kept you guessing right until the end. I absolutely loved The Killing Woods, I couldn't put it down!' Click here to read the full review.

Chloe Sheehan, age 15
- 'This Book was mind-blowing, absolutely unbelievably well written. The way the book was written was done exceptionally well by Christopher.' Click here to read the full review.

Safiyah Afghan, age 15 -
'An intricate plot keeps readers enthralled and mystified, emotional and empathetic...A wonderful book recommended for all.' Click here to read the full review.



‘A vivid new voice for teens’ Melvin Burgess

‘Tautly written and hard to put down’ The Independent on Sunday

About the Author

Lucy Christopher

Lucy Christopher was just 25 years old when she came to prominence with her debut novel Stolen, which garnered international critical acclaim. It won the Branford Boase Award 2010 and was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize in the UK. Overseas, it was awarded a Gold Inky and was shortlisted for the prestigious Prime Minister’s Literary Award in Australia, and received a Printz Honor in the USA. It has now sold a quarter of a million copies worldwide and has been translated into 16 languages. Her second novel, Flyaway, was shortlisted for the Costa Children’s Book Award. Inspired by her fascination with wild places and the teen psyche, The Killing Woods is Christopher’s third novel.

Born in Wales but having grown up in Australia, Christopher later returned to the UK and currently lives on the edge of the woods in Monmouthshire. She has a PhD in Creative Writing and lectures in writing for children and young adults at Bath Spa University.

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Book Info


384 pages


Lucy Christopher
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Chicken House Ltd

Publication date

3rd October 2013




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