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The Killing Woods

Written by Lucy Christopher

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The Killing Woods Review

Books of the Month Featured Books for 13+ readers Gritty Reads Recommended Children's eBooks Thrillers

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.

Julia Eccleshare M.B.E

Other Info

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.

The Killing Woods Synopsis

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

9-11 Shortlist

The Battles of Ben Kingdom by Andrew Beasley

The Great Ice-cream Heist by Elen Caldecott

Ways to See a Ghost by Emily Diamand

Osbert the Avenger by Christopher William Hill

The Child's Elephant by Rachel Campbell-Johnston

Wild Boy by Rob Lloyd Jones

11-14 Shortlist

Anthem for Jackson Dawes by Celia Bryce

After Tomorrow by Gillian Cross

How to be Invisible by Tim Lott

The Poison Boy by Fletcher Moss

Blood Tracks by Paula Rawsthorne

Geek Girl by Holly Smale

14-16 Shortlist

The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher

Infinite Sky by C.J. Flood

Hostage Three by Nick Lake

Siege by Sarah Mussi

Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher

The Quietness by Alison Rattle

The Killing Woods Press Reviews

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.

Robin Johansson, age 15
- 'Life's completely thrown upside down the night Emily's dad carries home a dead girl found in the woods. Being an ex-soldier, all fingers are pointing at him being the killer but Emily seeks the truth.'  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. 

Ayesha Afghan -
'a really mysterious novel full of darkness and tragedy, which makes it an amazing book to read! I completely adored it!'   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.
Joe Wilkes, age 14 -
'In all, I think The Killing Woods is a decent enough book, worthy of merit due to its unconventional concept of dark mystery, almost unbeknownst to the teen reading community.'   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

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781906427726
Publication date: 03/10/2013
Publisher: Chicken House Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781906427726
Publication date: 3rd October 2013
Author: Lucy Christopher
Publisher: Chicken House Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 384 pages
Suitable for: 13+ readers
Genres: Gritty Reads, Thrillers
Recommendations: Books of the Month, eBooks, Reviewed by Children

About 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 ...

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