It Could Never Happen Here
by Eithne Shortall
Publication date: February 2022
Their school is about to be taught a lesson…
Beverley Franklin will do whatever it takes to protect her local school’s reputation.
So when a scandal involving her own daughter threatens to derail the annual school musical’s appearance on national television, Beverley goes into overdrive.
But in her efforts to protect her daughter and keep the musical on track, she misses what’s really going, both in her own house and in the insular Glass Lake community – with dramatic consequences.
Glass Lake primary school’s reputation is about to be shattered…
I’ve read a couple of books by Eithne Shortall before and jumped at the chance to read her latest when it appeared on my library app.
“It Could Never Happen Here” tells the story of the parents and students at an Irish primary school. Early in the book we learn that the community’s lives are about to be torn apart by a suspicious death.
This is a contemporary read and it’s full of gossip, humour and some over the top characters. Just imagine some of the competitive mums at the school gate and you’re probably picturing the right kind of thing. As well as playground drama, there’s also an element of mystery as the reader tries to piece together what’s going to happen next.
This is a fun read and I enjoyed it in only a few sittings. For the most part I really enjoyed the mystery as the read progressed, slowly revealing pieces of the story. Told from multiple points of view, I do have to admit that sometimes I felt a little bit lost. I didn’t feel that it was always obvious whose turn it was and the shift threw me a few times, but that didn’t ruin my enjoyment that much. I really liked the inclusion of the police interviews amongst the narrative, reminding me of the interviews in Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies. These interviews gave us first hand emotions and feelings from the characters, who for the most part are intentionally awful and difficult to like.
I liked this story, but it wasn’t my favourite Shortall read so far. I think I would have enjoyed it a little more if I were a school mum myself, with a little experience of the setting. I’d probably recommend this for a mother looking for a little mystery and some laughs too.
Overall rating: “It Could Never Happen Here” by Eithne Shortall is a fun, twisty mystery with some playground drama thrown in for good measure. I enjoyed the story and the setting but it wasn’t my favourite read from this author so far. A nice 3 star read!
See my other reviews of books by Eithne Shortall here: