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Running Girl

(The Garvie Smith Mysteries #1)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  1,143 ratings  ·  205 reviews
Meet Garvie Smith. Highest IQ ever recorded at Marsh Academy. Lowest ever grades. What's the point, anyway? Life sucks. Nothing ever happens.

Until Chloe Dow's body is pulled from a pond.

DI Singh is already on the case. Ambitious, uptight, methodical - he's determined to solve the mystery and get promoted. He doesn't need any 'assistance' from notori
Paperback, 434 pages
Published June 4th 2015 by David Fickling Books (first published January 2nd 2014)
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Average rating 4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,143 ratings  ·  205 reviews

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Liz Barnsley
May 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Highly enjoyable YA crime fiction story to be had here – with a really most tremendous main protagonist in Garvie Smith and a brilliant foil in his Police Officer sidekick – ok so DI Singh defnitely wouldnt consider himself a sidekick – he’s the main man surely? A seriously good yin/yang relationship that brings this book an extra layer of ironic fun.

Garvie used to go out with Chloe – who was beautiful but not necessarily particularly nice – so when she is murdered he takes a vague i
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, stars-4-0
YA crime novel with a difference!

I didn’t expect this to be so ‘gritty’. Garvie is such an interesting character, grumpy teenager, combining extreme intelligence with extreme boredom. Fascinating really (although I definitely ‘felt’ for his mother with him being such a difficult person), especially when his brain is finally turned on, and then nothing stops him.

Mason brings such a modern slant to the ‘cosy murder mystery’ which in turns takes much of the ‘cosy’ away. Garvie, the thr
Amy | shoutame
Jun 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
I have really mixed views on this read. I honestly can't work out if I enjoyed it or not. All in all I would give it between 3.5 and 4 stars.

- So this novel follows the story of a young girl who has been found murdered in a pond. The protagonist of the novel is a teenage boy named Garvie Smith, Garvie used to date the girl who has been murdered and decides to take it upon himself to find out who murdered her. Garvie is a very intelligent guy and outwits the police throughout the enti
Robert Brown
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great mystery story. Interesting how we follow Garvie and learn about the clues as he does. Recommend 👍
Dec 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I bumped up my rating from four stars to five out of spite after reading through all the other reviews.

As someone who enjoyed and identified with Garvie, I don't quite understand many reviewers' dislike towards his character. Yes, he's a cocky showoff who's too cool to make an effort at being a good student but he is, after all, a teenager. And a very clever one at that. Perhaps it was just in my personal experience but I remember teenage years being a blatant showcase of everyone's
Virginie (chouettblog)
May 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-reads-2015
Chloe Dow was as beautiful as she was … a bitch (at least in the eyes of her peers). But still, she did not deserve to meet such a tragic end.

The community is shocked by her death and DI Singh has been entrusted with the task to bring the perpetrator of her crime to justice…If only, teenager Garvie Smith kept his nose out of it, it would make his job a lot easier.

Unfortunately, Garvie who is a brilliant mind and equally the greatest underachiever in his school was yet to
A cracking crime novel ideally suited to the younger reader

Meet Garvie Smith: Charming, brilliant and completely bone idle. If anything can get his attention, it might just be a murder.

Running Girl is a riveting read full of fast-paced, action-packed drama and intensity that is sure to encourage young teens to read. The clever twists and turns within the electrifying storyline keep you sat in suspense throughout, while Simon Mason intentionally writes in such a way as to shock you when least expected. Per/>Running
I have really mixed feelings on this book.

As a Crime novel it was brilliant. So cleverly written with lots of twists and turns which kept you guessing right until the end. I liked how everything was turned on its head several times and being made to rethink things over and over again as the story went on. The story with the girl who died was almost a bit twin peaks esque (without the weirdness) as you got to find out a darker side of a girl who on the surface looked perfect.

However I really re
Jul 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, crime
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 14, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The slouchy, too cool for school kid that everyone who went to state comprehensive experienced. Coupled with a high IQ and a twist of Sherlock Holmes, Garvie Smith is the newest teen detective on the council block. Good, strong characters and sparky dialogue with Inspector Singh made this mystery bounce along. A little bit uncomfortable with the caretaker storyline, but ultimately a good story with twists and turns. Some of my teen reading group read this and loved it.
Amy C
Nov 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, own-it
oh my god this was good. I don't normally go for any type of murder mystery as they scare the shit out of me and give me anxiety but Garvie is such a sarcastic little shit I knew I had to do it. The plot was brilliant, keeping you guessing and wondering the whole time but the dynamic between characters is what really made this book special. So complex and wonderful I honestly couldnt put it down
Grace Oldman
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When popular kid , Chloe Dow, is pulled out of a pond. Police class it murder. Garvie Smith is determined to solve the mystery of who murdered his ex girlfriend, even when DI Singh continuously has to tell him to stop interfering. Follow Garvie on his investigation of the girl who maybe has more secretes then she lets out.

I really enjoyed this book! I recommend it to those who love mystery’s and twists! Plenty of times I suspected plenty of people yet they suspects seemed to change every so oft
Kiera O'Brien
This is a really well-written book. The mystery is excellent- while reading I was constantly at a stage of low-level, baffled frustration, which is exactly how I want to feel while reading a whodunnit. Initially I was a little disappointed by the big reveal, just because it wasn't really signposted for the reader, but that turned out to be a double bluff and the actual big reveal was not only more satisfying but really quite chilling, and set up a more perilous, exciting ending. There were a few ...more
Apr 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like to treat "murder like a puzzle, a formal problem with interesting features, to be solve at [your] leisure" then Running Girl might be for you. A crime story involving paedophilia, rape, murder. On a personal level stories about these things aren't ones I can enjoy. So the four stars is for the taut language, the moody skies, the diversity (a sikh copper, a black teen (unofficial) detective) and the characterization all of which I can appreciate.

[The quote, by the way, com
Sandi Faulconbridge
An interesting read with lots of twist and turns. Crime, maths, and not-so-good every-day kind of people.

Strong male characters. It's great to read a novel where the main characters are not the normal 'white male'.

It has quite a slow start ... kind of like Garvie himself ... and then as more information about the murder comes to light and Garvie gets involved the story also starts to get more 'energy', like Garvie when a puzzle catches his attention.

Very keen to read the next one when its out
Sep 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, teenreads
This was great. Garvie Smith is sharp as a tack, funny and cocky, and determined to find out what happened to classmate and ex-girlfriend, Chloe. He both helps and frustrates the policeman on the case, Raminder Singh. Fast-paced, realistic and funny despite the serious subject, this novel would translate well to screen. Thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely read another of Garvie Smith's crime-solving adventures.
Melinda Szymanik
Jun 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Garvie Smith is such a terrific character and he has the perfect foil in DI Raminder Singh. I enjoyed the writing and the story very much. I did figure out whodunnit early on but still found the journey to resolution very entertaining. Character and plot got a little vague at times but I would happily pick up another Garvie Smith mystery.
3.5 for this one! While it might be hard to like Garvie Smith, the novel's protagonist, at first glance, the more I read, the more I came to like and appreciate him. Like many teens, he hides a soft and caring heart and a keen intellect behind a careless, uncaring veneer. He's completely unmotivated by school or his teachers, but he's loyal to his friends and has a keen sense of justice. When his former girlfriend, Chloe Dow, dies, Garvie is interested in solving the case. But DI Singh, who's be ...more
Apr 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Trigger warnings: murder, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, violence, fire, suicide, stalking, racial slurs, (view spoiler)

I've been meaning to read this one for a while now, because it's one of our most popular crime titles at work. And when I was reading it, I found it an engaging and often intriguing crime story, full of twists and turns. But every time I stopped reading? I'd almost instantly be struc
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: khs-books
Oh Garvie, you are a naughty naughty boy and you are totally endearing! You'd break a mothers heart! Never where you are supposed to be, always poking your nose into things which are not your concern.

This is the story of Garvie's ex girlfriend, she is murdered and Garvie decides to give the police a helping hand to sort out who did this horrible thing to her. Driving the poor beleaguered Detective Inspector Singh to despair with your amateur, yet surprisingly accurate detecting. I lo
Excellent YA mystery with an unforgettable & authentic protagonist. Highly recommended.
Sara Clyndes
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Twist after twist! Really enjoyable with dark themes but Garvie’s humour brings a lightness to the story. Believable and very clever. I couldn’t stop reading as the tension continued.
This book was a very good detective mystery book, and it had a very large plot twist at the end which I was not expecting. I did not guess who the murderer was until very near the end as it kept me on my feet and I couldn't stop reading it. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves solving mysteries.
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
God, what an amazing book.
I did predict the killer about 60 pages in, but then I completely forgot, and just became addicted to the book.
Jan 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
This was a nice murder mystery with a hero I didn't like.

Garvie thinks he's cool and that rules don't apply to him. He's exploiting the goodness of friends, is rude to police detectives, and lies constantly to his mother without making sure he can't get caught in a lie. If you are using a visit to a friend as an excuse to go poking around where you shouldn't: tell the friend, so he can cover for you! Seems Garvie isn't as smart as he thinks he is.

So yes: I really disliked
Apr 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I believe Running Girl is a novel for all readers, teenagers and adults. I am a woman reader and found Running a suspense page turner. I enjoyed every single page. Further more I think Running Girl has the all the ingredients to make this novel into a film. Simon has worked hard on this novel giving all of the characters their own personality making this story so enjoyable to read.Without question Running girl is fast paced where the story starts Garvie Smith and his friends meet in a playground ...more
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book as it was creative and very readable. Garvie smith is a very intelligent teenager who refuses to use his intelligence to help him at school. He hangs around with a crowd of no-hoper friends which makes his Mum furious with him as she wants him not to waste his potential. When a girl Garvie used to date is found murdered in a pond near to where they live, Garvie puts his intelligence to the test and starts to look into Choe's murder much to the dismay of Sergeant Singh ...more
Ms. Yingling
Very well done. I liked this a lot more than the books about boys who feel they are girls. It addressed some of the social norms, and why they shouldn't be there, and had a quite interesting part about how the main character felt okay when dressed, but didn't like how soft her body had become (I use her because at that point in the book, the character hadn't transitioned). However, like many books dealing with issues of gender and sexual identity, this had more recreational drug and alcohol use ...more
Running Girl is brilliant as a who-dun-it. There a plenty of twists and turns. Misdirection, so you think you know who is it but then in the next chapter you're back at the start. It wasn't until the last couple of chapters where I thought I knew and then it turned out I only had part of the who but got the motive wrong.

Garvie is unlikeable. You know from the blurb he isn't going to be a character you'll love but I was hoping there would be some endearing moments, instead he's just a brat for m
Mar 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
this book was so fantastic especially in the beginning. I loved the characters and the plot. One thing that I did not quite enjoy was the ending because there were some questions (motives) left unanswered :( but as a whole i really liked it!
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Simon Mason was born in Sheffield, Yorkshire, on 5 February 1962. He was educated at local schools and studied English at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. He splits his time between writing at home and a part-time editorial position with David Fickling Books, an imprint of Random House and publisher of his 2011 children's novel, Moon Pie.

He is the author of the Quigleys series for young rea

Other books in the series

The Garvie Smith Mysteries (4 books)
  • Kid Got Shot  (The Garvie Smith Mysteries #2)
  • Kid Alone: A Garvie Smith Mystery
  • Hey, Sherlock! (Garvie Smith Mysteries, #4)
“Aunt Maxie giggled. ‘What can he be thinking about so hard?’
‘Best not to know,’ his mother said. She tsked. ‘One day that boy’ll go too far.’
‘Something serious. Look at him. He can’t even hear us talking about him. What can it be?’
‘Complex numbers,’ Garvie said, without taking his eyes off the table.
With a suspicious glance at her son, Garvie’s mother asked Aunt Maxie about the new locl convenience store, and they settled into a conversation about the scandalous rising prices of food.
Garvie carried on thinking.
a + bi, where i has the property i squared = -1. The product of a real number and an imaginary number. You don’t compute complex numbers, you rotate them. You move them into an imaginary dimension and the answer is an unexpected jolt from the blue.
‘Garvie? Garvie?’
He looked up at his aunt. ‘Alex is lying,’ he said.
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