Under the Bridge by Rebecca Godfrey – Book Review

Under the Bridge by Rebecca Godfrey – Book Review

Under the Bridge by Rebecca Godfrey

Under the Bridge
The True Story of the Murder of Reena Virk

I received a free copy of this book.
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British Columbia, 1997.

Under the Bridge traces the events surrounding the 1997 murder of fourteen-year-old Reena Virk by eight of her peers, in an account based on six years of research and interviews with the accused that offers insight into the social tensions that provoked the crime and the minds of teenage killers. By the author of The Torn Skirt.

Review by Stacey

Under the Bridge is a true crime book about the murder of fourteen-year-old Reena Virk in Canada in 1997. Being in the UK and my teens in that year I don’t remember the case so this crime story was all new to me and I wanted to wait until I had finished the book before Googling it.

At the beginning, we are told that the information within is derived from author interviews, observations, official records, and court proceedings. We are also told that some names and details have been changed and conversations re-created.

The novel opens with the search for Reena Virk and her body being discovered in the Gorge, floating amongst the reeds. We then move on to the teenagers who lived in the small town of View Royal Canada and detailed information on all of them. Some had something to do with her death others merely knew the victim and her killers.

The book is split into five parts including the kill, the killers, the police investigation, the trial, and information on what has happened since. This is a harrowing story of teenagers, mainly girls – 6 girls, and 1 boy murdering another teenager. The circumstances and the lives of these people are stranger than any fiction book could recreate. The why Reena Virk was killed could have been for several reasons and some are given in the book.

Under the Bridge was an insightful and eye-opening story that followed a senseless murder by teenagers who wanted to be gangsters. It looks at everything from all angles and the information comes across clearly. The writing style took some getting used to and the first part which was a ‘getting-to-know-everyone’ section did bore me a little but without this, the rest may have been harder to understand.

Overall, Reena’s story deserves to be told and I was fascinated and amazed by the amount of research the author put into this book and how many years she spent getting and collating the information.

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Rebecca Godfrey


Rebecca Godfrey was an award-winning novelist and journalist. Her first novel, The Torn Skirt, was a national bestseller and a finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. Under The Bridge received one of Canada’s largest literary awards, the British Columbia Award for Canadian Nonfiction, as well as the Arthur Ellis Award for Excellence in Crime Writing. She held an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, and received fellowships from Yaddo and The MacDowell Colony. She taught writing at Columbia University, and lived with her family in upstate New York. She died in 2022.

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