Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Good me bad me by Ali Land

Annie made the difficult decision to report her mother to the Police, and now she has to live with the consequences.  Her mother is locked up and awaiting trial for the murder of several children, and Annie is living with a new family under a new name.  Milly has the chance for a semi normal life, something she had never had and could never have as Annie, but her new life is far from perfect.  The years spent in her mothers 'loving' care have left Annie with physical and emotional scars that she can't shed as easily as her name, and while Milly is a fresh start there are echoes of Annie that keep getting in the way.  

It doesn't help that her foster father is also a psychologist who has been tasked with helping prepare Milly for trial, which means she spends a lot of time with him - making her foster sister Phoebe jealous and downright nasty.  Despite all her best intentions Milly keeps getting flashes of Annie, and along with Annie flashes of her mother and what really happened in the house she grew up in.  Everyone thinks that Annie was brave to reach out to the Police, and while she has to keep secrets as Milly she also has the chance to build a new life for herself - a new future.  Milly is keeping secrets though, secrets that Annie would approve of - and so would her mother.  As the court case draws nearer, Annie will have to decide if she truly embrace her new life as Milly, or if Annie is here to stay.

Good me bad me popped up on a recommended books list from the library and the blurb was so intriguing that I had to pick it up - mainly because I enjoy reading fiction that challenges you to confront human nature and what people are capable of when they are pushed, and the damage that can be done to people when they are abused / neglected / twisted by their upbringing.  I was not disappointed by Good me bad me, even if it was a slightly unusual writing style that took a little while to settle into.  Once I was settled in and got used to the style I was hooked!

This book would make a very interesting movie or televised drama, mainly because each of the characters have such a strong presence in the book - everyone has secrets and everyone has things that come out as the story progresses.  There is so much going on that at times it feels like the story moves at breakneck pace, and then just when you need it things slow down again (a rather nifty writing trick that keeps you hooked into the story).  Once I finished I gave the book to my mother to read and she also thoroughly enjoyed reading the book too - and while we have similar tastes when it comes to crime it is unusual to find a book we both like as much as we both liked Good me bad me.  It will be interesting to see if Land is able to write more books of this caliber.

If you like this book then try:

Reviewed by Brilla

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