Thursday, 9 February 2017

Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land

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Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land
Publisher: Penguin-Michael Joseph (12th January 2017)
Source: Publisher via NetGalley


Annie's mother is a serial killer. The only way she can make it stop is to hand her in to the police. But out of sight is not out of mind.As her mother's trial looms, the secrets of her past won't let Annie sleep, even with a new foster family and name - Milly. A fresh start. Now, surely, she can be whoever she wants to be. But Milly's mother is a serial killer. And blood is thicker than water. Good me, bad me. She is, after all, her mother's daughter...Translated into over 20 languages, Good Me, Bad Me is a tour de force. In its narrator, Milly Barnes, we have a voice to be reckoned with, and in its author, Ali Land, an extraordinary new talent.Good Me Bad Me is for fans of quality psychological suspense and reading group fiction.

Disclaimer: I received a complementary digital copy from the publisher, Penguin-Michael Joseph, via NetGalley in exchange for a non biased review.

My Thoughts: intense and truly twisted tale...Ali Land's remarkable debut offering, 'Good Me, Bad Me', is an exceptional psychological thriller. Compelling and addictive from the outset, I felt irritated when my attention was demanded elsewhere and I had to put it down for any length of time.

Milly is a damaged, haunted fifteen year old and she has informed the police about her mother's latest killing of a young boy. The catalyst being that she knew this victim.
To await the trial she is placed in a safe environment only to suffer the hostility of the insecure daughter of the dysfunctional foster family.

Set in London, England, 'Good Me, Bad Me', is written in the first person narrative giving Milly's perspective of events. With an intense, fast paced plot-line, and devious, complex characters, it makes a hugely entertaining compulsive read. The tension and anguish of Milly's contradictory feelings she has for her mother are palpable and truly heartfelt. I routed totally for her during her torturous moments reliving her disturbing past. Milly loves, but is also terrified of, her mother. Most of all she's afraid of herself, and becoming just like her.

However, it's not without its flaws, being a touch (ok, very) over the top with scenarios involving the unlikely, aggressive court questioning of a minor who, for the past ten years, has been subject to mental, physical and sexual abuse, and been witness to several child murders.  I'm not convinced this would be allowed to happen in today's court proceedings. The accident scene was a little contrived and implausible too with regards to the suggested timeframes, etc, etc, in my opinion.

These two niggles aside, 'Good Me, Bad Me' is an explosive, pulse racing, tortuous thriller with a convincing portrayal and perceptive character study of the behaviour and thought processes of the daughter of a serial killer mum.  I really enjoyed it.

With a great plot and gripping storyline, it's perfect for fans of, 'The Girl on the Train', 'Gone Girl', and all the other psychological thrillers of the genre.