I picked this book up on a whim over Christmas which I found hoarded in the dining room dresser. I think it had been passed on to my mum from a family friend and it is safe to say I only had about 3 hours sleep that night as I managed to finish the whole thing in one sitting!
Mackay tells the story of a young woman, Kate Reynolds, recently released from prison after serving time for the murder of her teenage best friend. Despite confessing to her stabbing and serving six years behind bars, she now protests her innocence. Everybody around her believes her guilty and she employs a private detective to help her unveil the truth.
She hires Madison Attalee, a private investigator with a really troubled life, but who agrees to take on the case despite not being convinced of her innocence. Over the course of the story, they discover the shocking truth about what really happened that night and unveil a web of deceit.
Things I loved:
- I loved Madison Attalee as a character. She is very complex and makes the story much richer. In fact, all of the characters are interesting but flawed. You really buy into their different stories and they each have a distinctive voice which makes it so much more realistic.
- The pacing is very clever. It starts quite slowly but speeds up as the plot thickens which is what makes it such a page turner.
- I like the feminist undertones through the book. Both female protagonists are strong women but we see their suffering at the hands of narcissistic men. Mackay also includes themes of abuse and mental illness, but she does so very delicately so as not to override the main plot.
Things I didn’t like so much:
- Pretty much every character is a little dysfunctional which can be a bit wearing. It might have been good to throw an emotionally stable character into the mix to tone things down a bit at points.
- The beginning of the book is quite slow as Mackay develops the characters, their careers, and their backstories. I get why she does this, but it took me a good few chapters to really get engrossed.
- I found it hard to identify with any of the main characters personally. I think this was partly because they were all so troubled and dysfunctional, but also because the novel would flit between narratives a lot, which meant you never really feel like you get to know a character intimately.
Overall, I absolutely loved this book and would definitely recommend it. It might take you a while to get into it but stick it out as it does get better and before long you will be hooked! It is the first book of the series so I can’t wait to read the next one!
“I don’t believe in evil people as such. I don’t think it’s born, which means it must be created. Something that makes the hand and the mind warp. The outcome being scenes like that.”