2014 Book Reviews

The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood

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One fateful summer morning in 1986, two 11-year-old girls meet for the first time and by the end of the day are charged with murder.

Twenty-five years later, journalist Kirsty Lindsay is reporting on a series of attacks on young female tourists in a seaside town when her investigation leads her to interview funfair cleaner Amber Gordon. For Kirsty and Amber, it’s the first time they’ve seen each other since that dark day when they were just children. But with new lives – and families – to protect, will they really be able to keep their secret hidden?

I bought this book after reading so much of the hype that surrounds it. I’m so pleased I did, this was one of those books that I just couldn’t be away from, for a second.

This is the story of Kirsty and Amber, two women with new identities and a past they want to stay hidden. Twenty-five years ago they spent a day together which ended in them being arrested for the murder of four-year-old Chloe.

Twenty-five years later Kirsty is a journalist fighting to keep her family surviving, after her husband is made retired. As for Amber, she works as a cleaner in a run down seaside resort theme park.

When the bodies of young girls start turning up in Amber’s hometown it brings in lots of journalists desperate to be part of the story, which brings in Kirsty. These two women as part of their bail must NEVER see or speak to each other. But with Amber finding the body it was inevitable that her and Kirsty should come face to face….

The story is mainly told in the present text, but we get snippets of what happened all those years ago, the lead up and the death of little Chloe. Which I won’t lie as a mum I did find my heart in my mouth many times.

This book made me think SO much, it gave me such confused feelings, in a good way. As a mum, instantly I was horrified and disgusted, these two murderers were out living lives whilst an innocent child was not. Then as I read it more and more my heart actually bled a little for them both. Because they were children themselves, they aren’t really living a life they loved, both just about had their heads above the water. Living a complete lie, they could never be themselves because they were absolutely hated by the world. Plus they were so young, I sort of believed they had learnt their lessons. Also their own “parents/role models” had a lot to answer for, two young girls out all day under no supervision and in charge of a toddler. (Remember I’m talking about fiction, not real life).

As the story progressed I found myself completely hooked and hungrily eating up the words desperate to get to the end. I was on the edge of my seat as the book progressed at times wishing I had the power to read with my eyes closed as I grimaced.

This was such an addictive read, intense, dark, full of suspense, engrossing and absolutely unputdownable.

Alex Marwood tells a powerful story that will have you thinking about it long after you finish it.

I cannot recommend this enough. Truly superb. I absolutely LOVED it and I look forward to many more books from Alex. Alex is my new author crush.

You can get The Wicked Girls in paperback and kindle.


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