Friday, 16 December 2016

Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land

Book Review

Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land

"Child and parent, no other relationship more complicated exists."

Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land is due to be released on 12th January 2017 and is published by Penguin UK.



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...

I had really high hopes for Good Me Bad Me; I thought it would be a good, in-depth psychological thriller looking at the question of nature or nurture.
Ali Land tries to do this, but I don't think Good Me Bad Me quite reaches the heights that it could have done. Land has constructed a pretty good, disturbing serial killer and balances the glimpses into the past with the current pace of the trial quite well, but I think the book falls down by focusing a lot on Annie/Milly's school girl life and it often reads like a YA novel rather than an adult thriller.

Milly's relationship with the daughter of her foster parents is rather predictable and frankly a bit boring, I got fed up with reading about snotty popular girls and high school bullying. I found the portrayal of teens quite two-dimensional; this is what they're supposed to do, flirt with boys, be mean to other girls, take drugs, there's not much exploration of them as believable people.

I found the story in general a little predictable; I guessed the secret that Milly is hiding pretty early on and the ending seemed inevitable, I would have been more surprised if it didn't happen.

I also found it hard to connect with Milly, her mother was much more interesting, and to be fair to Land she creates and intriguing serial killer. Being female makes her more interesting and Land is good at dropping hints and revealing little parts of what she did to her victims and to Milly, but not too much; your imagination takes it to some very dark places, which is more terrifying than out and out gore.

If Land could have made Milly as interesting as her mother then Good Me Bad Me would have been a better read.

My Rating: 3 Stars

I received a copy of Good Me Bad Me via NetGalley on a read to review basis, my thanks to the publisher and author.

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