Sunday, 8 July 2012

The Wicked Girls Alex Marwood

A strong debut novel pitched into the crime thriller genre.
Written by a UK journalist using a pseudonym the novel is based on the South Coast of the UK in the fictional town of "Whitmouth".
The book opens with a scene of the day of a crime in the past, allowing us to meet the perpetrators and as the book unfolds history intersperses current day scenes.
The majority of the novel deals with the aftermath. What happens to those who commit major crime as children? What happens when they are given a new identity? Taking two very different girls with very different backgrounds Alex Marwood lets us see into their home lives both in the past, to give a view of  possible triggers for the background crime and in the present as we gain understanding of the level of subterfuge they employ to live apparently normal lives. Both girls now have partners, one has children. Both have built new lives including careers of a sort.
How honest have they been with their new families? How much do their new families know?
To add to the mix there is a serial killer in Whitmouth...and a stalker. Or is that one person?

This sounds like the book could be overloaded with plot and characters but it's not. It's deftly written, non judgemental and while you might wonder at times why a stalker is necessary and just how many characters can be needed in the staff room they all add a level of understanding to the treatment of past offenders.

All in all this is a  great read on several levels. Despite the crime thriller bracket it stands out as being different from the norm with an element of social commentary and no specific detective. I look forward to the next book and hope it is as cleverly spun out.
PS to the author, thank you for the simple device that made B become A and J become K. It did make it easier!

If you would like to read it next tweet me @nneerraakk and it's yours!

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