Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Wicked Girls

by Alex Marwood Penguin Books, July 2012

...a very different thriller

Wow, this is a very different thriller!  Set in a UK seaside town it tells the story of two women who spent a single day together as children and to their everlasting unhappiness were responsible for a young child’s death.  These woman (Kristy and Amber) meet again as adults during a serial killer investigation.  Kristy, originally the child from a very poor upbringing has struggled through the social welfare/prison system to complete university and is a married mother of two working as a reporter.  Amber, originally the child of a privileged upbringing has fared less well. She works as a cleaning supervisor on the overnight shift at the seaside amusement park.  She lives with common law husband Vic and two beloved dogs.  

As the serial killer's bodies start piling up the two women reconnect.  The story is peppered with interesting characters who are well drawn even if many of them are decidedly creepy including Vic, Amber’s husband and Martin a hanger-on who interjects himself into many lives.  I really liked that many of these characters tell the story in their own voices (first person).  I think it raised the level of the physiological drama to get inside their heads that way.  I bet no one guesses the ending of this one, it had me right up until the last page.

The issues that the story highlights - what happens to child killers as they become adults, how society treats them and how they deal with their own guilt make this a thoughtful work while not in anyway stinting on the suspense.  I bet you’ll remember this story long after you read the last page.

I read a copy of this book provided by the publisher.


Unknown said...

This was good book, but not a great one in my opinion. I agree with you that it was a different and suspenseful story and I had no idea how it would end. It was strange feeling sympathy for the "murderers" as the story unfolded - though in the end I didn't like them.

Homer said...