Publisher: Black Swan
Release: 21st April 2016
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Source: Copy received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
"YOU SEE THE PEOPLE YOU WORK WITH EVERY DAY.
BUT WHAT CAN'T YOU SEE?
Amira, Sarah, Paula, Ewan and Charlie have worked together for years - they know how each one likes their coffee, whose love life is a mess, whose children keep them up at night. But their comfortable routine life is suddenly shattered when an aggressive new boss walks in ....
Now, there's something chilling in the air.
Who secretly hates everyone?
Who is tortured by their past?
Who is capable of murder?"
When I read the synopsis for When She Was Bad I immediately wanted to read it. There are so many psychological thrillers out at the moment that it’s hard to find one with a unique premise. The idea of a murderer at work was so intriguing to me and made a refreshing change from the missing child stories that are currently so popular in this genre.
When She Was Bad is told in alternate chapters, one thread of the story follows a group of work friends in the UK whose once friendly workplace is growing toxic and competitive with the arrival of new boss Rachel. The other half of the story is set in the United States and follows Anne, a child psychologist, who is treating a highly traumatised child called Laurie. Both plots grow more sinister as the book goes on but they also read completely separate from one another. The two storylines kept me invested in this story. I just had to know if and how they were connected!
My only complaint about this book is that it took a while to get going. It’s a thriller that ends on an explosion rather than starts with one so it opens slowly and gathers speed as it goes along. The real fun of this book is getting to know the large cast of characters who all have their secrets and sinister side. Are any of them capable of murder? As the tension in their work environment and personal lives rises, the characters are on tenterhooks with each of them growing more troubled. I loved guessing who would snap first!
I pride myself on usually being about to guess “who done it?” in a thriller but When She Was Bad had such a clever ending that I was completely taken aback by. It also ends on a deliciously twisted final note that teases at what might be in store for these characters when we close the book and leave them.
Overall When She Was Bad is a fresh and exciting read that stands out as different in an overcrowded genre.