Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood

Twenty-five years ago, Jade Walker and Annabel Oldacre were the most famous and most reviled children in England.  Left to their own devices by uncaring parents, they had drifted together for an afternoon; an afternoon that ended in the death of a five year old child they were watching.  The country exploded into recriminations and discussions about whether an individual can be born wicked.  The girls were sent into the prison system and released when they were adults, with new names and the hope that they could live reformed lives.

Now there is a murderer in the coastal town of Whitmouth.  Whitmouth is a tourist town, cheap for those without the means to go overseas.  It is a collection of take-away food, cheap amusements such as pubs and Funnland and the wax museum.  Four women have been killed by the man the press is calling The Seaside Strangler. 

This case will have far-reaching effects beyond that of the murder case itself.  For the girls, who haven't seen each other since their trial, will both be drawn in.  Annabel is now Amber Gordon, the head cleaner at Funnland.  She spends her nights cleaning and has carved out a small life for herself, with a live-in boyfriend and two dogs to spend her affection on.  Jade has done a bit better; she is now Kristy Lindsay, a journalist who is assigned to the case.  Kristy has clawed her way into the middle class, with a husband, children and a respectable job. 

The women run into each other in the course of the investigation, and realize the truth of who each one is.  They have no desire to see each other again; each is a reminder of the worst day of their lives and all that they have fought to overcome.  Yet circumstances force them together and before everything is over, they will have to decide if they are still the wicked girls or if they have learned a new way of living life.

Alex Marwood has written a suspenseful story that captures the reader at the first chapter and never lets go of them.  The reader can emphasize with each of the women and with what is happening to them as the investigation pulls their lives out of control.  It brings up the question of nature vs. nurture and how one can redeem an evil act.  This book is recommended for suspense readers.

1 comment:

Highly recommended Minnesota Divorce Lawyer said...

Evocative, gripping, interesting, I loved it!!! Didn't want it to end. I look forward to reading everything by this author.