Tuesday 17 October 2017

Book review : With Malice - Eileen Cook

Jill Charron, an 18-year-old American high school student who is super-excited about going to Italy on a once-in-a-lifetime school trip, dreams that the experience will change her life and give her memories to last forever. When she wakes up in a hospital bed with severe injuries from a car accident and amnesia that has wiped out her recent memories, her first thoughts are that she has to get better so that she can still go to Italy and she needs her best friend Simone, for moral support and to fill in the gaps in her memory. Her parents eventually have to break the bad news to her : the accident took place in Italy and Simone, who was in the car that Jill was driving, died in the accident.

Things go from bad to worse as she discovers that everyone, including the Italian police, her school friends and the press, are convinced that it wasn't an accident and Jill is to blame. As she has no memory of even being in Italy, let alone the accident, Jill tries to make sense of the facts and suppositions that the police investigation throws up : a fight with Simone, an Italian boyfriend who cheated on her with Simone, ... As the blurb says on the back of the book : "If you can't remember what happened, how can you be sure you're not to blame?"

I was totally gripped and raced through the book in a couple of days. I found the story believable and could empathise with Jill (right up until the very end, which was the only part I found slightly disappointing). Discovering new nuggets of information and police statements, then trying to fit them into the story along with Jill, added suspense and seeing how the press and facebook groups could twist things to corroborate whichever viewpoint they wanted was a pretty damning but realistic representation of society.

Since the novel has teenaged protagonists, it is classed as young adult fiction but it would appeal to a much wider audience so don't be put off by the label.

star rating : 5/5

RRP : £7.99

Disclosure : I won a copy of the book.

1 comment:

  1. Ooh this sounds like my type of book, the introduction of it sounds very heart wrenching and gripping, it would be one of those books I couldn't put down as I needed to know what happened xxx


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