Friday 29 July 2016

With Malice, Eileen Cook

Pages: 304
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Release Date: 9th June 2016
Edition: UK proof, review copy

Waking in a hospital bed with her leg in a cast, the last six weeks of Jill’s life are a complete blank…

All she knows is what she's been told: while in Italy on a school trip she was involved in a fatal accident and had to be jetted home to receive intensive care. Care that involves a lawyer. And a press team.

Because maybe the accident…wasn’t just an accident.

I was really excited about With Malice – it sounded like a fun, fast-paced read. And it was, but I was also pretty disappointed.

With Malice is pretty much a rehash of Abigail Haas’s Dangerous Girls which I read and completely loved a few years back. The unreliable narrator, mixed media evidence, a horrible crime and twisty motives should have been perfect and yet I just felt like I'd read it before, but better. I didn’t get fully sucked into the drama and the tension because of the trajectory of the plot and Jill’s characterisation just felt obvious. I was really hoping for something that I could hardly bear to put down, but I just ended up being a bit ‘meh’ about it.

I really wish that the Italian setting had been made more of. I know that Jill didn’t remember the trip, but there were dreams and visions and so many transcripts from interview and blogs that I’m sure there was a way to get some more Italy in there. It feels a little wasted.

On the positive side, it is a quick and easy read, and if this plot is a new one to you then you’ll probably be swept right up in it.

Thanks to Hot Key for the review copy.


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