Annie’s mother is a serial killer. The only way she can make it stop is to hand her in to the police. But out of sight is not out of mind. As her mother’s trial looms, the secrets of her past won’t let Annie sleep, even with a new foster family and name – Milly. A fresh start. Now, surely, she can be whoever she wants to be. But Milly’s mother is a serial killer. And blood is thicker than water. Good me, bad me. She is, after all, her mother’s daughter… Translated into over 20 languages, Good Me Bad Me is a tour de force. In its narrator, Milly Barnes, we have a voice to be reckoned with, and in its author, Ali Land, an extraordinary new talent.
Good Me, Bad Me is one tense thriller. Oh yes. The tension is there from the start The writing style demonstrates that – short sentences, fast paced. At one point I stopped to make a coffee and realised I was so physically tense I was going to have to try and breathe properly and release some of that tension.
Milly knows her mother has done terrible things. Milly’s mother is a serial killer. Milly is the one who reported her to the Police and her mother is now in jail awaiting trial. But Milly misses her mum. She is with a new foster family, has a new name, and has started a new school. She tries, but finds it hard to fit in. She thinks about her mum all the time and can’t sleep. It’s as if her mum is still with her.
Milly’s foster dad is Mike, a psychologist who is an expert in trauma. And Milly has experienced terrible things throughout her life at the hands of her mother. Mike is married to Saskia and they have a daughter Phoebe. It’s clear from early on Phoebe has a problem with Milly. She also doesn’t get on that well with her own mother. She is bitter and angry that her parents are fostering yet again.
Mike has regular counselling sessions with Millie to try and help her cope with what has happened and the forthcoming Trial. But does Mike have his own agenda?
The tension just builds and builds.
The story is told from Milly’s point of view but you soon realise that what Milly says to others is not necessarily what she is really thinking.
Although it gets quite dark at times, I really enjoyed this debut novel. Despite her problems I liked Milly. I wanted a good outcome for her. I got a good ending but …… ?
[My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an advance copy]