Marwood’s chilling tale of two girls involved in the death of a small child and the resulting impact that act has on them is absorbing, plausible and unsettling.
After circumstances throw Bel, the unwanted stepdaughter of a wealthy man, and Jade, the child of an outcast pig farmer, together, the two 11-year-olds find themselves on a destructive path that eventually reunites them more than two decades after the terrible deed that branded them as child killers. Hated and scorned by the public, vilified by the press, the two women are given new identities when they are released from custody and instructed never again to have contact with each other. Now they are Kirsty, a respectable freelance journalist with a husband and two children, and Amber, the manager of an amusement park in a slightly shabby seaside town. After a string of young women are murdered there, Kirsty travels to the town to cover the killings for one of her clients, eventually stumbling across Amber. It doesn’t take long for them to realize how they know one another, and despite the order to remain apart, they soon find their paths intersecting with a deadly certainty. Marwood, a journalist writing under a pseudonym, constructs a tightly woven story that exposes the seamier side of human nature and the devastating circumstances that interwove the lives of these two women. Riveting from first page to last, this book unfolds by building on the unexpected. The author skillfully manages to populate the story with evil characters without ever going over the top, making the women sympathetic to the reader and keeping the suspense alive throughout.
A suspenseful, buzz-worthy novel offering a sure-footed depiction of two women who lost their childhoods.