Book lover. Stephen King Fanatic. Will try anything once. General Lover of Fiction. Reviewer Everywhere. All views my own. Mostly.
The Bad Things is a tense and emotional thriller, a definite page turner, another that I couldn't put down once started and read really fast.
There are two main threads here - Alex, whose sister's children were taken and killed, only one ever turning up - and who hides a difficut secret. Kate, the police detective who found the child's body years ago and has been affected by it ever since who is dragged back into the case when one of the culprits is released from jail having had her conviction declared unsafe. We follow both these women on a twisty turny path towards truth, where secrets lie buried and everybody lies.
This is one of those novels that just grips you - even if at first you are not sure why. It is not a new theme or idea to be sure but that never matters when the story is compelling and this one absolutely is. Alex and Kate were both very different but fascinating and the minutae of their lives quite apart from the central plot was cleverly intertwined with the mystery and gave the story depth.
As for the mystery element, this was a good one for those of us who like to get our head into untwisting the twisted, the author weaves a great little web with some misdirection and mind games - for me, I did begin to see what was coming quite early on but I was never *quite* sure until the actual reveal moment. So as a conundrum, a puzzle to solve, this was spot on.
It is emotional - it deals with the death of children and is at times quite heartbreaking. Mary-Jane Riley handles the sense and feeling of the aftermath of that in a very insightful way, showing sensitivity to the emotive aspects of her story yet allowing it to become part of the whole in a way that works pretty perfectly.
I thought this was an excellent example of it's kind, with gripping characters, a well constructed story and enough resonance to ensure it stays with you after reading.
Happy Reading Folks!