Book lover. Stephen King Fanatic. Will try anything once. General Lover of Fiction. Reviewer Everywhere. All views my own. Mostly.
I read With Malice fast – one of those immediately gripping young adult novels focused on female friendship gone wrong it is a proper page turner with plenty of insight, cleverly constructed obfuscation and a highly engaging plot.
Whilst the story premise itself is not exactly new I loved how Eileen Cook put this one together. It is set mostly in one place, the hospital, as Jill struggles with memory loss and wonders just what went wrong while she and best friend Simone were travelling in Italy. By interjecting the odd police statement and media discussion a picture slowly builds of a crack in a long term relationship and the possibility of foul play – the lack of actual flashback works extremely well – everything in the here and now. We discover as Jill discovers and the play on how social media and 24/7 news can influence public opinion and also turn on a dime is fascinatingly realistic.
I won’t say too much, With Malice is cleverly written to allow the reader to make assumptions, the ending was perfectly placed and rounded things off beautifully. This is one of those books where you want to talk about it afterwards with other readers to see how their opinions might differ to yours on certain nuances – the writing is simple and masterful, Jill quite openly being an unreliable narrator is another thing that serves the narrative really well.
Overall a great read for fans of psychological thrillers whatever their age.