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Liz Loves Books.Com.

Book lover. Stephen King Fanatic. Will try anything once. General Lover of Fiction. Reviewer Everywhere.  All views my own. Mostly.

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Dear Amy - I'm sorry I don't love you.

Dear Amy - Helen Callaghan

Dear Amy was not really for me.

First of all I should be clear this is not because its badly written - it is not. In fact I liked the style and the pace and Helen Callaghan is obviously talented- people who like psychological thrillers may well love this but I had several issues with the plot and becoming engaged with it.

The story concerns Margot, a teacher , whose alter ego "Dear Amy" is the agony aunt for a local newspaper. When she starts receiving letters from a girl claiming to be a kidnap victim (Bethan Avery, missing for many years) and around the same time another local girl goes missing Margot gets caught up in the mystery of who might be writing these letters and why.

For me though it was blatantly obvious from very early on who was writing the letters. I didnt really feel that there was much in the way of a mystery. Of course I could have been wrong (at which point this rating may well have been higher) but turns out I was right. Even that is fine but I don't really feel the author challenged me in this read or gave me any reason to doubt myself.

Secondly there were one or two very generic plot devices used to prevent the characters getting somewhere too quickly. I roll my eyes these days every time a mobile phone has no signal (usually all of a sudden) or has run out of battery (hey it happens but EVERY time someone is in mortal danger or whatever? It seems so if you are a character in a psychological thriller) Thats fine too there are only so many ways of moving (or not) a plot forwards at the pace required but when you've read the same reason many many many times it becomes slightly dull.

Having said that the premise is intriguing - and as well there were certain nuances of character and beautiful little layers to some of the story threads which made good reading - indeed it was these that kept me reading to the end.

Dear Amy is pretty much what you expect - that is NOT a negative - but for me these days I like the unexpected. Whilst Dear Amy is beautifully written it held no real buzz for me. I liked it well enough. I just didnt love it. And the standard of book I've read in 2016 so far means the 2* rating is a comparatively fair one on a personal level.

Still recommended for psychological thriller fans because hey, when you love them you love them and you never know which ones are going to *get* you.