Blurb (via Amazon)
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.
A really chilling but compelling read that I understand was a Sunday Times bestseller.
Milly, formerly Annie, was systematically abused psychologically and physically by her serial killer mother. She is now the foster daughter of Mike a psychologist who is helping her prepare for the court case against her mother in which she is the primary witness for the defence and the one who ended her mother’s murderous ways by reporting her to the police.
Also living in the house is Mike’s troubled wife Saskia and his daughter Pheobe who takes an instant dislike to Milly and makes her life as difficult as she can. Definitely a case of ‘Physician Heal Thyself‘ or at least he should have sorted his own family out before bringing such a vulnerable girl into the already dysfunctional household.
The whole story is narrated by Milly as if she is talking to her mother to whom she still seems to hold a deep attachment but also abhorrence for the crimes she committed. Milly has a certain degree of guilt about which Mike is trying to draw out and find out exactly why.
All is never as it seems. We’re not told the full extent of anything but subtle little hints and small details are dropped here and there so that we, the reader, have to keep guessing exactly what had taken place. Was Milly good or bad? How much has she been affected by the events and actions of her mother? That age old question of nature or nurture? Can she be trusted? We only find out bit by tantalising bit.
There are those who have compared this to Gone Girl or Girl On The Train. I’m afraid I haven’t read either. I judged this book on its own merits and found it to be a really good read that was impossible to put down.
Thanks to Penguin via NetGalley for this ARC copy that I chose to review.
Read the author Ali Land talking about her life in books on Anne Cater’s blog