One fateful summer morning in 1986, two 11-year-old girls meet for the first time and by the end of the day are charged with murder.
Twenty-five years later, journalist Kirsty Lindsay is reporting on a series of attacks on young female tourists in a seaside town when her investigation leads her to interview funfair cleaner Amber Gordon. For Kirsty and Amber, it’s the first time they’ve seen each other since that dark day when they were just children. But with new lives – and families – to protect, will they really be able to keep their secret hidden?
The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood has quickly become one of my favourite reads of the year! It manages to combine quite serious subject matters with a gripping – and at times quite eerie- storyline.
The characters in this novel are one of the key reasons for my enjoyment; they’re so well crafted, despite the fact that we know at the beginning that a few of these characters must be ‘living a lie’ to some extent under a new identity. I liked how their lives became entwined once again in adulthood and felt their panic and fear later on in the story as if I were in their position. To me pretty much all of the characters seemed well developed and convincing and I really enjoyed reading about them, even the less likeable ones!
I loved the way the story slowly unravels what happened 15 years ago, particularly that the author has included a moral dilemma. What the two girls did was wrong, no question, but does that mean they deserve the life they ended up with?
I don’t want to say too much about this novel as I don’t want to give too much away and potentially ruin your experience of it. I didn’t know too much about it before I read it, and it was recommended to me by my mum and a few other people had said they’d enjoyed it too so I gave it a go without really knowing too much about it. I’m glad I did as I was completely drawn in. However one thing to note is that, although the reader slowly finds out certain parts of the story, it’s not a mystery story really- it’s more about the way this one day, one mistake, has affected their lives for years to come. I found this really interesting to write about- it’s not often you start to feel really sorry for two child killers!
This definitely reminded me a little of The Ice Cream Girls in the way that it looks at how child criminals are treated and assume new identities, but I found this a little more creepy, and with maybe a touch more drama too. I know some readers may think it could have done with a few less ‘coincidences’ but I loved it!
Have you read The Wicked Girls? What did you think?