Published by Sphere on February 1st 2012
Genres: Suspense, Thriller
Source: Owned Audible Book
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?
I love audio books. In the author’s notes on the audio version of Joe Hill’s NOS4A2, he talks about how the first stories we learn are read to us. I listen to audio books when I’m in the car, shopping, and playing Candy Crush Soda Saga or Trivia Crack.
In typical book blogger fashion, I already have a tbr shelf just for audio books. Reviewing them is a bit more difficult, because I don’t take notes and I don’t always know how to spell the characters names. So these reviews will be a little different from my book reviews.
I bought this audiobook on sale a couple of years ago because Stephen King told me to.
Okay, it’s not like he called me up, but he did blurb the book, so pretty much the same thing. I doubt I even read the summary. I was probably just like, Oh, Stephen King liked it? It must be AMAZING. *throws money at Audible* I am that fan that buys all the books when Uncle Stephen (as I like to refer to him) publishes his Top Ten Books of the Summer.
And I’m glad I do that, because I do trust him. He doesn’t need the money, so I know he’s blurbing because he actually likes something. I’ve discovered some really great novels and authors through him.
The Wicked Girls is delightfully, er, wicked. I loved the setting, the back story, the horrible chain of events unfolding in the present that the two main characters are as helpless against as they were when they were kids. But it’s bleak, ya’ll. There is no HEA, which is fine, most thrillers don’t have to be happily ever after. And if you’re looking for romance and a thriller wrapped in one- this is not your book. The men in this book have honestly put me off every even thinking about getting married again (The Hubs would like it pointed out that my getting remarried at this time would also be Bigamy, which is illegal).
This book reminded me a lot of Heavenly Creatures- the movie about the real life murderous duo from New Zealand, and how those young women did their time for a horrific crime and were given new identities and told never to be in contact again. One of those young girls grew up to be writer Anne Perry (whom I still haven’t read but probably will someday). Kirsty and Amber aren’t quite like the girls in Heavenly Creatures- they had only been acquainted a total of a a few hours when their lives were forever altered. The book flashes back to what they did, and how they dealt with what happened, while future murders seemed to be circling them.
The book made me think a lot of current day child murderers too- the soundbites played by the nightly news barely scratch the surface in most of these cases. It reminded me how, as humans, we are quick to judgement. It was, in all honesty, depressing. Finding characters to care about was hard, but watching them suffer was even harder.
I’m giving the impression that I didn’t like this book, but it was actually a nail biter, edge of your seat thriller. But I’m certainly glad I had a puppy to curl up with at the end of each day’s listening. Ugh, that just reminds me of a particularly low point in the book, but forget I mentioned that.
The thriller isn’t so much to do with the present day murders, but more to do with the present day lives of Kirsty and Amber and how close they are to losing all they hold dear because of the murders. I quite liked how they rebuilt their lives, especially Amber. It took me awhile to like Kirsty, and I had to keep thinking back to which girl was which in the flashbacks.
The Wicked Girls wasn’t a perfect read, but I was invested. Despite it’s dark and twisty plot, the book moves quickly and smoothly. It reminded me a bit of Chelsea Cain or Gillian Flynn in it’s dark tones. What worked best for me was the crime the girls were convicted of- how it happened, all the events that snowballed into putting every player in a certain position on the board. We make dozens of decisions every day- sometimes they are really dumb ones, but we get lucky and survive them. Sometimes we don’t though.
Narrated by new to me, Anna Bentinck. I liked her style- and the fact that I didn’t have to listen at 2x speed for once- I only listened at 1.25X. I like my narration as a quick pace, so 2x just sounds more natural to me. British narrators already seem to speak quickly, plus with some of the accents I had to go slower just to catch all the words. I would love to hear more from her in the future!