Thursday, 11 May 2017

When She Was Bad by Tammy Cohen Book Review




Amira, Sarah, Paula, Ewan and Charlie have worked together for years - they know how each one likes their coffee, whose love life is a mess, whose children keep them up at night. But their comfortable routine life is suddenly shattered when an aggressive new boss walks in...

Now, there's something chilling in the air.

Who secretly hates everyone?

Who is tortured by their past?

Who is capable of murder?


I can't stop talking about how good this book is. I've had When She Was Bad on my reading list for some time and I was so excited when I finally got round to it. I loved First One Missing, Tammy's previous novel and When She Was Bad didn't disappoint, I was hooked from page one.

How well do we really know the people we work with? This was such an intriguing premise.

The novel is told from the viewpoint of eight people: Amira, Sarah, Paula, Charlie, Chloe, Ewan, Anne and Rachel. I thought it was great that we were able to get into the head of every character in this book and to discover what they all really thought of each other. The book is also told across two continents: America and the UK. In America, psychologist, Anne Carter is looking back at a time when she worked on a horrific child abuse case which rocked the continent. In the UK, Amira, Sarah, Paula, Charlie, Chloe and Ewan are coming to terms with a sudden shake up of their department and the arrival of their new boss, now it may seem that everyone's job in the department is at stake. Rachel is tough when it comes to her new team; it's clear that she wants the department to succeed but she also wants to leave her mark. Tensions quickly escalate and cracks in friendships soon begin to appear.

What I really enjoyed about this book is that Tammy really makes you think about each character. As I was reading I was trying to work out which one of them could eventually snap, which one of them would end up being the victim. Tammy through in plenty of red herrings and there were certainly times when I thought I had worked it out, only to be proved wrong. The ending was really dramatic.

I think one of my favourite scenes from the book had to be when the team were on their team building weekend, particularly when they were all getting drunk at dinner, I can imagine that this must've been fun to write. I also found the scenes featuring Anne really interesting and I really liked how Tammy wove the two stories together.

What I love about Tammy's writing is the depth that she gives to every single one of her characters. I really wanted to know more about them and I didn't want the story to end. Tammy Cohen is fast becoming a favourite author of mine and I can't wait to read what she writes next. If you love a twisty, psychological thriller, this is a book for you. Five stars from me.

Publisher: Black Swan

Publication date; 21st April 2016

Print length: 384 pages


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