On a fateful summer morning in 1986, two 11-year-old girls meet for the first time. By the end of the day, they will both be charged with murder. Twenty-five years later, journalist Kirsty Lindsay is reporting on a series of sickening attacks on young female tourists in a seaside vacation town when her investigation leads her to interview carnival cleaner Amber Gordon.
For Kirsty and Amber, it's the first time they've seen each other since that dark day so many years ago. Now with new, vastly different lives - and unknowing families to protect - will they really be able to keep their wicked secret hidden? Gripping and fast-paced, with an ending that will stay with you long after you've listened to it, The Wicked Girls will appeal to fans of the Academy Award–nominated film Heavenly Creatures and the novels of Rosamund Lupton and Chevy Stevens.
©2012 Alex Marwood (P)2013 Tantor
From Austen to zombies!
...but somehow, I found myself rooting for them anyway.
Belle and Jade are notorious for a horrible crime they committed when they were only 11 years old. Now it's twenty years later. One is a journalist writing Sunday Supplement "in depth" pieces. The other is a cleanup crew supervisor at a local amusement park. Both have spouses as well as new names.
They've moved on--kinda. Neither has told any of the people in her life about the past, and neither wants to. But when a string of murders brings them back together, their deception may have to be revealed.
This book was definitely a page-turner. With so many lies going around, something is always on the edge of being uncovered! There's also the suspense of finding out what really happened on that horrible day twenty years before--that story is mixed in throughout the book.
But even such an exciting story can touch on a lot of different themes. Besides deception, you'll find such topics as social inequality, relationships, parenting, and passing judgment on others. Marwood deals with all these competently, without hitting us over the head.
The most amazing thing about this book, though, is that I ended up liking people I didn't want to like, and hoping they'd come out all right, no matter what they might have done. Only careful character development can do that, and this book has it.
There are some grisly scenes here, but nothing you wouldn't find in your average crime novel. The narrator is just plain excellent. There are a lot of characters to keep track of, but she varied her voice for each. Two characters have changes in social class, and their accents change appropriately according to what time period the book is currently in.
Overall, a great, suspenseful listen and well worth the credit! Five stars all around.
Yes. The main characters are complex and original. They are exciting and unpredictable. However, there are a few predictable scenes, but just enough to make the plot understandable.
Most of the novels I like fall flat at the end, but I though this one had a perfect falling action and ending.
Leading Character: Amber, because she is one of kind, but in a believable way. Supporting Character: Jackie, because we all have known a "Jackie" in our life
I don't usually write reviews, but I wanted to take the time to review this book, because I was unsure about buying it at first.....not a well known author....not a ton of great reviews...but I was so pleasantly surprised that it was one of those books that I could not stop listening to...so I have to spread the word!
Among the top 20 for sure.
Yes, I really broke down and cried at one point but to describe it would be a major spoiler.
The writer seems to have drawn on certain elements of the Venables/Thompson case (mainly the post-trial lives of the two perpetrators) as a template for her protagonist's lives. These two characters, who really seem to have been far less malicious than their non-fictional counterparts, clearly have had their lives destroyed by a horrible accident/mistake/moment of terrible childish poor judgement, call it what you will, and are far more sympathetic than those two real-life child sociopaths.
Nevertheless, redemption doesn't come easily to either of these women, and it is surprisingly easy to get caught up in their struggle to attain it, to find a space in the world where they can be accepted, and a space within themselves where they can find self acceptance and inner forgiveness for what they've done.
This is a very layered, multi-leveled character study that is also a great, edge of the seat suspense story, expertly told.
I have not read the print version.
Without giving anything away, how Chloe's murder unfolded.
Ms. Bentinck did a great job by lending color to the story. However, with a bit of imagination, I bet the written book is equally as good.
The story was well planned, complicated (in a good way), and while some threads of the story were almost a given (tabloid news given), the ending surprised me. I was deeply saddened by the ending, though can see how it mirrors life. I looked to see if Audible carried Marwood's second book and was disappointed they did not.
Yes. I don't like listening to audiobooks twice but theses characters were given such realistic motivations and personalities that I'm sure a second listen would reveal a few more details.
To me, the book was about the nuances of what makes a person good and/or evil and the characterizations illustrated those very clearly. Narrator was top notch too. Each character had their own distinct way of speaking and she went from one to the other flawlessly which could have easily gone sideways given all the different vernaculars and intonations.
Jackie [I think that was her name]. I hated this character but from the performance, I got a clear picture of who she was and who she wanted to be but wasn't. This character used a lot of slang and again is one of the characters that could have been over done but Bentnick did it with restraint.
Amber. She's a better woman than I'd have been.
Highly recommended. I had to pace myself and not listen to it in one sitting. I saved it for time when I had to complete a painting which requires something to keep me in my seat.
enthralling, complex, important
It reminds me of The Scotch Verdict or a non supernatural Carrie
have not but will
It made me appreciate the complexities of life and life choices and accidents and the way those choices shape the remainder of your life and your attitude toward it. The story weaves many different struggles together making this extremely rich.. I learned something...this is not a fluff mystery. It is a serious contribution to the genre. So glad I read it.
Yes. A superb narrator and a fresh approach to some familiar content make this book a stand-out. I always love a British setting and I didn't feel spoon-fed here. Quite a lot was left to the listener to figure out. Authors that can trust the reader in this way have a maturity others don't seem to "get" -- James Patterson, Johnathan Kellerman et al -- this means you! The structure of the book is fairly complex, jumping back and forward, not always chronologically -- that is so hard to pull off without frustrating the listener but Marwood manages it masterfully.
I loved Blessing, a minor character who is beautifully realized. Amber is very well written, too.
She speaks beautifully; her accents are delightful and each character comes to life.
Yes! I listened to the whole thing over one weekend. Compulsive listening!
For fans of the likes of Ruth Rendell and the Nicci French duo -- I think I can safely say you'll enjoy this one!
An avid reader who cherishes my time with a good book!
I liked the way the story jumped back and forth between present day and the past and introduced us to a set of characters who grew deeper and more complex as their story was revealed. I didn't want to become engaged in their story given the horrific nature of their crime but I couldn't help being captivated. The ways in which the lives intertwined was simply great!The ending of the book for me was the most memorable because it brought everything full circle for me. I think the author made the right choice with the ending - it felt right to me on several levels and allowed for forgiveness where is was due. The writing really conveyed the feeling behind the foggy, coastal town and old amusement park clinging to the shores. It had a great setting that helped set the whole tone of the book. It was a different perspective and made me really think, which I always appreciate about a book.
This story is fiction but reads like true crime. Two preteen girls are involved in the death of a small child. The circumstances of this event are slowly revealed as the author goes between the adult lives of the girls and the past they both want to forget. There is also the mystery of the seaside strangler intertwined with the other plot line. The writing is very good. The narration is well done.
Haven't read the print version, but the narrator really made this story come to life for me.
I've listened to many audio books here on audible and I think she's tops! She really made the story come to life, especially during the last sequences.
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