Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Book Review - When She Was Bad by Tammy Cohen

Amazon UK
Title: When She Was Bad
Author: Tammy Cohen
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Transworld
Publication Date: 21st April 2016
Rating: 5 Stars



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 must have been hiding under a rock for the past few years, as the brilliance of Tammy Cohen has clearly passed me by until this book. I'm, ashamed to say this is the first book I have read by the author, but after spending the last few hours engrossed in the story and unable to put it down at all, I have to say this will definitely not be the last. 

When She Was Bad is a very cleverly crafted story with multiple viewpoints, and two stories being told concurrently, with no way of being able to predict even half the outcome. The last section of the book has left me reeling as the reveals kept coming at one one point I even exclaimed out loud. 

There is the story of Dr. Anne Cater the psychologist relaying her participation in a case many years ago, when she was still learning her craft, and the horrors that her patient dealt with will stay with me for a long time. 

Then the other story and one that gets the majority of the book, is about an office of normal people, until the day a new boss is hired, one who favours the divide and conquer style of management. A ruthless sort who is determined to do everything to prove to the bosses that the correct decision was made. However everyone in the office is suddenly on edge at this new hire, and the dynamics start to change.

We learn a lot about the current situations of Amira, Sarah, Paula, Ewan, Charlie as well as office junior Chloe, including just how the new boss is manipulating each of them and their positions, or trying to drive them out. There are clear favourites in play, but yet they are all just regular people. 

But at the start of the book, its clear that something, although you're not really sure what has gone on, in England, where this office is based, which is of interest to the news broadcasts, which is the hook, as I desperately had to continue reading to see just what happened and if any of my theories were correct. 

 When She Was Bad is unlike some of the other psychological thrillers I've read recently, it didn't make me feel in danger, and wasn't too graphic most of the time, but does delve into the minds of people and how certain events and affect you for life.

I found When She Was Bad a brilliant story, that had me second guessing it constantly and that thankfully I didn't read on a work night, as it kept me reading the whole way through, without taking a break. I would recommend curling up on the sofa, and just relax into the book for an evening. 

Thank you so much to Netgalley and Transworld for this review copy. This was my honest opinion. 

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