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The Wicked Girls Paperback – 21 Jun 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (21 Jun. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751547980
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751547986
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 2.6 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (417 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alex Marwood is the pseudonym of a journalist who has worked extensively across the British press. Her first book, The Wicked Girls, was a word-of-mouth sensation, won the prestigious Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original in 2014, and was nominated for an International Thriller Writers Award in 2013. Alex lives in south London.

Product Description


Genuinely disturbing and emotionally unsettling, The Wicked Girls is irresistible (Val McDermid)

Having read it and devoured every page, I really wish I'd written it! It was cleverly plotted and pacy, with all the storylines thundering towards a final, gripping conclusion. I loved it (Elizabeth Haynes)

The Wicked Girls is utterly compelling. It's psychologically rich, complex and masterfully plotted. I couldn't put it down, even when I sensed it was taking me somewhere very dark indeed. I can't wait to see what Alex Marwood comes up with next (Jojo Moyes)

The best thriller I've read since Sister. Taut, gritty and utterly compelling (Lisa Jewell)

Dark, twisty and full of good surprises and insights. Marwood has delivered a compelling debut crime novel (Daily Mail)

This incredible story will play on your mind. Two weeks after I read it, I can't stop thinking about it. The book of the year (The Sun)

I devoured The Wicked Girls over one weekend and loved it. I held my breath during the last few chapters (Erin Kelly)

Thought-provoking read (Star Magazine)

Brilliantly taut psychological thriller. One of the best debuts of 2012 (Bella)

A thrilling story... Fantastic plot and a great read (Irish News)

In The Wicked Girls, debut author Alex Marwood's taut crime story poses bigger questions about tabloid witch hunts and the nature of evil (Good Housekeeping)

If you like dark, twisted stories, I recommend this . . . A thumping good read (Jenny Eclair)

The Wicked Girls is ingenious and original -- a novel that surprises and rewards its readers, delivering a twist of an ending that I never saw coming, then realised it was the only ending that could truly satisfy. Real, chilling, true to its world and its characters. In short, a knock-out (Laura Lippman)

Original, thought-provoking and utterly brilliant (The Sun)

A rundown seaside amusement park provides the backdrop for Marwood's memorable first novel . . . Marwood fills this disturbing thriller with sordid red herrings and brutal reflections (Publishers Weekly)

Absorbing, plausible and unsettling . . . A suspenseful, buzz-worthy novel offering a sure-footed depiction of two women who lost their childhoods (Kirkus Review)

This chilling debut is chock-full of surprises. If Tana French and Gillian Flynn stayed up all night telling stories at an abandoned amusement park, this is awfully close to what they might come up with (Booklist)

Tense, twisty and brimming with revelation, Alex Marwood's The Wicked Girls offers everything you dream for in a suspense novel. Not only does it hold you in its clutches, but it offers pointed and poignant insights into the way we reconcile with our past, and the collective danger of our own insatiable curiosity (Megan Abbott)

A harrowing first novel (New York Times Book Review)

One of the best books I read this year: The suspense keeps the pages flying, but what sets this one apart is the palpable sense of onrushing doom (Stephen King, 'The Best Books I Read This Year', Entertainment Weekly)

Book Description

Shockwaves Through The Country... Evil Inside... Cries Unheard... Who Is To Blame?

A ripped-from-the-headlines psychological thriller, perfect for fans of Minette Walters and Barbara Vine.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

126 of 131 people found the following review helpful By N. Jeans on 9 Mar. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Every nasty aspect of modern life is here - 'feral' children, journalists who'd sell their own mother for a lead, vigilante mobs, and the poor and ignorant who are exploited at every turn. But here you're given a glimpse of what lies behind all of this stuff of tabloid nightmares.

The scenes in which we re-live the event that triggers the story are very compelling, I was drawn into that world of naive decision making and catastrophic impulses which make your adult reader self want to cry 'Stop!'.

I would have loved to know more about what happened to many of the characters, even the ones who are completely repellent are fascinating.

A really good thriller, well written, well plotted and with enough 'nasty' to make you glad it's just a story.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By fluffy on 26 July 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's been a while since I've read a book this good. I've read a few that were supposed to be this good, but they turned out over-rated, not this one though. It's that rare thing: fantastic storytelling, believable characters, dialogue you can almost hear, all wrapped up in a cracking good plot.

Alex Marwood is a talented writer who has a way with words, so no surprise she is a journalist, writing under a pen name. I never lost track of where we were and where we were being taken, despite the story switching between the lives of two different characters, who are inextricably linked, and flicking between past and present. It's expertly handled.

The story is set up nicely from the start. There's been a murder way back, now there's a serial killer on the loose, and the paths of the two so-called wicked girls of the title cross again. Two or three potential murderers are presented to us early on, and I guessed who it was a few chapters in (which isn't like me), and their motivation not long after that, but even so, it was cleverly done and didn't spoil my enjoyment.

A book hasn't moved me to tears for a long time, but this one did, with a heart-wrenching scene that I won't give away. The author is very good at creating tension, then cranking it up. It's scattered with ironies, some cruel, others bittersweet. Some of the gritty reality is hard to take, especially the dynamic of Amber and Vile Vic, but before it gets uber-dark towards the end, the humour carries it through, along with the humanity of the more likeable characters in a cast that came straight from real life. The only exception is the snobbish mother of one of the two girls who is a caricature.
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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Raven TOP 500 REVIEWER on 16 Jun. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Marwood has constructed a crime thriller with obvious allusions to the lives of other well documented child murders with the perpetrators being children themselves and how they assimilate back into society on release. Choosing her protagonists to be two women puts a neat twist onto the whole criminal responsibility of children as most of the well known cases tend to centre on male perpetrators. This, I found, was the most well-executed aspect of the book as the reader's sympathies shift and sway as more of the original crime unfolds throughout the book as Kirsty and Amber find themselves in grudging contact with each other as a serial murder infiltrates a small seaside town where Amber lives, and where Kirsty as a journalist goes to report on the events. The whole serial murder storyline I did find a little forced although it did serve as a backdrop, although unconvincing, to play out Kirsty and Amber's stories and I did find the final denouement a little far-fetched with just one too many unbelievable coincidences. I appreciate that Marwood wanted to capture the small-town mentality of this insular seaside town but thought it would be more feasible that a figure that was pillioried as much as Amber would maybe have `lost' herself better in a big city and this would have made the whole serial-killer aspect of the story, in terms of setting, a little more believable and I was surprised that she had remained undetected for as long as she had. Having said that I would recommend this book for the depth of humanity Marwood brings to her protagonists as she reveals little by little the tragic events of their youth and how this markedly affects them in their very different upbringings post-release and this alone makes `The Wicked Girls' an interesting read and a great choice for bookgroups as there are many talking points and potential areas of conflict ripe for discussion...
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By coachfizz on 3 Mar. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I heard about The Wicked Girls via Twitter. The joys of social media and connected devices meant that within a few minutes it had arrived on my Kindle. I'll say up front that I absolutely loved this - it gripped me from first to last. It's taut and tightly plotted with excellent definition of characters. The Wicked Girls of the title come to life both as their teenage selves and the adult versions. They and those around them are fully 3 dimensional and I felt that I came to know them as the story progressed. There are some interesting changes of pace - almost cinematic in slowing down to establish a sense of normality and speeding up as crimes unfold. Whilst the idea of getting inside the heads of children who have killed may not seem attractive I would urge you to read this - it is not all as it seems (can't really say more here without plot spoiling).
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