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3.7 out of 5 stars36
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 5 December 2008
I picked this book up in the supermarket while off work sick with tonsillitus. In all honesty, I just wanted something to keep me occupied and anything would have done, but I'm delighted I did. Similar in style - to my mind at least - to a Nicki French book, this novel is dark and brooding, with plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader guessing right to the end. I raced through it in no time, but that was more about my wanting to find out what happened than anything else as it's beautifully written. I've parcelled it up to send down to a friend who I think will like it just as much as I did, and have now ordered the author's other book.
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VINE VOICEon 1 February 2010
I started this book with great expectations, as the first couple of pages set the scene extremely well. It starts with a glimpse into the future and Maggie being pursued by person unknown, and then quickly goes back in time a few months to a fateful night when she is involved in a traumatic accident. This was brilliant way to hook me in and make sure I kept on reading, as immediately it's both thrilling and suspenseful.

Unfortunately, my joy only lasted a couple of chapters. Maggie recovers from the accident and returns to work, we are introduced to her TV land lifestyle and colleagues. From the mega bitch, chat show diva, Renee, the bullying slime ball Charlie and sulky, son of someone important (I didn't care who) work experience boy, Joe, I was bored and unimpressed by these two dimensional characters, who were all completely detestable, darling! Infact the only interesting character was Faye, fellow crash survivor who now seems to be infatuated by Maggie.

I was on the verge of just giving up altogether on this book, but due to sheer laziness to get out of bed and choose something else, I carried on. It turns out, I'm glad I did as the story really began to intensify and gather a quick pace. The story is written in such a way that everyone becomes a suspect, and I loved this. I really didn't have a clue who was actually terrorizing Maggie, or indeed if most of it was in her own mind. Each time I'd decided who it was, something would be revealed about another character and I'd change my mind.

I also liked the growth of Maggie, from someone I really disliked to someone I could feel empathy for. There are a couple of little sub plots about Maggie's childhood and family which were touching and nicely written. I went from thinking she was shallow, self-absorbed and completely uninterested in her, to really thinking she had had a rough ride and rooting for her.

Bad Friends is a pretty easy read. At just under 400 pages, for the most part it's fast paced and intriguing and a good page-turner. However, that few chapters in the beginning nearly stopped me from reading the book at all, and pulls down my overall opinion of the book. The beginning promised so much, and the ending really did deliver, with plenty of suspense and guesswork along the way. If your looking for something that doesn't require much effort with a psychological twist, I'd say give it a go. I'm glad I kept on reading and ended up really enjoying the final half of the book, which I thought, was excellent. I just wish I'd been able to relate to Maggie sooner and then this would have been a definite 4 star read.
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on 16 August 2010
I bought this book after enjoying lullaby, this book was nothing like it. The central character, an "unreliable narrator" was highly unlikeable, she kept a secret hidden from the reader that tumbled out at the end of the book, it was the most boring mudane denouement ever... as other readers have shared the only truly engaging character is the dog,Digby.
I made myself finish it because if I buy I book I force myself to complete, it was just terrible.
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on 5 January 2016
Wasn't sure at first, but there were a lot of twists and turns! I wish there was a better explanation for Fay appearing everywhere, she was a bit full on for someone who just wanted to make friends.
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on 19 November 2010
I was really looking forward to reading this book, but was a blatant rip off of every one of Nicci French's novels, and nowhere near as good. The main character was unlikeable, the story jumped and skipped and, in places, was totally unbelievable and did not make sense. There were too many other one dimensional characters that no-one really cared about, too many unbelievable 'co-incidences' - and the most unmomentous 'twist' which you could see coming from about Page 3- do not bother reading!!!!
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on 2 May 2011
This was one of the (many) unread books on my shelves that I was really looking forward to. I enjoyed the first three or four chapters very much, and the writing is good - flowing and stylish. But after that I couldn't stop my interest slipping away. The constant repetition of 'flowers - text message - ex-boyfriend appearing - weird Joseph behaviour - meeting Faye unexpectedly' - just seemed endless and, with nothing much else seeming to happen along the way, it drove me to screaming point. Maggie's endless whinging also irritated me. The problem with a hero or heroine who has memory loss is that it means we, the reader, don't get a rounded picture of that character because of the information that's being withheld. It needs an accomplished writer - which Claire Seeber is - and a great plot, which this isn't, to overcome that disadvantage.
The other characters also annoyed the hell out of me. They just didn't seem real at all. It's also fairly obvious who the baddie is. I'd try another book by the same author, but with reservations.
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on 11 March 2014
It was okay but wasn't inspired to read any more of her books.I didn't really relate to any of the characters.
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I bought this book somewhat excited by the blurb but would like to say that you needn't be. I may be embittered by just having read another new novel about a girl who has a scary gap in her recent memory; that was "The Day I Died" by Polly Courtney. Perhaps this is the new fashionable genre to replace miserable childhoods.

Bad Friends is one of those disjointed time lapse stories like a jig saw puzzle, as fast as bits of it make sense other patterns appear and make a nonsense of the last scenario. It seems to me to be badly written and poorly edited but that could be the style of writing and I am not appreciating it properly.

There are to me a sickening number of cigarettes smoked (why does smoking merit so much text?) drug taking and drinks events being described throughout and the antics of the group of tv staff are too self absorbed and silly for words. The group of Bad Friends around Maggie are ghastly, only a few redeeming characters being her father, step mother, grandmother and best friend. However even the ex boyfriend who we are invited to believe in through various incarnations of weird behaviour is clearly no good to anyone.

Oh yes, the dog is truly nice! But...

To sum up - you know that lovely warm feeling you get when you have a good book waiting for you to read in bed, in the bath, in the garden, at the table? It's what keeps us enjoying our reading - Well sorry, you just don't get that with this grindingly irritating tale. I've read it all the way through - so you don't have to!
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on 24 March 2012
There is one outstanding character in this book which saved it from being a 0 star (I know we can't give these but I can fantasise) ... Digby the Dog. I love Digby the dog and the only reason I finished the book was because I had a terrible suspicion that the author would kill the only thing in this book that I loved - even though killing dogs/cats/birds is present at the moment in every bad book I have the misfortune to read. I hoped that this author would be bigger than that - after all she created such a lovely animal - nope the dog is doomed and I am mourning. The rest of the book is quite frankly dire - so bad it is impossible to point out flaws because the whole thing is a massive humungous giant mistake. Like those people who sing really badly at the X factor auditions and you wonder why their friends/family didn't tell them I cannot understand why Claire Seeber's agent/ editor/ publisher didn't have a quiet word and we were not exposed to this mess.
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on 6 February 2013
My first by this author, slow to start and I almost gave up but on completion could see why it was done this way, all the threads joined up to create a suspense story that towards the end had me sitting on the edge of my seat!
Maggie is a TV producer and following a row with her boyfriend who is verging on becoming an alcoholic she boards a coach to get get home and away from Alex. The coach has a devastating accident leaving Maggie injured and her memory affected and many dead.Eventually going back to work she finds her life in turmoil, her boss seems to have her over a barrel with something she had done prior to the accident and it seems her relationship with Alex is over. As she starts to move on she discovers someone doesn't like her much, graffiti appearing on her door, funeral flowers being sent to her and nasty text messages arriving. The suspense builds and you are left wondering which of the characters introduced is carrying out these threats, there is Alex her old boyfriend, Faye, a wanna be Maggie who seems to be everywhere, Joseph, the slightly weird junior in the office, Seb the potential new man in her life or someone else altogether.
Well written thriller that had me up reading late at night and while I realised from fairly early on who dunnit ( and I wanted to be proved wrong) it didn't spoil the story for me.
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