Top critical review
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Good- Bad -Great
on 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.