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126 of 131 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How well do you know anybody?
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...
Published on 9 Mar. 2012 by N. Jeans

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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable but disturbing read...
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...
Published on 16 Jun. 2012 by Raven


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126 of 131 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How well do you know anybody?, 9 Mar. 2012
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This review is from: The Wicked Girls (Kindle Edition)
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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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable but disturbing read..., 16 Jun. 2012
By 
Raven (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Wicked Girls (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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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wickedly good, 3 Mar. 2012
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This review is from: The Wicked Girls (Kindle Edition)
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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55 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book!, 7 Mar. 2012
This review is from: The Wicked Girls (Kindle Edition)
This book is an absolute page turner and a real thriller - but so much more than that. Alex Marwood shows real understanding for the psychology behind criminal types and their motivations. The writer evokes characters that are living and breathing and really transports you to their world. The Wicked Girls is incredibly atmospheric, drawing you into the winding dark lanes and seedy underbelly of a crumbling seaside town and the lives of the people that live there. I think this book would make a great tv series or movie. Very much looking forward to the next one!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Psychological thriller writing at its very best, 5 July 2014
By 
Welsh Annie (Wetherby) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Wicked Girls (Kindle Edition)
This was a really gripping and fascinating read. As always when reviewing thrillers, it would be wrong of me to tell too much of the story. In brief, Bel and Jade were convicted for murder twenty-five years earlier, and are now living with new identities as Amber and Kirsty. One of the conditions of their release is that they must never contact each other, but their paths unexpectedly cross again when Kirsty, now a successful journalist, covers a story at Amber's place of work in the run-down seaside town of Whitmouth.

The book is full of weighty moral questions - nature and nurture, the age of responsibility for your actions, the rights of convicted child murderers to resume their lives, media responsibility, personal responsibility - and you inevitably reflect on recent news stories that brought the meatier issues to public attention. But as well as that, this book is an absolutely gripping read - impossible to put down, a book you'll think about constantly when you're not reading it, and for a long time after you've finished. The characters - even the minor ones, like the night shift workers - are drawn in wonderful detail, and you enter their murky world entirely. The setting is vividly drawn - we all know places like Whitmouth, with its brash seafront lights and dark deserted alleys behind. The whole book is superbly dark and gritty - the seediness and sleaziness of it all made me think of the books of Cathi Unsworth - and thoroughly absorbing. The pacing of it all is quite perfect, building to an explosive and unexpected climax.

I absolutely loved it - psychological thriller writing at its very best, a book that you'll have difficulty putting down, and which really makes you think as you feverishly turn the pages. I'm dying to see what Alex Marwood does next.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive, 22 Mar. 2012
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This review is from: The Wicked Girls (Kindle Edition)
This novel has all the key ingredients required for a page-turning thriller: character, plot and pace. Alex Marwood makes us feel sympathy for characters who, on the surface, we should despise. The psychological element to the book allows the pace to ebb and flow in such a way that the reader cannot help but be moved along with it.

I doubt there will be anybody who hasn't followed a harrowing news story and been quietly fascinated - this story is disconcerting in the way it goes beyond what makes the titillating headlines to the reality underneath. It's also nice to see such an evocation of place in an English setting. Normally something this vivid is only seen in the American city-scapes.

Definitely recommended - looking forward to the next book from this author already.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing to get excited about here., 28 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: The Wicked Girls (Kindle Edition)
This was quite a readable book and the topic of rehabilitated child murderers trying to assimilate into society was an interesting one. However, the dull characters and stereotypes started to annoy me. I started getting bored with the predictability of it and just wanted to finish it to see if there would be an interesting twist at the end. Sadly there wasn't.
The author's decision to completely abandon the rules of English grammar irked me somewhat too. Ironically, one of the characters was described as having sensitivity to the misuse of grammar. I too developed this condition as the author played fast and loose with the rules. It was not just for dramatic effect; the whole book was written this way
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a cracking good read, 31 Mar. 2012
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This review is from: The Wicked Girls (Kindle Edition)
Such a satisfying read! It's fast moving, with a skillfully woven plot and a cast of well drawn characters (grotesque, sympathetic and other...)and locations. Hard-to-put-down not just on account of the plotting/pace/characterisation, but also because of the writing - you sense the author's enjoyment in creating these characters, there's plenty of humour in the dialogue. The danger for me with such a gripping story is the temptation to skip the odd paragraph to find out what happens next even faster. This back-fired as I had to re-read - on account of the brilliant prose. You can't afford to miss any of it. Some sentences are so perfectly, rhythmically balanced that I had to pause and read them over and over again!
Accomplished and entertaining writing and an exciting new name to watch out for - I can't wait for the next one.
It would make a fantastic film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than a thriller, 28 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: The Wicked Girls (Kindle Edition)
At one level this is a psychological thriller. It certainly succeeds in that way, too. But there is more here. The contemporary sex killings in a seedy seaside resort provide the backdrop to a murder many years before, a killing of a young child by two older girls, based partly on the case of Mary Bell and partly on that of Jon Venables and Robert Thompson. In the novel a narrative of the earlier death runs parallel to contemporary events, in which the two girls, now approaching middle age are also involved in different ways. The author reflects on how they dealt with their imprisonment and notoriety and tried to negotiate this inheritance from their childhood. The fundamental issue for both is should they search for redemption or amnesia - a choice ultimately determined for them by circumstances over which they have no control. The public perception of such children is well explored from different angles and the novel structure works really well to achieve this. This is what makes this a good book - not just a thriller.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow what a journey, 22 May 2012
By 
L. J. Taylor (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Wicked Girls (Kindle Edition)
Where do I start? A fantastic read written in wonderfully descriptive language. Some of AMs observations of the people you meet everyday in any British town were succiently breathtaking.
They drew me into an uncomfortable world of flawed people and I found myself thinking about the things children do and how they may think. How sometimes they can be naively spiteful or just horrible because they dont really understand consequences or how their behaviour will affect others.

AM writes with clarity at a fast pace and really gets inside your head. Her characters are real and believable. They each have their own voice and you find yourself wanting it to all end nicely. I couldnt put the book down.....I just had to know what really happened as children and why and how the story would resolve itself.
You dont always know where the story is going
and AM skillfully weaves between past and present. So the suspense is twofold.

I utterly loved this book and want more.....
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