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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book Review: Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little a letter from beyond the grave
Book Review: Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little
Before I got too far into this book I felt such a dislike for the main character that I nearly stopped reading – she was nasty, spoilt, manipulative and downright arrogant. However, through flashbacks and scene change, Little gradually showed a different side to the character.
After spending ten years in...
Published 8 months ago by liz Mistry from The Crime Warp

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Reads like an episode of Dallas with no real jeopardy.
Wow, I believed the hype but hated this. I won't rehash other reviewers' references to much plot, and I'll keep it brief.

Too many characters, none of whom were interesting or likeable.

Jane/Rebecca wasn't 'on the run', so why should I care if someone is trying to find her? She was released from prison - she didn't escape!

Boring, overlong...
Published 9 months ago by A Nonny Mouse


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book Review: Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little a letter from beyond the grave, 19 Oct. 2014
This review is from: Dear Daughter (Hardcover)
Book Review: Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little
Before I got too far into this book I felt such a dislike for the main character that I nearly stopped reading – she was nasty, spoilt, manipulative and downright arrogant. However, through flashbacks and scene change, Little gradually showed a different side to the character.
After spending ten years in prison for murdering her mother, Jane Jenkin's conviction is overturned due to forensic error. A head injury leaves her unsure whether she actually committed the murder or not and so she decides to investigate her mother’s enigmatic past to discover the truth. However, a venomous Blogger is convinced of her guilt and is determined to track her down to exact revenge.
The setting of an old mining town Ardelle is intriguing because there is a replica town called Adeline (now disused) built on another site so that folk could move from one site to the other depending on where mining was occurring at the time- fascinating

The story introduces us to a whole range of great characters from the sexy town Sheriff to the strange hotel owner and her wayward daughter.

Dear Daughter is a tricky little book, full of misdirection and ambiguity which kept me guessing till the lovely twist at the end.

It's written in first person with a healthy dose of humour, rhetorical questions making the reader feel part of this fast paced story.

A big recommendation to those who like the quirky, comic, yet serious crime book based in tight communities.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Reads like an episode of Dallas with no real jeopardy., 17 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Dear Daughter (Hardcover)
Wow, I believed the hype but hated this. I won't rehash other reviewers' references to much plot, and I'll keep it brief.

Too many characters, none of whom were interesting or likeable.

Jane/Rebecca wasn't 'on the run', so why should I care if someone is trying to find her? She was released from prison - she didn't escape!

Boring, overlong dialogue, half of which didn't lend itself to anything.

Plot taken from any old episode of Dallas/Dynasty/Knots Landing etc. I don't think what someone's real name was or who's really someone's father is interesting at all.

Using a diary is a cheap and tired device.

Hated it. Could almost give it two stars out of sheer pity.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A sharp, smart, gripping piece of entertainment, 21 Sept. 2014
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dear Daughter (Hardcover)
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Ten years ago Janie Jenkins went to prison for killing her mother - now she's out and she's determined to find out what really happened that night...

This is very sub-Gillian Flynn: not so much like Gone Girl but like a mash-up of elements from Dark Places and Sharp Objects. The search for the truth of the past, the vexed relations between mothers and daughters, the uncovering of secrets in small-town USA, even the role of the press, and Janie's relationship with police chief Leo reminded me of Flynn.

So, too, the voice of Janie: smart, sharp, occasionally tiresome and overdone ("eighteen months ago, on a day I can't describe for you because, hello, I was in a high-security prison where nothing ever changed"). That said, the dark humour keeps this buoyant.

This is a bit drawn out in parts-there's a very long preamble before the story really gets going, and the final confrontation with the killer is ludicrous, almost cartoon-like, especially when we remember that Janie is a self-confessed 7-stone weakling...

All the same, this is a readable debut, if not quite as original as is being hyped on the cover - as a gripping piece of switch-off entertainment this just tips over into 4-stars for me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dear Daughter - Elizabeth Little - Mystery that I Enjoyed Reading, 22 Sept. 2014
By 
Alessi Lover "C.A.D." (Knightley UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dear Daughter (Hardcover)
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You just know that when the main character is supposed to have been up for the murder of her mother ten years ago that there is going to be some fall out. It had me hooked from the blurb on the back of the book right to the finish.

Janie goes into hiding after her time in jail only for a few to know just where she is. The story had a fairy tale almost glittery lifestyle for Janie rich and spoilt some might say. However Janie's good education did not prepare her for life behind bars for something she did not do. Why she was thought to have done it, or why she believed someone else did it and if they did do it, would they ever get caught not saying as it is really one of those mysteries that once you start reading you need to finish for it to become so clear. At least I needed to. Glad there were no loose ends.

Remember reading Erin Kelly's first book and this had the same kind of feel to it for me, so was so glad I choose this one.

No spoilers as this book had me gripped right from the change of her look to how it all ended. I enjoyed all the mystery it contained and it seemed to flow well. Would look out for the next book by Elizabeth Little after reading this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly modern murder mystery, 18 Sept. 2014
By 
A. Chell "Avid reader" (Staffordshire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dear Daughter (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is author Elizabeth Little's first work of fiction, which makes this book even more exceptional. Set ten years after the murder of a socialite by (apparently) her wayward daughter, the book follows that daughter's adventures when she is released from prison early due to a technicality and embarks on a mission to find who really killed her mother.

Our heroine is one of the new breed of celebrities, equally famous and infamous, and basically famous for being famous, but beneath her superficial exterior is a young woman with surprising intelligence and strength of character, though one with a slightly wobbly moral compass.

That the author has managed to make such a character sympathetic to the reader is testament to her skill as a writer, as is the snarky internal monologue that accompanies the protagonist wherever she goes and provides several moments of - sometimes dark - humour.

Some of the supporting characters are only sketched in, and not fully realised, which is disappointing in some cases, but understandable given that the focus of the book is the murder (and accompanying) mystery, and to dwell on the extras would slow the book's pace.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting debut, 1 Dec. 2014
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EssexReader (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dear Daughter (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Janie Jenkins had always had a tempestuous relationship with her mother, the murdered socialite Marion Elsinger. Janie appeared to be a duplicitous and unlikeable person - so much so that at first I didn't really care whether she had killed her mother. However reading on, I found myself sucked into the story and my opinion of Janie started to change with her sarcastic and spikey comments even becoming slightly amusing.

After ten years in jail for a murder that she may (or may not) have committed, Janie Jenkins is released on a technicality although she will not be allowed to continue with her life in peace. A news reporter/blogger has been hounding her during her time in prison and is continuing to try and track her every move and it's down to Janie to keep one step ahead.

With snatches of memory returning of that night, and armed with a new identity, Janie sets out to try and find out whether she did actually kill her own mother. She discovers that her mother had withheld a lifetime of secrets and in fact had accumulated her share of enemies over the years.

I didn't really know what to make of this book - the first half of the book was a little too slow to make this a wholly enjoyable read. Recalling some vague memory from the past, Janie starts her search by heading for an old mining town called Ardelle. Some of the inhabitants of this small backwater town that Janie encounters seemed rather stereotypical - a few seemed just weird and creepy and I wasn't sure who could be trusted. Janie's interactions with them became interesting in that she had to reinvent herself in order to find out the information she needed. Being nice to people was something totally out of character for Janie.

The story did pick up pace in the latter stages and kept my interest all the way through with twists that I didn't see coming. Overall this was an interesting and commendable debut thriller with a clever structure and sharp and pithy dialogue and whilst it won't be a contender for my book of the year, it turned out to be a very good read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars strangely compelling............................., 29 Jun. 2015
By 
laineyf "widnes" (warwickshire) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dear Daughter (Hardcover)
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'Dear Daughter' by Elizabeth Little is a roller-coaster ride alongside Janie Jenkins as she gets her first taste of freedom for 10 years, after being jailed for the murder of her mother! Jane is the 'poor little rich kid' who never knew her father, who was brought up by her indolent, spoilt mother, and who feels that she was short-changed by the world! She had it all........................and then finally snapped and killed her mother. Or did she? The evidence is very much against her, and on her release, Jane decides to do some investigating of her own into the circumstances surrounding her mother's death, and her own subsequent conviction. This is a compulsive, intriguing tale, that keeps you guessing all along - I kept changing my mind on what I THOUGHT had happened - and then, right when I thought I'd figured it out.................I hadn't!! Jane is a great lead character, being wilful, conniving, spoilt and manipulative, but somehow likeable in a strange way. I wanted to know more about the sister towns - I really liked the premise of the 'ghost town' - and I found the cast of supporting characters to be weird and wacky enough to keep me involved. I liked the way that the story twisted and turned, leading me in one direction and then doubling back on itself, which I found kept my interest. I really enjoyed this book, it engaged me from the beginning, and kept my interest right up to the end, so for me, it's a winner!! Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dear Daughter, 5 April 2015
By 
the lambanana "the lambanana" (liverpool) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dear Daughter (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Story
=====
Jane Jenkins was convicted of murdering her mother then 10 years later was freed from prison on a technicality.
She then has to try and hunt down her mother's killer.

However you are still unsure whether she is the killer.

There's a part in the book in which the relationship of Jane and her mother are summed up when Jane finds a letter in a security box.

Writing is dynamic and the characterisation real and unusual.

A good 4/5 book
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3.0 out of 5 stars Great plot, 12 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Dear Daughter (Hardcover)
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I was very excited by this book - it has a great premise and (I know we're expected to pretend not to care, but in this case it really stands out) a great cover. The blue tones on the cover are striking against the black and white and I really love it!

Anyway, none of that matters really - it's the story you want a review of, not my initial expectations!

The story starts with the release of Janie Jenkins from prison. Years ago she was convicted of murdering her mother and the trial was avidly followed by the whole country. Her mother was a famous socialite so the case had a high profile. You get a sense of the characters' backgrounds from the quote at the very beginning of the book - 'some girls are born with glitter in their veins' (a quote from none other than Paris Hilton.)

Without giving too much away, Janie gets off on a technicality and tries to disappear from public attention while she investigates what really happened to her mother - she has no idea even whether or not she might have killed her mother herself.

It's a good story and it kept my attention to the end, but I wasn't at all keen on the writing style ... it was just trying to hard to be funny/witty (dare I say it?) sassy. Irritating. But the plot was enough to keep me going so I'm giving it 3 stars.
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2.0 out of 5 stars No comment, 21 Jan. 2015
By 
Jo-Anne (Bowmanville, Ontario) - See all my reviews
The story starts with Jane Jenkins being released from prison where she has been for 10 years for the murder of her mother. She was not released because she was proven innocent but because the evidence had been mishandled. However, Jane's mission now is to find out who actually killed her mother. That is quite a challenge for her because she is not positive that it wasn't her!

I really didn't like Jane at all. She was a wealthy American socialite who was very shallow and bitchy. Since the book was written in first person, it didn't help me like the book since I so much disliked Jane. So while Jane goes to a small town where her mother was born to find the killer, we hear Jane's rude comments (and inner thoughts) which wasn't very entertaining. This is a very slow book with the plot almost disappearing in Jane's unpleasant personality.

I was pleasantly surprised at some of the events toward the end of the book and, I must say, I didn't expect the murderer to be who it was.

I won this book in a Goodreads Firstreads giveaway.
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Dear Daughter
Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little
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