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The Wicked Girls Paperback – 21 Jun 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 509 customer reviews

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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 (509 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,271 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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