Review – With Malice – Eileen Cook


Wish you weren’t here…

When Jill wakes up in a hospital bed with her leg in a cast, the last six weeks of her life are a complete blank. All she has been told is that she was involved in a fatal accident while on a school trip in Italy and had to be jetted home to receive intensive care. Care that involves a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident…. wasn’t just an accident.

With no memory of what happened or what she did, can Jill prove her innocence? And can she really be sure that she isn’t the one to blame?

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Silver Stars 4

I won a paperback of this book, and the moment it arrived I cracked it open and began reading. I only put it down when I had to cook for the kids and walk the dog. It gripped me from the very first page. Having said that, it’s not the ‘best book ever’ or even a perfect book. What it is, is a well written, fast paced mystery that keeps you turning pages.

It’s quite clear that Eileen Cook was inspired by the murder of Meredith Kerscher and subsequent trial of Amanda Knox. That in itself is not a big deal, authors garner inspiration from all around, and Cook has changed it up enough to make the story her very own, despite the similarities.

Considering the main character spend the entire book (present day narrative) in a hospital bed, the story flows very well, and surprises the reader and the story is full of enough suspense to keep you turning the page. The mixture of prose and police reports/witness statements/news articles, the story unravels itself like a jigsaw puzzle slowly being pieced together, until the whole picture is clear.

While I guessed some of the outcome, a lot of it was still a surprise to me, and I thoroughly enjoyed that aspect. However, some of the content did make me feel uncomfortable. As someone who spends a lot of time on social media, the trial by internet aspects of this story petrified me. We all have opinions of stories that hit the news and we all make judgements based on what we’re drip fed. The way that Cook shows this made me reassess how I react to news stories, particularly quite big ones. It’s scary how much mob mentality is prevalent on social media, and seeing the effect it has on those concerned is a bit of an eye opener.

A good, solid story and characters. The only thing that dropped the rating from 5 to 4 stars was the slight predictability. Well worth a read and I’ve recommended it to friends.



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Filed under British, contemporary, Promo, Review, Suspense, YA

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