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With Malice | Eileen Cook

With Malice

With Malice by Eileen Cook, August 2016, Hotkey, RRP$16.99 AUD

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?

I received a finished copy of With Malice from the publisher, Allen and Unwin, in exchange for an honest review.

Please Note: all opinions are mine and are not endorsed with any company or organization. 

I’ve been enjoying YA thrillers lately so I thought I’d give this one a shot. I definitely think it was worth the read, but didn’t live up to my expectations with the hype the book had been receiving in the US.

Setting. When you say Italy, I expect Italy. But it really wasn’t there except in a few ‘flashbacks’. This book takes place in either a hospital or a recovery centre, which is fine except that I wanted Italy. Also, I felt that this setting didn’t fit the ‘thriller’ genre as there isn’t many you can be scared as hospitals are pretty safe and secure places.

Characters. I think Jill was a great character and really showed some depth later in the book. Some of the other characters could be a bit one-dimensional but those characters weren’t typically in the forefront of the story. I did feel that Jill’s roommate was a bit too absent considering her roommate status and she only appeared when she was required to fill in plot points that were usually predictable anyway. One of the best aspects of character was how although Simone was dead for the entire book, she still had this foreboding presence and we still get quite a sense of her character even in her absence.

Plot. It was a great synopsis, but the book didn’t follow through for me. Without trying to spoil the book, I wasn’t particularly ‘thrilled’ by this thriller as much of the action occurred before the start of the book and I didn’t feel like the stakes were that high for Jill. Also, I found the ending a bit too predictable but at the same time, I was frustrated and unsatisfied that it wasn’t exactly concluded.

Writing. The writing wasn’t anything to write home about but it was still perfectly adequate and I always consider books where the writing doesn’t take away or distract you from the story to be good writing.

Overall, I enjoyed reading the book (read in one sitting) but I admit that it wasn’t the best written book I’ve read.

4/5 stars

Recommended to: those looking for a fast intriguing read (more suited to those looking for a break from their favourite genre).

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