I picked this book up in the 3 for £5 offer at my local bookshop and I’ve finally had time to read it. Unfortunately, I know why it was in the discount isle… The writing, while not particularly bad, is used to describe what could have been an amazing story but instead pencils in 80% boredom, 10% confusion and 10% plot.

Darren Evans’s sister Carly disappeared when he was only eleven. In Uni now, he decides to work at the local mental institution/prison where the killer of other girls and self-confessed kidnapper of Carly was imprisoned. Although she admitted her guilt, Olivia Duvall refused to say what had happened to those five missing girls. Or where their bodies might lie.

This book tries hard to be White Oleander, where a female criminal mastermind is imprisoned and from behind bars she tries to get into the minds of those outside. The book’s plot is so thin and the storyline so badly outlined it could go like this:

Darren: goes to work and back. Goes to the pub. Sees Olivia. Trembles in fear.
Olivia: Smirks, tells nothing.
Darren: goes to work, afraid of being recognized. Gets shit from boss. Goes to the pub.
Olivia: Appreciates how Darren looks, kills an inmate for loud chewing, tells where a body is burried but none of the others.
Darren: Tell me mooore!
Olivia: No.
Darren: Goes to pub, has a date with a chick from work. Trembles near Olivia.
Olivia: Begrudging respect for cleaner.

This is 290/325 pages of the book. Boring and mindbogglingly bad. I started skipping pages just to see whether Darren actually gets to speak to Olivia anymore. He carries a tray with mash and a love heart drawn on top of it thinking it’s for him.

Let me spare you the torture and tell you that Olivia was a lesbian, her other half working in the prison kitchen and the two of them had such a hate for men, they started recruiting run-away girls and training them on how to capture and interrogate rapists and child molesters. While Darren’s sister was not abused, she is responsible for a murder of her best friend’s father – who was a child molester.
Instead of going to the police, she hides with Olivia and Bernice (what a name!) for TEN YEARS(!) letting her family think she was dead in a ditch somewhere, causing immense pain to her mother and father, driving a wedge between her parents, missing out on her education – all in order to be good in the eyes of social justice.

Darren finds her and her other mates and kills Bernice in self-defence. Olivia is told in prison that her mate is gone and everyone is smiling in victory over a well done job.

Yawn. No tension, no thrilling parts until the very end of the book and I can say that Darren only stumbled on the truth rather than actually finding it through his own efforts.. This is going to the charity pile.

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