About Good Me, Bad Me
Published: 12th January 2017 (Michael Joseph)
‘NEW NAME .
ME . ‘
Annie’s mother is a serial killer.
The only way she can make it stop is to hand her in to the police.
But out of sight is not out of mind.
As her mother’s trial looms, the secrets of her past won’t let Annie sleep, even with a new foster family and name – Milly.
A fresh start. Now, surely, she can be whoever she wants to be.
But Milly’s mother is a serial killer. And blood is thicker than water.
Good me, bad me.
She is, after all, her mother’s daughter…
Right from the outset of this book, it is clear that this is going to be a hard read, dealing with some difficult subjects. Annie (or Milly as she is now known) is responsible for her mother going on trial for the murder of 9 children as she turned her into the police. Milly is 15 and has lived a life full of abuse, both experienced and witnessed. On the outside, her mother is a responsible, upstanding member of the community, helping abused women every day during her job at a women’s refuge. However, the reality is much darker.
Told from Milly’s perspective, the narrative is unreliable and jumpy, which is extremely effective in demonstrating her mixed up mind and the demons she is fighting every single day. In between her statement to the police and her mother’s trial, she has been given a new identity and fostered by the Newmont’s; Mike, Saskia and their daughter Phoebe. Mike is helping prepare her for her mother’s trial where she is going to take the stand as the only witness.
Saying I enjoyed this book doesn’t feel right as, at its core is a horrendous subject, however it is so compelling and draws the reader in, right from the very start. The abuse experienced is sensitively handled, giving enough information to give the reader an understanding as to what happened in the past without going into graphic detail. Ali Land holds a degree in Mental Health and worked as a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Nurse so she certainly knows what she is talking about and this shines through both Milly and the plot itself. It is hard to believe that this is Land’s debut novel, it is both disturbing and gripping with an interesting and compelling writing style – I look forward to reading more from Ali Land.
About Ali Land
After graduating from university with a degree in Mental Health, Ali Land spent a decade working as a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Nurse in both hospitals and schools in the UK and Australia. Ali is now a full-time writer and lives in West London.