Review: When She Was Bad by Tammy Cohen

Wednesday 4 May 2016
Title: When She Was Bad
Author: Tammy Cohen
Publisher: Transworld
Publication Date: 21st April 2016
Pages: 386
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5
Purchase: Amazon


Amira, Sarah, Paula, Ewan and Charlie have worked together for years - they know how each one likes their coffee, whose love life is a mess, whose children keep them up at night. But their comfortable routine life is suddenly shattered when an aggressive new boss walks in ....

Now, there's something chilling in the air.

Who secretly hates everyone?

Who is tortured by their past?

Who is capable of murder?

After seeing all the glowing praise coming in for Tammy Cohen's When She Was Bad from some of my favourite bloggers, I couldn't wait to read it for myself. I do go into a book with high expectations when I have previously enjoyed the author's work (see Dying for Christmas) and when fellow bloggers are raving about it, and all of those expectations were met and exceeded by Tammy. When She Was Bad is a truly gripping thriller, and because I personally failed to see them coming, contains one or two of my favourite plot twists so far this year.

I believe that Tammy Cohen must have had a lot of fun creating some of the characters in this book. It's an eclectic mix, and the quirks and intricacies of some of them are just so specific at times or so brilliantly out there that a few of them could be based on other people? It has been said by other reviewers that those who work in an office environment will instantly recognise the characters, but I think anyone who has worked in a job with other people will recognise some of the characters. The fake friendships that can be formed. The rivalries and jealousies. The pitting staff against one another. A horrible manager who arrives and throws everything into complete disarray. Using all of this as the backdrop to the main plot itself was brilliant and all of that combined makes a quite juicy and enjoyable mystery for the reader to get caught up in. In terms of the plot itself it is an incredibly thought-provoking read, and is a story that will remain with most readers long after finishing the book.

The story is written in a way where you really are unsure who you can trust. The book is building towards something dangerous, and that's when I became really unsure of which characters I could trust. Answer: just assume none of them! Quite early on in the book, I think due to a comment I read in another review, I became almost fixated on one character. In fact, I was 99.9% sure that I knew exactly what was going to happen regarding this character and the role they would play in the story. Well, I couldn't have been more wrong and that's why I enjoyed the book so much. It's shocking, it's unpredictable and very clever too. When She Was Bad is a book that goes beyond just being another psychological thriller and which doesn't need any silly, predictable similarities being made with other thrillers because this is very much it's own story which doesn't need any comparisons and it's a book I very highly recommend.

1 comment:

  1. Everyone's raving about this! I'm going to get to my copy this weekend, definitely! Great review, Shaun.


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