I love #BookReviewFriday! These are just the easiest posts to write these days. I read a book, I describe it, did I like it, did I not? If somebody wanted to pay me to just read all day and blog about it, please, hit me up with an email! lol. It’s Friday, so we’re definitely not in a ‘bad place‘, but today I am reviewing a book titled, The Bad Place, by M.K. Hill!
What’s The Bad Place about?
The newspapers called it The Bad Place. A remote farm out on the Thames estuary, where six children were held captive for two weeks. Five of them got out alive. That was 20 years ago. Now adults, they meet up annually to hold a candlelit vigil for their friend who died. The only rule is that no one can talk about what happened the night they escaped. But at this year’s event, one of them witnesses a kidnapping. A young girl, Sammi, is bundled into a van in front of their eyes. Is history repeating itself? Is one of them responsible? Or is someone sending them a twisted message?
DI Sasha Dawson, of Essex Police, is certain that the key to finding Sammi lies in finding out the truth about The Bad Place. But she also knows that with every second she spends trying to unlock the past, the clock ticks down for the missing girl.
Our protagonist is DI Sasha Dawson and I must say, I am a fan. Sasha has a husband, 2 kids, some pain in her history and a chaotic family life…2 teenage kids…. I just found the portrayal of her life so realistic. She argued with her kids the way I picture arguing with my teenage kids one day in the future. She’s flawed, bad ass, but not too bad ass…..a mom, real. There are also quite a few of her colleagues we’re introduced to: Ajay, Lolly, Craig….who all provide their own something extra to Sasha’s life and the actual story. They seem like a team on some cop series, if that makes sense. CSI, Chicago PD….that kind of vibe.
We then have the 5 survivors of what happened 20 yrs ago, Paul, Karin, Simon, Michelle and Lydia. None of their characters were particularly likeable, but I guess that’s the effect of what they went through all those years ago.
There’s Sammi, the missing girl, her parents, Sasha’s parents as well..MANY characters! This book is actually the start of a series, so I think they really fleshed out some of the characters and their backstories, so that we’d have all that information when the next book is eventually released.
The storyline and writing style
The Bad Place is written in alternating timelines, the time of the abduction 20 yrs ago and the present day. I am a fan of these types of stories and I see it done so often these days.
This has a really interesting story line, I’m sure you’d agree. I read A LOT of crime thrillers, but I felt this was different, a new, fresh spin on a classic detective tale. The vibe of the characters…I loved the insight into their lives. I really could picture this as a movie while I was reading, because everything just flowed so well. The writing was very immersive, but not in an overwhelming way….it wasn’t bogged down by too much detail, but there was enough, to get you there. Makes sense right?
I did feel the book was a bit longer than it needed to be, but I think that’s because of the setup of the characters for the next book in the series. There is one aspect of the book I found lacking, the kidnapper refers to ‘my love’ in the very first chapter….I wasn’t sold on his infatuation with ‘his love’. (This is 20 yrs ago kidnapper I’m talking about…I’m not giving away if the present day kidnapper is male/female) It’s not a major issue, but just something I’m mentioning.
Overall, a good story line, though I do think I figured out who the bad guy/gal was midway through the book. That didn’t ruin it for me at all though. The ending was still really good, as there were a few twists that I didn’t expect.
The Bad Place has a Goodreads rating of 4.09 stars out of 5, which is an excellent rating. I rate it around 4 stars as well. Does this sound like your cup of tea? The Bad Place is available at all leading book retailers, and retails for around R290, but currently R233 on Loot.
Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by Jonathan Ball Publishers in exchange for an honest review.