Friday, 12 August 2016

Review: Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan

Title: Dear Amy
Author: Helen Callaghan
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 348
Genres: Psychological Thriller
Source: ARC

The Wolf Road
In her guise as 'Dear Amy', agony aunt for a local newspaper, Margot Lewis has dealt with all sorts of letters - but never one like this...

Dear Amy, I've been kidnapped by a strange man. I don't know where I am. Please help me, Bethan Avery

This must be a cruel hoax. Because Bethan Avery has been missing for nearly two decades.

But as the present-day search intensifies for another missing schoolgirl, Margot is unnerved enough to take the letter to the police, hoping they will dismiss it as a sick joke.

Instead, they let Margot in on a little secret. One that confirms her darkest fears and tangles her up in the search for the sender, which could save one young girl's life and cost Margot her own...
The beginning opens with a chilling scene. Katie Brown has left her mother's house in the pouring rain in a temper, only to be snatched in the street by a dodgy bloke who knew her from the youth centre. It was a strong opening and piqued my interest. Sadly, the plot steadily declined from there.

My main gripe was that I strongly disliked one of the main characters first person perspective, Margot Lewis. Margot is the woman behind the 'Dear Amy' agony aunt column in a local newspaper/magazine. She was an absolute insufferable woman to have to listen to, she is all over the place and about as interesting as a bag of rocks. I didn't feel connected to any of the one dimensional characters actually.

I really wanted to learn more about Katie Brown's ordeal but apart from the very brief scene at the beginning and a few scenes at the end, she was rarely mentioned. The big 'twist' was disappointing and very unconvincing. There are lots of cliches that are common to the genre such as phone batteries dying for example.

It is a shame that I didn't enjoy this book more but the plot was all over the place and I often got confused. I felt relieved when I finished it but I can see how some readers may have enjoyed it.

I received a free ARC from Netgalley. I was not required to give a review.

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