Thursday, June 23, 2016
Just Finished Reading ... With Malice by Eileen Cook
by Eileen Cook
Published on June 7, 2016
Synopsis from Goodreads: Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron wakes up in a hospital room, leg in a cast, stitches in her face and a big blank canvas where the last six weeks should be. She discovers she was involved in a fatal car accident while on a school trip in Italy. A trip she doesn’t even remember taking. She was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care. Care that includes a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident…wasn’t an accident. As the accident makes national headlines, Jill finds herself at the center of a murder investigation. It doesn’t help that the media is portraying her as a sociopath who killed her bubbly best friend, Simone, in a jealous rage. With the evidence mounting against her, there’s only one thing Jill knows for sure: She would never hurt Simone. But what really happened?
My take: I wasn't planning on reading this. I'd tried another book by this author and it wasn't a good fit for me. But I love thrillers and when I saw a bunch of positive reviews for this, I decided to give it a try.
I'm glad I did. With Malice was a page-turning read that used one of my least favorite YA plot devices (amnesia) to good effect. Jill wakes up in the hospital with only hazy memories of how she ended up there. The story slowly fills in the facts on two different fronts, which I thought worked really well. First, Jill has therapy at a rehab center, and second, the book incorporates epistolary elements (blog posts, police interviews, etc.) that offer various viewpoints. Like Dangerous Girls, this seemed loosely inspired by the Amanda Knox case.
Two minor quibbles. This cover is lovely and I kind of wish that some of the book was set there, instead of in a hospital. Also, I had an idea of where the book was headed, and I was (pretty much) right. But those things didn't diminish my enjoyment of this story!
Two things for those who've already read this book. First, did you see that a real-life version of this story recently played out in the tabloids? How weird is that? And second, there's Guilt, a new TV show that also seems to be inspired by the Amanda Knox case?
Have you read the book or watched Guilt? Let me know in comments!