Book Review – Dear Amy

amy

Title- Dear Amy
Author- Helen Callaghan
Published- June 16th 2016
Genre- Thriller
Length- 352 pages
Rating- 4.5/5

Synopsis (Goodreads)- Margot Lewis is the agony aunt for The Cambridge Examiner. Her advice column, Dear Amy, gets all kinds of letters – but none like the one she’s just received: 

Dear Amy,

I don’t know where I am. I’ve been kidnapped and am being held prisoner by a strange man. I’m afraid he’ll kill me.
Please help me soon,
Bethan Avery

Bethan Avery has been missing for years. This is surely some cruel hoax. But, as more letters arrive, they contain information that was never made public. How is this happening? Answering this question will cost Margot everything . .

Review- Overall this was a great book. The first 20% was fast paced and interesting, as was the last 50%. The bit in between however, was an issue. So 70% was great, and 30% was iffy. I’m still giving it a great rating though as it rallied so well.

This is definitely one of the better thrillers I have read recently, it’s no “The Girl on the Train”, but it is better than “I See You”. 70% of the book was exciting, and really held my attention, to the point where I stayed up really late to finish it.

The main character is clearly Margot, however the story flips between focusing on her and a couple of other characters. This is reasonably common but it is something I really enjoy, it builds the backstory well and brings things together.

There is a major revelation about two thirds of the way through, I had guessed it about half way, due to one particular line, but knowing didn’t take anything away from the story for me. The revelation is pretty great in reality. Following this revelation the tension continues to build and is very well done. I actually shouted “what the hell are you doing?” at one character, I was that invested!

The storyline is interesting, far fetched, but not so far fetched as to make it impossible, that’s what makes it so good. If you’re that way inclined, in theory this could leave you questioning your own life as you just never know for sure…

It’s hard to say much more about the story without giving things away which is a shame because I want to talk about it! The sign of a good book!!

As for the bad, there were a few minor things that were just unrealistic, and it bothered me. I kept looking for more faults as a result and it took away some of the enjoyment. They are very minor things though so it is me being picky really.

Firstly Margot drives an Audi, while that’s not impossible, it gives an unrealistic impression of teachers, most teachers do not drive an Audi, or flashy cars in general. When I was at school the student’s cars were often nicer than those of the teachers, and I didn’t go to school in Beverly Hills. Another character drove a brown Range Rover, Range Rover don’t make a brown car. Think about it, when was the last time you saw any car in brown? I just don’t understand why that would be the author’s go to colour.

The author also doesn’t really seem to understand what time a teacher goes to school, most teachers are there before 9, not Margot though, apparently she has time to do all sorts before school and is even still home when the post comes. Now, my postman has started coming early lately, and by that I mean 10.30am. I don’t remember ever getting post before the time when a teacher would need to leave for school.

I know these things purely by being an adult, this isn’t exactly niche knowledge. I don’t understand why someone who is going to the effort of writing about them didn’t think to check these basic facts if they didn’t know them already.

In that bad 30% Margot also seemed a bit simple at times, which is definitely not what her character is supposed to be, as the references to her education show. She also seemed very needy and whiny. The narration of a couple of chapters also seemed to not really fit with the rest of them but that wasn’t a massive issue.

So, overall a pretty great book with a few issues, but it is definitely something I would recommend.

Anyone else read it?

 

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