Genre: Psychological Thriller
‘I’m not safe – you have to help me…’
Little Lorna Bell is from a notorious family on a rundown estate. Everyone thinks she’s a nasty piece of work. The schoolchildren call her a thief. But Lorna’s hair is matted, her shoes pinch her feet and school teacher Claire Penny can’t help herself; some kids just need a bit more support, a bit more love, than the rest.
As the bond between teacher and pupil grows stronger, Claire sees Lorna’s bruises, and digs to uncover the disturbing tale behind them. Heartbroken, Claire knows she has to act. She must make Lorna safe. Just when Claire thinks she has protected Lorna, a chance encounter brings enigmatic stranger Marianne Cairns into their lives. Marianne seems generous and kind but there is something about her story that doesn’t quite add up. Why does she feel so at home, and why is Lorna suddenly so unsettled?
Claire has risked everything to save Lorna. But what can save Claire from the shocking truth?
I’m delighted to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for Bad Little Girl. I’m one of the final stops, the other is over at Sincerely Book Angels, but catch up on the previous stops!
This wasn’t a typical psychological thriller (I mean that as a compliment) it went much deeper and darker than most psychological thrillers that I’ve read before. It had a calmer sense of intensity that may have even unsettled me more than a super fast paced read.
This is a book that I would describe as slow burning, the first half is setting the stage for what’s ahead and Vick spends a lot of time developing the characters of Lorna and Claire. Lorna is just five years old when it begins and Claire is a teacher at her school. Lorna seems to be neglected and possibly abused, and Claire is the kind of woman and teacher that just can’t stand for that. Over the years, they develop a bond, maybe even the type that’s inappropriate, but Claire’s intentions are good. I’m not really going to be discussing the plot much further, but I found their relationship to be both fascinating and disturbing.
Doubt was the overwhelming feeling I had while reading this, I doubted Lorna and questioned her intentions, I questioned Claire and her motivations, it was a highly unsettling read and one that left me feeling unsure, but that sort of feeling is exactly one of the reasons I love psychological thrillers so much. This read like a deep character study, it had intellectual depth and both Claire and Lorna were so well developed and multilayered. There was the always one big question in the back of my mind, are people born bad or good? Or does how we are raised a factor? I’m not sure I can answer that, but this book will definitely give you loads to ponder.
Overall rating: 4/5
About the Author:
The only child of parents who worked at a top security psychiatric hospital, Frances grew up receiving disquieting notes and presents from the patients. Expelled from school, she spent the next few years on the dole, augmenting her income by providing security and crewing for gigs, and being a guinea pig for medical trials. Later jobs included working in a theatre in Manhattan, teaching English in Japanese Junior High Schools, and being a life model in Italy, before coming back to London and working with homeless teenagers and refugees.