My mum is a serial killer…
“Good me, bad me” by Ali Land is what I call a cross-over novel, suitable for both teens and adults. The main character is fifteen-year-old Annie, who is now in witness protection with the new name of Milly. Why? Because she dobbed her mum into the police – her mum, the serial killer of nine little children. Milly’s father left years ago, and her older brother got himself taken into care to get away from their Mum, but she was left behind, alone at the age of five – and abused, manipulated, tortured and groomed ever since.
The father of the foster family she’s placed with is a psychologist, assigned to help prepare to testify at the court case. He thinks she is wracked by survivor’s guilt, and she is – after all, she didn’t tell on her mum for ten years, and then only because her mother had horrendous plans for her sweet sixteenth. And also, the last murder victim was someone she knew. But it’s not just that – there’s much more involved.
Pheobe, her foster-sister, is a jealous bully, who is determined to make Milly’s stay with them a misery – and temporary. And although Pheobe initially comes across as mean and spiteful, by the end, one can’t help but feel just a little sorry for her. Because Milly is beautiful, smart and cunning and Pheobe really doesn’t know who she’s dealing with. Milly has had a very good tutor, after all….
This book initially seemed quite simple, however the character development is fantastic and it really drew me in. The author leaves trails of clues, which keep you wanting to read long into the night. That said, I have to admit that I did suspect the ending a chapter or two beforehand. But there was still enough doubt to keep me reading on. I can see this on the big screen one day, and I could imagine a sequel – Milly in a 10 years would be a very interesting character indeed. Those of you who like family drama, suspense fiction, or real-life stories, will probably love it as much as I did.