This is a tricky one to review – it is not a very nice story but I am trying hard to separate that from the fact that it IS a well written story and a very readable book.
I should point out at this stage there are scenes of abuse within the book – please don’t read it if you feel these will upset you.
The lead characters are all pretty awful, self-serving, obsessed and not healthy to be around. There is Richard who had a pretty traumatic start to life when both of his parents were killed in a car crash – yet he tells a fabricated version of how the crash occurred, why?
There’s Amanda, Richard’s cousin, who seems to be a thoroughly unpleasant bully yet can beguile their wealthy grandmother who seems unaware of her dark side.
These two are the ‘lead’ characters but there are plenty of others in the mix – all of whom appear to have little or no redeeming features. Yet this is still a good read and, for me, it fast became a book I loved to hate. I liked the honesty of the characters. I gratefully enjoyed this different take on a novel, there was no one in there trying to win me over or get me to like them, they were all just base and dark. I did think for a while that I might warm to the grandmother but she was just as self-obsessed as the others and chose to only see what she wanted.
Bad Magic offers a fresh and different take on the psychological thriller format and I really enjoyed it.
I find it fascinating that this is A M Stirling’s debut novel – don’t they say the first one is always semi-autobiographical…?
#BadMagicBook @AMStirling1 @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours
Blurb: When Richard meets his cousin Amanda for the first time in twenty years, he’s still afraid of her; she bullied him throughout his childhood and sexually abused him when they were teenagers. He owns a struggling art gallery that only survives because his wealthy grandmother pays for it. But now Amanda’s back in his life, things look set to change. She’s out to make trouble, drugging Richard with Rohypnol, faking a burglary and trying to persuade their grandmother to change her will. Richard’s heard a rumour she murdered her mother. Fearing for his grandmother’s life and his inheritance, he decides to give Amanda a dose of her own medicine.