Review Blog

Aug 06 2020

When she was good by Michael Robotham

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Cyrus Haven Bk 2. Hachette, 2020. ISBN: 9780733644849
(Age: Adult - Senior secondary) Recommended. Following Good girl, bad girl, comes a thrilling instalment in the lives of Cyrus Haven and Evie Cormac. At the end of Good girl, bad girl readers were left pondering the mystery of just who Evie was and why she had been hiding for so long. She has been safe in a secure home when Cyrus is called in to investigate the murder of Detective Superintendent Hamish Whitmore. As he follows the trail left by the detective, he gradually grows closer to finding out the secrets of Evie's past. However, Evie knows that it is very dangerous for Cyrus to be uncovering what has happened in the past and both she and Cyrus are in peril from some very powerful people in high places and the evil hitmen hired by the leader.
Told in alternating chapters by Cyrus and Evie the story of Evie's past gradually unfolds. The tension was so great that I devoured this book in a few sittings as I followed Cyrus' investigation of what has happened, heart in my mouth as I saw how dangerous it was for Evie and appalled at the child abuse, manipulation and murder that she had witnessed. It was horrifying but totally engrossing to find out Evie's background, while also seeing Cyrus develop as a person and to find out more about his broken childhood.
Evie's ability to tell when a person is lying is a strong thread in the story, as is the question about whether the past should stay buried and monsters left alone. The ability of powerful people to manipulate the police and the justice system was also highlighted.
Robotham's clever plotting, character development and twists and turns keep the suspense alive the whole way through to the unexpected and exciting conclusion. Although the main mystery of Evie's past is uncovered for the reader in When she was good, fans will be happy that some options have been left open for Cyrus and Evie to continue working together, using their unique skills and backgrounds.
Pat Pledger

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