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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Good Me, Bad Me


Publisher: Flatiron Books

Publication Date: 9/5/2017

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 4 Stars (ARC) ONE OF THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY, CONTROVERSIAL AND EXPLOSIVE DEBUTS OF 2017, Good Me Bad Me is for fans of quality psychological suspense and reading group fiction. 'The new Girl on The Train, which was the new Gone Girl. You get the picture. This psycho-thriller by Ali Land is set to be massive' —Cosmopolitan 'Incredible, very special' —Radio 4's Open Book

'NEW N A M E .


S H I N Y.


ME .

Annie's mother is a serial killer.

The only way she can make it stop is to hand her in to the police.

But out of sight is not out of mind.

As her mother's trial looms, the secrets of her past won't let Annie sleep, even with a new foster family and name - Milly.

A fresh start. Now, surely, she can be whoever she wants to be.

But Milly's mother is a serial killer. And blood is thicker than water.

Good me, bad me.

She is, after all, her mother's daughter...


My Review

UK author Ali Land has dedicated her new breakout psychological gripping thriller to mental nurses everywhere. In fact, it happened to be a conversation the author had with a teenage girl when she was working as a mental health nurse that sparked the idea for the book.

Ultimately this became her chilling debut hit, GOOD ME BAD ME. An Interview with Ali Land

Land, once a full-time nurse to a full-time writer. It seems her former career has inspired new talent in the area of mental health; crosses psychological thriller.

This is one highly courageous debut novel, and can only imagine how difficult this was to write — as she delves into the disturbing mind of a teenage girl.

Milly (Annie) tries so desperately to be good. However, is this possible?

Compelling. A strong contender for debut of the year!

“ . . . The playground. That’s what she called it. Where the games were evil, and there was only ever one winner. When it wasn’t my turn, she made me watch. A peephole in the wall. Asked me afterward. What did you see, Annie? What did you see?” . . .

“Forgive me when I tell you it was me. It was me that told.”

Annie’s mother Ruth is a serial, killer. (Peter Pan Killer). Her mom kidnapped and murdered children.

Annie has finally turned over her mom to the authorities. She loves her but she must keep her from killing other children.

Now she has a new family with a new name. Milly. This is her chance to start over.

Or so she thinks . . .

A foster dad named Mike. A psychologist, an expert in trauma. His wife Saski and daughter Phoebe. (Phoebe is not so nice). Phoebe turns out to be a bully, making it more difficult for Milly. She turns others at school against her.

Milly has enough problems with the stress of her traumatic childhood, sexual abuse, the guilt of her mother and the damage she has inflicted on her daughter, plus the upcoming trial, and now this girl and this family.

Plus, the voices in her head. The continued taunting voices from her mom. The lessons she taught her.

She curls up in the floor. She read once that people who are violent are hotheaded, while psychopaths are cold hearted. Hot and cold. Head and heart. But what if you come from a person who’s both?

What happens then?

The person Milly wants to run from is also the person she wants to run to. Game on.

Milly has secrets. What is she hiding?

Will she ever be normal growing up with an abusive and murderous mother? Good or bad?

She wants desperately to do the right thing, but her mother’s voice urging her on to do bad things. A child groomed and sexualized from a very young age, now fifteen. She has to take the stand.

“Good me. Bad me. Siamese twins inside of me at war.”

The upcoming trial and the dreams. Now another toxic home. What happens when the trial is over? Can Milly fit in anywhere? Maybe she thinks there may be no place.

A skillfully woven plot, with an unreliable narrator, GOOD ME BAD ME is heart wrenching, engrossing, terrifying, disturbing and filled with horror, tension, and suspense.

This unsettling yet gripping tale will keep you glued to the pages. The author does an outstanding job of portraying mental and physical damages and trauma to a young disturbed girl and its outcome… A struggle between good and evil.

For fans of Ruth Ware, Candice Fox, Wendy Walker, Louise Jensen, Jennifer Jaynes, and Jennifer Hillier. Looking forward to seeing what’s next. (love the cover and the twisty conclusion).

A special thank you to Flatiron Books and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy.

Review Links:



Advance Praise

Translated into over 20 languages, Good Me Bad Me is a tour de force. In its narrator, Milly Barnes, we have a voice to be reckoned with, and in its author, Ali Land, an extraordinary new talent.

'A novel of complex motivations that will test readers' capacity for empathy, Good Me Bad Me is already a strong contender for debut of the year' —The Irish Times

'Gripping, unsettling and unforgettable' —Heat

'Frightening and enthralling' —Grazia

'Unsettling. Holds our attention from the opening page. There is so much to praise here' —Guardian

'Spellbinding. Will have you on the edge of your seat. Sure to be a big talking point this year' —Daily Express

'A creepy, compulsive thriller I read in one breathless gulp. Good Me Bad Me reveals its shocking secrets slowly while reeling in the reader with all the intricate skill of a spider spinning a web. One not to be missed' —Red

'Original and compelling - what a sensational debut!' —Clare Mackintosh, number one bestselling author of I See You and I Let You Go

'An astoundingly compelling thriller. Beyond tense. You hardly breathe. Best read in ages' —Matt Haig

'Intelligent and disturbing, Good Me Bad Me had me hooked from the first page' —Debbie Howells, author of Richard & Judy book club bestseller The Bones of You

'I absolutely loved it and read it in less than a day. A proper page turner and brilliantly written' Edith Bowman

'This book is a work of twisted genius. It is going to be HUGE. Watch out for Ali Land' Bryony Gordon

'Ten pages into Good Me Bad Me, I became an Ali Land fan. Her beautiful, intimate voice immediately tugged me into the heart and mind of a serial killer's daughter and then wouldn't let go. Is there hope for this teenager's new life outside of her mother's horror? Original, intense, and utterly compelling, Good Me Bad Me is not just a terrific thriller but a psychological dive into a young girl's soul. It takes subtlety and perfect balance to maintain a dark tale like this, and Land never once stutters or makes you look away' Julia Heaberlin, author of Sunday Times bestseller Black-Eyed Susans

'A triumph of tension. I doubt I'll ever sleep again' Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of R&J bestseller The Last Act of Love

Milly's voice is gripping and shocking. This is a book you will want to discuss with everyone you know' Claire Douglas, author of The Sisters and Local Girl Missing

'Good Me Bad Me is a novel that explodes off the page, with beautifully drawn characters and carefully executed pace. Heart rending, engrossing and ultimately terrifying, you'll be thinking about it a long time after you've turned the final page' Rowan Coleman, author of R&J bestseller The Memory Book

'Unbelievably good, utterly gripping' Jill Mansell

'Listen to the early praise for Ali Land's Good Me Bad Me because it's all true. It's dark, utterly gripping, brilliant' David Headley, Goldsboro Books

'I read this book in one compulsive gulp over two days and absolutely loved it. It's raw, superbly controlled and it chills to the bone' Richard Skinner

'You know from the first page you're in confident hands. A genuinely disturbing debut that will stay with you long after you turn the last page. Good Me Bad Me is going to be huge - and it deserves to be' Catherine Ryan Howard

'The best crime debut I've read in ages. Creepy, edgy and addictively twisted. I loved it' Sarah Hilary

'Ali Land's Good Me Bad Me is an intensely compelling exploration of nature versus nurture wrapped up in a page-turning psychological thriller. Darkly disturbing and beautifully written. What more could any reader want?' Sarah Pinborough

'Good Me Bad Me is an astonishing debut - technically sophisticated and emotionally heart wrenching. So many things are done well - the status jungle of girls school, the psychological dissonance of a dysfunctional family, the internal machinery of damaged children. I thought it was wonderful' Helen Callaghan, bestselling author of Dear Amy

'One word: Wow. What a brilliant book - believable, shocking, thought-provoking and utterly compelling. The writing, as well as being so pacey, is beautiful. This feels such a current and original book' T R Richmond,author of What She Left

'Good Me Bad Me is a compelling page-turner. Chilling and dark, it grips you and won't let go' Rebecca Done, author of The Secret We're Keeping


About the Author

After graduating from university with a degree in Mental Health, Ali Land spent a decade working as a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Nurse in both hospitals and schools in the UK and Australia. Ali is now a full-time writer and lives in West London.

Follow Ali on Twitter @byAliLand

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