The Girl With No Past - Kathryn Croft

Genre: Psychological Thriller/Mystery
Synopsis: Leah Mills lives a life of a fugitive – kept on the run by one terrible day from her past. It is a lonely life, without a social life or friends until – longing for a connection – she meets Julian. For the first time she dares to believe she can live a normal life. Then, on the fourteenth anniversary of that day, she receives a card. Someone knows the truth about what happened. Someone who won’t stop until they’ve destroyed the life Leah has created. But is Leah all she seems? Or does she deserve everything she gets? Everyone has secrets. But some are deadly.


Review: I didn't have overly high expectations for this one, having glanced at the reviews on Goodreads, but like many other readers I was sufficiently curious about the 'thing' in Leah's past that is so terrible, that I happily read the entire book. That's not to say that it's a notably bad book or anything - the writing leaves... well, a lot, to be desired, but conceptually there's actually quite a lot to like about the book. I suppose my biggest complaint would be that really not a lot happens for about two thirds of the book - Leah spends her time systematically verifying the innocent of a list of people she believes could be bestowing her ill fortune on her. While this is happening, we are occasionally taken back to Leah's teen years and the terrible event is gradually unfolded.

In fariness, the terrible event is pretty terrible. It's grim, realistic, and I would have had to put the book down if the scene hadn't ended where it did. The subsequent climax of the book, resulting decades later from that event, is also really interesting and exciting to read (as is one last little twist towards the end). So the final third does a pretty good job of keeping the pages turning rapidly, but unfortunately the characters are largely so flat and unbelieveable, and the writing in the first two thirds so dull and uninteresting, that the decent ending does not balance out everything that came before it.

I'd love to have seen this book done well - there's nothing overly original but there's a realistic setup that just falls flat in the details. I'd almost give it three stars to say I liked it after that ending, but I know my attitude for most of it was 'meh', so two stars it is.

Rating: 2/5

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