Author: Jessica Eames
Publication Date: October 31st 2019
Publisher: Trapeze Books
Genre: Domestic Thriller
A tragic death. A dark family secret. A past you can’t escape. How well do you really know those closest to you?
Sarah’s world has descended into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to find out the truth of what happened and make sure the guilty are brought to justice. She is haunted by her dad’s death, consumed by her grief and the memories of a cruel day that changed her life forever… she doesn’t even know who she is anymore. But the future holds some hope for Sarah, as she tries to move forward.
Nicola’s future is not looking so hopeful. Since her husband died, the secret she’s been keeping from her family – especially her daughter, Sarah – is eating away at her. The past is catching up with her, and the consequences will be devastating.
A story about family, and of obsession, revenge, and identity.
Thanks to Tracey at Compulsive Readers and the publisher for my spot on the blog tour and a copy of the book. My review is unbiased and honest. Today I bring to you my review of Bad Seed by Jessica Eames. When I received the invitation from Tracey, I just couldn’t say no. The plotline of family betrayal is one I love, and this twisty and complex story compelled me from page one and endlessly turning each page until the wee hours. This is Jessica Eames debut novel and let me tell you…she has a new fan in me. I will from this moment on read anything this woman pens.
At first glance the synopsis promises a lot…a death, a tragic past and a family secret. Does she deliver? Too bloody right she does. We all know that we can’t chose our families, unfortunately for some of us, right? I have a difficult relationship with some members of my family, but I can’t imagine having the problems that some of the characters in this book experience. Its far-fetched, except, it’s not. Nicola is a widow, she’s struggling. She’s trying to piece her life back together after the most traumatic experience of her life. She’s finding it damn hard. What could make this situation ten times harder? Her deceased husband leaving her in financial difficulties. The situation has forced her to make a difficult decision. She now has to live in the annex in the garden of her brother-in-law’s home. She is very slowly moving forward, getting some normalcy back in her life and she has started dating once again. They say that you also marry the family – well how true this is for Nicola.
Things take a turn for the worse when Nicola begins to feel unwell. A visit to the GP deems fruitless when they put it down to symptoms of the menopause. Is she unwell or is there something darker at play here? Nicola is sure things in her home have been moved or tampered with. At every turn we have the feeling of creeping ominous shadows. It made me want to be constantly checking over my shoulder. Has events just caught up with Nicola and the craziness is creeping in or is someone out to get her? Things build up to a crescendo.
I constantly had an odd feeling. The characters around Nicola were false and seemed difficult to read. I wanted to strip back the layers that were between their falseness and the real them. There was more to this, you just had to delve between the lines. The story is told from three alternating viewpoints – Nicola, her daughter Sarah and Fiona, the Brother-in-law’s wife. Its clever and mysterious and although I had worked out relatively quickly who committed the crime, the narrative did have me question my thoughts too often. Secrets are exposed, family ties are broken, the twists feels relative to falling from a cliff, you the grounds going to meet you-you just don’t know how quickly. The family was creepy, there was always something off about them. The paranoia and fear of Nicola was frightening, and I could all too easily imagine myself in her shoes.
I inhaled this book in one sitting. The creeping uneasiness, the anger that you should be able to trust your family and the multiple threads happening to bring the story to life was fantastic. The writing was addictive and suffocating all at once. Family can mean love, but the wrong family can be toxic.