I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Make Me Clean by Tina Baker
Published by Viper on February 16, 2023
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers, Crime, Women, Psychological, Mystery & Detective, General, Suspense
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
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'Insightful, moving, dramatic and darkly funny' - DAILY MAIL'Brings a whole new meaning to domestic noir' - THE TIMES'Funny, grim and very touching' - HARRIET TYCE
She will leave your surfaces sparkling. But she may well leave you dead...
Maria is a good woman and a good cleaner. She cleans for Elsie, the funny old bird who's losing her marbles, with the terrible husband. She cleans for Brian, the sweet man with the terrible boss. She cleans for the mysterious Mr Balogan, with the terrible neighbours.
If you're thinking of hiring her, you should probably know that Maria might have killed the terrible husband, the terrible boss and the terrible neighbours. She may also have murdered the man she loved.
She didn't set out to kill anyone, of course, but her clients have hired her to clean up their lives, and she takes her job seriously - not to mention how much happier they all are now. The trouble is, murder can't be washed out. You can only sweep it under the carpet, and pray no one looks too closely...
Darkly funny and completely gripping from the first page to the last, Make Me Clean is one thriller you won't be able to scrub from your mind. Perfect for fans of Harriet Tyce, Fiona Cummins and My Sister the Serial Killer.
'Make Me Clean is Tina Baker's best yet' - ALICE CLARK-PLATTS'She has topped even her first two novels. Brilliant' - EDDIE MAIR'Quirky, dark and delicious' - CAROLINE ENGLAND
Make me Clean is an escapist pleasure. This is a story that standouts in a crowded genre and has you aching to read more.
If you are feeling like the thriller genre is full of the usual twists and turns, character tropes and narrative styles then please give Tina Bakers work a whirl. She proves that fiction can never be too dark or depraved. You’ll instantly fall in love with the morally grey character, Maria and still find yourself rooting for her by the end.
I’ve read hundreds of psychological thrillers. Its kind of like a drug. Feeling down? Read in the genre. Feeling happy, read the genre, feeling the rage? Read the genre. It’ll instantly make you feel better about your own life. It’s kind of like therapy but much cheaper and still has that instant euphoric high. I need these types of stories in my life, and I think Tina Baker writes with a flourish of the mischievous dark. Like a wizard of the authoring world. You’re a wizard, Tina. Anyway, I digress.
Make Me Clean centres around feminist rage. Maria has had about enough of men trying to ruin her life through control and domination. The opening pages leaves no doubt that something awful has happened. I loved it, the perfect way of opening a story is to have the reader unfooted in the first few sentences. Her inner monologue left me needing answers, a woman I wanted to find out more about. Maria’s story wraps the reader in a tight fog, movement and vision is impaired and the only way out is to read on. I was hooked.
Maria is cleaner. She cleans for Elsie, the sweet woman who is in the midst of dementia. My favourite character, she has a devious personality and doesn’t mince her words, a spade is indeed a spade with her. She has two cats who are her world – always going to love someone who is cat person. She has a conniving nephew, Del, who is making it is one man mission to get his aunt into a care home under the guise of being better looked after. The truth is all he wants is her money. Maria sees right through him and what she sees is mainly yellow, a coward through and through.
She also cleans for Brian. He’s a sensitive man who Maria instantly builds a friendship with. They don’t have a lot in common, but she can see how kind he is. He has a bully for a boss who often comments on how his generation are a lot weaker than his. He picks at him constantly and when Brian decides to throw a party for his co-workers and his boss just invites himself along, Maria knows she needs to do something to help him.
Her final client is the mysterious night club owner, Balogan. She cleans there at night at the man himself is a walking enigma. He’s huge and foreboding and some of the things he tells Maria makes her wonder what his story is. She knows he’s dangerous, his neighbours can attest to that. Shared looks, whispers and comments from Mal and Cass – two people who seem to thrive from their party lifestyle. Do they know more about the big man next door than their letting on?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tina Baker, the daughter of a window cleaner and fairground traveller, worked as a journalist and broadcaster for thirty years and is probably best known as a television critic for the BBC and GMTV. After so many hours watching soaps gave her a widescreen bum, she got off it and won Celebrity Fit Club. She now avoids writing-induced DVT by working as a Fitness Instructor.
Call Me Mummy is Tina’s first novel, inspired by her own unsuccessful attempts to become a mother. Despite the grief of that, she’s not stolen a child – so far. But she does rescue cats, whether they want to be rescued or not.