First I want to start by saying how much I enjoyed this book. It’s a murder mystery with a bit of psychic phenomena thrown in and the author absolutely piles on the creep factor, keeping you guessing right to the final revelation. It’s incredibly readable and there were points where I found myself going, ‘Just one more page, just one more page’.
When Eva Tilling wakes up in hospital after a hit and run accident she thinks her main problem is going to be getting used to the scars on her face and the months of physical therapy to recover from her broken leg. When the police investigating the incident tell her it may not have been an accident after all, she is shocked, but then when she discovers that her head injury may have awoken a latent psychic ability, things start to get really crazy. Little does Eva know that the killer’s work isn’t over yet...
The story is written from the viewpoint of three characters: Eva, her best friend Grace and the killer, someone who refers to themselves as ‘Judge’. Hearing what the crazy murderer was thinking and their twisted rationale definitely added to the creep factor.
When the book started I wasn’t sure how much I’d be able to identify with Eva. Her family are well-off and own half the town they live in. Everyone in town watches her and everyone at school looks up to her, and pre-murder-attempt, her problems literally seem to be limited to those of the ‘My Diamond Shoes Are Too Tight’ variety. Coming from a super-rich family and being judged purely on my astonishingly pretty looks is, sadly, not a problem I’ve ever had to contend with, but as the story progressed I found myself liking her more and more. I think this is the sign of a good writer. It’s easy to identify with the outcast, the shy girl, the characters with flaws. It’s harder to identify with the queen bee.
Eva doesn’t seem to have that filter that stops you blurting out inappropriate things, which was quite amusing at times. I also liked the way she tried to protect the people who were at risk of being murdered, although some of her decisions were a bit rash.
The setting of the book is North Carolina and although the book has a southern feel to it, the author doesn’t fall into the trap of relying on run-down plantation mansions out in the middle of nowhere with vines and creepers everywhere to make her story spooky.
I read Wicked Lovely, also by Melissa Marr, a while back and Made For You has reminded me what a great writer she is.