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Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan - Review

Monday, July 11, 2016

I sometimes review adult literature on this blog, especially if I think it would be suitable for older teens. Here's something I read recently: Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan.

Where did I get it? I got it on NetGalley so thank you to Penguin UK. I read the description and it appealed to me, so I requested it.

What's it about? Margot is the agony aunt on a Cambridgeshire newspaper. She's a teacher in a school where a girl called Katie Browne has just gone missing, and she's about to get divorced from Eddy, who's been sleeping with his boss Arabella. She gets a letter at her column (the eponymous Dear Amy) which is supposedly from schoolgirl Bethan Avery, who went missing twenty years beforehand and who was presumed murdered. 
Margot receives another letter and goes to the police, but things start to happen around her house and she is paranoid that someone is watching her. I saw that this novel had a twist, and was a bit like Gone Girl, and I guessed the twist pretty early on. I thought that the first half, before the twist is revealed, was really good - gripping, tense, genuinely scary in parts - but that this petered off once the twist came out. I didn't like the
second half as much and time seemed to jump around quite a lot which annoyed me.
That said, it was nice to read a novel set in Cambridge, I felt like the setting added to the story quite a lot. Margot is a very sympathetic character but most of everyone else around her are awful. 
What age range is it for? 17+, it's quite horrifically graphic in parts
Are any main characters LGBTQ+? No
Are any main characters people of colour? No
Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? Kind of. I don't want to give too much away
Is there any sex stuff? No
Are drugs mentioned or used? There's a bit about prescription drugs, and I'll trigger warn for psychiatric hospital too 
Is there any talk of death? Yes quite a bit
Are there swear words? Not many
Would I recommend the book? Yes, if you liked Gone Girl and other stuff like it. I'm not sorry I read it, I just felt like the 2nd half didn't deliver as it could have. 
How many stars? Seven out of ten. 

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