There are some big-name authors out there. Literally, writers like Stephen King, James Patterson, and Lee Child have their names printed just as big (if not bigger) than the titles of their books on the cover. In this way, just seeing a familiar surname is like a quality-assurance or brand marker for the contents between the covers. So, essentially, if you are familiar with the author of any of these books, you can confidently pick up the title and already have a good idea of what you are getting into. Recently, I read two books by Michael Robotham, an internationally published Australian fiction writer. Robotham is a big name too, but, perhaps, slightly less well-known in the U.S.. Because I did not know Robotham’s name, I was drawn into his works for their curious and intriguing plot descriptions. If you’re looking for stories with twists, turns, and ‘omg moments,’ then I highly, highly recommend that you look out for Robotham.
I have only read two Robotham books and I found both to be more complex and engrossing than I had expected going in. Without spoilers, I hope to share with you a little about The Secrets She Keeps and Good Girl, Bad Girl titles in case you are on the hunt for your next read in the thriller/ crime genre:
A tale of two women. We meet Agatha, the grocery store clerk, first. Immediately, we notice that she has an obsessive quality about her as she ogles Meghan, a regular at the store. Meghan has it all—a beautiful house, two adorable children, a winsome husband, and a popular mommy blog where she shares the stories of her charmed life. Agatha already knows all of this about Meghan as she is an avid reader of the blog. Agatha is not content to just watch Meghan; however, she has made it her mission to integrate herself into Meghan’s life. Although the women are as different as night and day, they have one important commonality—they are both expecting a baby at the same time. Lest you think this is a story about a heartwarming tale of female bonding, I will warn you that the introduction of the rich woman, poor woman dichotomy is simply a façade that belies the complex, compelling, and astounding (if not confounding) characters who drive the action in this story.
We meet Evie Cormack in a secure children’s home and quite frankly do not know what to make of her or of this scene of misfit characters. All of the teens who reside here have no other homes or families, however, unlike the rest, Evie Cormack does not even have a past. Six years ago, she was simply found in an abandoned house, malnourished, unwilling to tell the authorities where she came from, her own name or age, or…how the tortured man in the chair was murdered. Every once in a while this book with share something gruesome and describe it in great, morbid detail. However, overall the story turned out to be a heartwarming one. Told from two different perspectives, that of Evie, and Cyrus Haven, a forensic psychologist investigating a crime related to a promising young figure skater. This book is filled with a cast of interesting characters, who drive the story in every which way until the very last page of the novel.
There is something refreshing about Robotham’s writing. To me, the only thing that The Secrets She Keeps and Good Girl, Bad Girl have in common is that they are both brilliant. The narratives keep the reader questioning until the very end and leave them a little unsatisfied (in a good way) even after the story has come to a close. If you’re interested in suspense, crime fiction, or psychological thrillers, I highly recommend that you check out the above two titles.