As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Published by Avon, 21 March 2019. ISBN: 978-0-00-829187-7 (PB)
It was the children I felt sorry for, caught in a mesh of destructive
emotions created by the very adults who are supposed to protect them. Amanda
Robson shows the same level of skill at bringing them to life as she does with
her dysfunctional grown-ups.
Her previous novels have been
set against a background of apparently ordinary middle-class life, and Envy
is no exception. All her main characters get to put their own side of the story
across; some are slightly unbalanced to start with, others are pushed to the
edge by events. And the supporting players get the same care and attention as
the central ones, especially Mimi, the ageing punk rocker who runs a modelling
agency, and Mouse, who is somewhere on the higher-functioning end of the
autistic spectrum, though it's never spelled out.
Faye and Phillip have a
straightforward happy marriage; they live in suburbia with their two small
daughters, Phillip is something high-powered in marketing, and Faye, a former
beauty queen, is trying to forge a career as a model. On the edge of their
apparently perfect life are Jonah, Phillip's handsome and sophisticated best
friend, and Erica, unattractive and low in self-esteem, who covets Faye's life
and finds ways to track her every move.
And that's how the nightmare
downward spiral begins: with covetousness. Not only does Erica want Faye's
life; Jonah wants Faye and is prepared to go to any lengths to steal her from
In this kind of domestic noir,
the characters come first, second and just about every place in the line.
Amanda Robson's distinctive first-person, alternating-viewpoint, jump-cutting
style is faultless; the reader is never in doubt whose slice of story is being
told, even when one picks up where the last stopped. The result is four classic
unreliable narrators who create a maelstrom of corrosive cross-currents. It's
clear from the start that it's all going to end in tears; and inevitably,
because this is thriller fiction, there's blood as well. But it doesn't work
out quite as you'd expect...
That jump-cutting is put to
adept use as a way of creating tension as well as bringing those characters to
life. Some chapters are only a few lines long, and the temptation to read just
one more (then just another one, and another, and so on) kept me reading late
into the night.
'Unputdownable' says a splash
on the cover. It's spot on.
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick
After graduating, Amanda Robsonworked in medical
research at The London School of Hygiene and Tropical medicine, and at the
Poison’s Unit at Guy’s hospital where she became a co-author of a book on
cyanide poisoning.This set her in good
stead for writing her debut novel, Obsession,
a dark and twisted tale about love affairs gone wrong. Amanda attended the
Faber Academy writing course in 2011, and now writes from home full time. She
lives in London and Wales, with her lawyer husband.
Lynne Patrick has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen,
and has enjoyed success with short stories, reviews and feature journalism, but
never, alas, with a novel. She crossed to the dark side to become a publisher
for a few years, and is proud to have launched several careers which are now
burgeoning. She lives on the edge of rural Derbyshire in a house groaning with
books, about half of them crime fiction.