The Wicked Girls, by Alex Marwood

Winner of the Edgar Allen Poe award for best Paperback original

'We are the devil now…'

The Wicked GirlsTwenty-five years ago, eleven-year-old Jade and Bel became public shorthand for all that is evil when they were convicted of the murder of four-year-old Chloe. Long released on licence, forbidden to have contact and watched by the probation service, each has built a new life with a new name, their notorious pasts carefully hidden from even the closest to them. But when a serial killer starts to stalk the streets of the seaside town where Amber Gordon lives and works, journalist Kirsty Lindsay is sent to cover the story – precipitating a chain of events that threatens to destroy their carefully constructed worlds…

What other people have said

'The suspense keeps the pages flying, but what sets this one apart is the palpable sense of onrushing doom.' Stephen King, The Best Books I Read This Year, Entertainment Weekly, Dec 2013

'Genuinely disturbing and emotionally unsettling, The Wicked Girls is irresistible.' Val McDermid

'This incredible story will play on your mind. Two weeks after I read it, I can't stop thinking about it. The book of the year.' The Sun

'The Wicked Girls is ingenious and original - a novel that surprises and rewards its readers, delivering a twist of an ending that I never saw coming, then realised it was the only ending that could truly satisfy. Real, chilling, true to its world and its characters. In short, a knock-out.' Laura Lippman

'Absorbing, plausible and unsettling ... A suspenseful, buzz-worthy novel offering a sure-footed depiction of two women who lost their childhoods.' Kirkus, starred review

"Harrowing... while the received wisdom on violence committed by children seems to be that "some people just are born evil," Marwood makes a strong case that these crimes are more likely rooted in poverty, abuse and parental abandonment.' Marilyn Stasio, The New York Time Book Review

'Tense, twisty and brimming with revelation, Alex Marwood's The Wicked Girls offers everything you dream for in a suspense novel. Not only does it hold you in its clutches, but it offers pointed and poignant insights into the way we reconcile with our past, and the collective danger of our own insatiable curiosity.' Megan Abbott

'This chilling debut is chock-full of surprises. If Tana French and Gillian Flynn stayed up all night telling stories at an abandoned amusement park, this is awfully close to what they might come up with.' Booklist, starred review

'The Wicked Girls is utterly compelling. It's psychologically rich, complex and masterfully plotted. I couldn't put it down, even when I sensed it was taking me somewhere very dark indeed. I can't wait to see what Alex Marwood comes up with next.' Jojo Moyes

'Dark, twisty and full of good surprises and insights. Marwood has delivered a compelling debut crime novel.' Daily Mail

'The best thriller I've read since Sister. Taut, gritty and utterly compelling.' Lisa Jewell

'The pacing is whip-smart… The Wicked Girls makes a compelling novel not easily forgotten.' South Florida Sun Sentinel 

'Brilliantly taut psychological thriller. One of the best debuts of 2012.' Bella

'A thrilling story... Fantastic plot and a great read.' Irish News

'If you like dark, twisted stories, I recommend this... A thumping good read.' Jenny Eclair

'Original, thought-provoking and utterly brilliant.' The Sun

'Having read it and devoured every page, I really wish I'd written it! It was cleverly plotted and pacy, with all the storylines thundering towards a final, gripping conclusion. I loved it.' Elizabeth Haynes

'A rundown seaside amusement park provides the backdrop for Marwood's memorable first novel . . . Marwood fills this disturbing thriller with sordid red herrings and brutal reflections.' Publishers Weekly

'I devoured The Wicked Girls over one weekend and loved it. I held my breath during the last few chapters' Erin Kelly

'Alex Marwood's taut crime story poses bigger questions about tabloid witch hunts and the nature of evil.' Good Housekeeping

'The swirling mass of perceptions and happenings behind the main drama of Kirsty and Amber's past crime is what makes The Wicked Girls more than a plot-driven mystery novel. (Not that it isn't also that; Marwood sacrifices no speed, no engaging details or cliffhangers for the sake of the book's spiky undercurrent)' The Rumpus

'Marwood is equally at home with terrifying, potentially violent scenes and quieter ones revealing the tensions of work and family life. She is also adept at depicting the subtle and not so subtle ways differences in class shape the lives of the girls and the women they've become.' Columbus Dispatch

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The Wicked Girls

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The Wicked Girls is also available as an audio book narrated by Anna Bentinck, and has been translated into 15 languages and counting...




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