Dear Amy Review

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan
Rating: 5/5
Source: NetGalley
Released: 16th June 2016

Margot Lewis is the agony aunt for The Cambridge Examiner. Her advice column, Dear Amy, gets all kinds of letters - but none like the one she's just received:

Dear Amy,
I don't know where I am. I've been kidnapped and am being held prisoner by a strange man. I'm afraid he'll kill me.
Please help me soon,
Bethan Avery

Bethan Avery has been missing for years. This is surely some cruel hoax. But, as more letters arrive, they contain information that was never made public. How is this happening? Answering this question will cost Margot everything…

Dear Amy is a book that I've been meaning to read for a while and only just got round to last weekend and I am so glad I finally did read it. I read it over two days and it pained me to put it down on Saturday, I would have read this book straight through to the end in one sitting had I not had work. 

Margot Lewis starts to receive letters through her advice column from a girl called Bethan Avery, who disappeared almost twenty years ago. Despite the possibility that these letters are a hoax, Margot is convinced there is more to them than that after the disappearance of one of her students, Katie Browne. Is Bethan alive? Where is Katie Browne? Are these two disappearances connected despite the time between them?

We follow Margot Lewis for the majority of the book, we do get some very emotional chapters from Katie and Bethan's perspectives, but I really connected with her as she becomes increasingly obsessed by the case of the missing girls. Margot doesn't seem to be convinced that there girls a runways and the desperation in letters she receives provokes something inside her that she can't let go. Exactly why Bethan has chosen an agony aunt to reach out to is revealed later in the book, in a climax that is truly exciting. 

Margot herself is a very likeable character, she's flawed and well rounded and every bit as clever as the plot of this book. She has her own troubled past, a failed marriage and an inability to have children, you immediately feel for this character and want her to find some peace. The letters give Margot a way to give back because she herself has needed help in the past. 

Something I really enjoy about this book is how fast paced it is, it didn't feel like a slow build which is what I find happens with a lot of psychological thrillers. Another point I can't stress enough is the amount of twists and turns that this book takes, without giving anything away; by the middle of the book I was completely turned around. The writing is brilliant and straight forward, you won't be lost in that sense but the plot and different narratives will take you on a wild journey. 

For a debut novel Dear Amy is absolutely incredible. It was intense, upsetting and extremely powerful in general, I would recommend this book to anyone who has a passion for psychological thrillers or to anyone who isn't sure about them; this is a great place for you to start. I honestly can't wait to read more of Helen's books as they come out, they'll certainly be in my preorders. 

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