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Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan

Dear Amy

by Helen Callaghan

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8620140,249 (3.39)7



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Margot Lewis is a harried teacher who also works as an advice columnist (Dear Amy) for the local paper. She's going through a divorce and rattled by the fact that one of her students, Katie, has gone missing. The police think Katie ran off, but Margot isn't so sure. When Margot receives a letter for her column purporting to be from Bethan Avery, a young girl who disappeared years ago, Margot thinks it must be a joke. But she also thinks of Katie and takes the letter to the police. When more letters show up, Margot is immersed upon a journey that will change her life forever--and endanger it in ways she could have never foreseen.

I have mixed feelings about this novel. It was in no way terrible, but the character of Margot was a tough one to relate to and empathize with. Unlike some other reviewers, I didn't immediately see the novel's twist coming, but I found much of the plot implausible and hard to stomach. While the twist wasn't clear, the connection to Katie seemed to be, and parts were easy to work out. Further, it seems as if Margot is ridiculed and undermined for having a history of mental illness, without given any support or understanding. The novel really does a bit of disservice to those with mental problems. Some of the characters are more enjoyable than others and I really enjoyed parts of the novel, so I hesitated on such a low rating. However, other pieces are just so crazy and out-of-this-world that it was tough to really buy in. Margot grew on me a bit, but the plot didn't, and I found it hard to reconcile how all of this would come together just so by the end.

In the end, bits and pieces of this thriller are interesting and well-done. The idea and structure are there, but it's not quite pulled off completely. I truly did enjoy some of it, and I don't really regret reading it, but I was left wanting a little more, or wishing it was better executed. It may speak to other thriller fans, it just didn't to me. Overall 2.5 stars.

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher and Edelweiss (thank you!).

( )
  justacatandabook | Jul 21, 2017 |
This is a gripping psychological thriller with quite a few twists and turns. Margot Lewis is a teacher and also an agony aunt for a local paper in Cambridge. When a young girl goes missing, Margot starts to receive letters, cries for help, from another young girl who went missing 20 years ago. Margot soon finds herself on a cat and mouse trail.

This story had me on the edge of my seat at times, although I did think it a little far fetched. The narrator was quite 'chatty' but I liked her. I thought the plot was an interesting concept and there was rather a large twist which I did work out. However, it didn't ruin the story for me as I wanted to read on to find out if my surmising was correct. It's a roller coaster of a read and I found it very difficult to put down.

An engrossing, exciting and intriguing mystery which held my attention to the last page. Recommended. ( )
  VanessaCW | Jul 7, 2017 |
Margot Lewis is a Classics teacher currently going through a divorce from her manipulative husband and with a sideline writing an advice column in her local Cambridge paper. When the 'Dear Amy' column starts to get letters from a girl who went missing nearly twenty years ago, Margot is concerned and involves the police. However it is only when Margot gets involved with a police consultant that the secrets of her past suddenly become crucial in the race to save another kidnapped girl.
The simple description of the plot of this book sounds very far-fetched and rooted in the currently popular genre of psychological thrillers involving women who are unreliable narrators due to their own psychological issues. However the plot is very clever, spending the first half of the book treading a well-worn path about an agony aunt getting strange letters. However there is a huge twist around half-way which takes this book into another league, it's clever, it's original and it's handled really well. The writing is gripping and the character of Margot is well-imagined and her inner turmoil is believable. The male characters are not written as well, the husband is a card-board cutout, the investigator need fleshing out more and the psychopath is followed in the 'here and now' with little understanding of his motivation. Of course adding all this in would make the book too long and the point of this type of novel is to be spare and incisive, to keep the reader on the edge of their seat, in this respect 'Dear Amy' is brilliant. ( )
  pluckedhighbrow | Jun 26, 2017 |
Margot Lewis is an agony aunt and she starts to receive letters from Bethany Avey who has been missing for two decades. Katie Browne a school girl has gone missing and Margot suspects the letters will lead to Katie.

I really enjoy psychology thrillers at the moment. Some I find very good others quite average. This thriller started out really well and I was quite hooked.

The book wasn't quite what I expected. Due to the title Dear Amy I was expecting a story based on letters or diary entries, or even told through them. However it didn't distract me from enjoying the book.

I did work out quite early on what was probably going on and when revealed I was proven correct. I did think that the story was a little predictable and times I did think how really plausible the story was concerning Margot. At times I was getting confused what had actually happened to Margot but all does come clear.

However I enjoyed reading the book, not the best out there but enough for me to stick with it and to find out how it all ends. A little more than average thriller whuch I would recommend to anybody who enjoys this type of read.

Thank you to the publisher via Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review the book. ( )
  tina1969 | Jun 17, 2017 |
The beginning grabbed my interest but then it just really started to drag. About halfway through I started wishing I could just be done with it so I could read something else but kept hoping that it would improve or at least that the pace would pick up. ( )
  mmreed | Feb 4, 2017 |
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