Clever narrative interwoven with psychological mystery in Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan

Book Reviews, Book Thoughts, Uncategorized


A girl has gone missing. She’s a schoolgirl, and seems to have been picked up by a man. There have been cases like this before. Margot, a school teacher who moonlights by writing an advice column for the local paper, starts receiving letters from Bethan Avery, the girl it all happened to first, years ago. She has to battle suspicion and mystery and question everything that appears in front of her including her own self to try to help both Bethan and the girl in real danger and currently kidnapped.

I wasn’t sure what this book would be like. It was intense, and thrilling, and interesting. It delved into situations that really aren’t comfortable reading, but was psychologically intriguing. I was kept interested and guessing constantly; and though I did guess the solution before the end I wasn’t sure and did really want to find out.

The narrative of this book is very clever. I can’t say too much without giving away plot clues, but the plot hinged on a psychological effect of trauma that is quite rare but I have actually experienced second hand. I can imagine to some people it would seem quite far fetched as it is quite extreme, but I found it really enjoyable to read about it. And it’s a curious thing that the human brain does, so very interesting to anyone reading it!

But it meant that the narrative and the way that the story was told and the way that different pieces of the story came together had to be very clever. And it was. Callaghan disguised what were actually mega clues to the ending as narrative norms: the story seemed isolated and a bit strange, but that fed into the story perfectly.

This is for fans of Gone Girl, and probably The Girl on the Train though I’ve not read it, and any kind of psychological thriller. And I’m probably going to buy it for one of my friends right now.

Thanks to netgalley and the publishers for letting me read a digital version of this book.

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