‘A stalker. A pact. And a deadly secret. How far must Kal go to face the truth and find her missing mother?
A new, dangerous, psychological suspense thriller
Kal is twenty-eight years old and she’s no fool, though sometimes she might pretend to be, because hiding her strengths is a great way to extract information.
An expert in psychology and skilled in reading other people and their behaviours, she first learnt her craft from her deceased father. He was a man with dark secrets.
When her journalist mother goes missing, Kal investigates. A shadow’s been stalking her family for three generations. Kal will uncover a child trafficking network and to find her mother, she must face her deepest suspicions and a dread she’s been avoiding all her life…’
What does TWG think?
Thank you to Kate at Authoright for giving me an advanced copy of the book in return for my honest thoughts.
What would YOU do if your mother went missing? People like us would freak and call the police straight away, yes? But what if you were an expert in psychology and knew how to scan a room for evidence, would the police be the first thing on your mind? According to Kal, no. Kal is a photojournalist who lives for her career. Add to her impressive CV the fact that she practices martial arts and being highly skilled in analysing people’s behaviours; I would say she isn’t a force to be reckoned with, wouldn’t you? After learning her mother has disappeared, Kal quickly learns that everything isn’t as it seems. Unfortunately, Kal has no idea what lies ahead during the search for her mother. All she knows is that someone is watching her…..but they aren’t just watching HER though are they? It’s a life or death situation for Kal, and she could end up with more blood on her hands than what she bargained for…
Whilst I seem to gravitate towards a good ol’ chick lit romantic comedy, I absolutely adore a deep and dark psychological thriller. Ann Girdharry was a brand new author for me, before I began reading, so I wasn’t completely sure what to expect. The title of the book had me incredibly intrigued and seeing as I don’t often read the blurbs on the books that I read (this book no different), I was very excited to see what ‘Good Girl Bad Girl’ was all about.
Straight away readers are faced with darkness. The first hurdle becomes evident as Kal realises her mother has actually gone missing. Using her own psychological expertise, Kal digs deeper into her mother’s disappearance and the people who may be involved. For me, the first couple of chapters felt as though the story was tooing and froing and I felt a little confused as to where the storyline was heading.
However, my confusion soon departed as my teeth became stuck into the bombshells that were quickly dropping on Kal. Even I started to feel nervous about what lay ahead. Something definitely wasn’t right, I didn’t quite realise exactly how deep the troubles were. The topic of martial arts was very overwhelming. I really didn’t understand it as I have never practiced it myself, but it did take me a while to realise where martial arts and Kal’s situation linked. Highly impressive though!
It’s safe to say that the edge of my seat was the place I spent most of my time whilst reading this book. Every single page had me hooked and left me wanting more. That said, as the story progressed, I did find the subject at the time to be quite disturbing. Several times I did wonder whether I would be able to finish the book as several scenes were quite shocking and too close to home. But by golly can Ann Girdharry write! Despite my nauseating shock at what I was reading, Ann’s writing pinned the book to my hands. Curiosity got the better of me and I just HAD to find out what the outcome would be.
Ann Girdharry has written an unbelievably shocking and thrilling book which had me spellbound by the mysteries that every page contained. I couldn’t believe what I was reading, I was in too much shock yet I became incredibly angry at many of the characters. ‘Good Girl Bad Girl’ is definitely a book that I was glad to not read in front of my toddler as I swore, a lot, at the sheer evilness of multiple characters. How dare they!
I am truly glad that I kept reading and didn’t give up on the book because if I had, I would have missed out on Ann Girdharry spine tingling writing. Ann strikes me as the type of author that would be able to write Winnie the Pooh as an absolute anus, instead of the huggable bear that he is. A talent that I am looking forward to read again in further books. Disturbingly shocking yet unbelievably gripping. Good Girl Bad Girl will have you hooked like an invisible claw.
Character Synopsis – Kal Medi.
Quick Fact File
Kal is twenty-eight years old, she’s the second generation of her family to be born in England, her grandparents came from India.
Kal is the main character in the story. We learn that the influence of her father meant that, as a child, she felt like an outsider. She didn’t really have friends, except Marty. She’s independently minded, strong-willed, discerning. Underneath that, Kal has her weaknesses –the worst is her deep-seated self-doubt about her own values and about who she really is. Has she been brainwashed by her father? Is she bad inside like he was?
In the story, Kal is a loner but I don’t see her as lonely. I think people around her feel a strong loyalty towards her and admire her. I think people see more in her that she sees in herself. She’s too busy struggling and fighting with her inner demons, and, of course, with the Syndicate, to notice. That’s why she’s always wanting to do things on her own. So I think she will have to learn to trust people more. In Good Girl Bad Girl, Kal finally decides to trust Detective Inspector Spinks but it takes her half the story to do this. Of course, Kal has always known she can rely on Marty and that’s why she turns to Marty for help near the beginning of the book. Other people, like Inspector Spinks and LeeMing, have to earn her trust. Don’t worry, I think that because people around her like her (more than she realises), they will forgive most of her difficult tendencies such as dismissing them or being off-hand.
A bit more detail
Kal’s grandmother, Nannie, was a great influence on her and Kal will protect Nannie at all costs. We see that Kal has mixed feelings about her mother, Alesha. There are some resentments left over from the past that mean Kal didn’t respond straightaway to Alesha’s request for help. That was a mistake. As the story progresses, we’ll see that Kal’s love for her mother goes deeper than the resentments, and, in a way, Kal will follow in her mother’s footsteps as she manoeuvres closer to the heart of the Syndicate.
I wrote Kal deliberately as a ‘new’ type of heroine – a younger woman, of Indian heritage, a London girl who loves the city. London and Kolkata play an important part in the book. I think we need more characters like Kal in fiction books. (That’s one of the reasons why I’ve given Kal her own series.) The other main characters in the story (Marty and LeeMing) were also written to break the mould and be a breath of fresh air.
The relationship between the characters is very important to me – the human mistakes and slip-ups, as well as the ties that bind them – of loyalty, affection, vulnerability. The links between the generations are also important and it is that inheritance which passes from Nannie to Alesha to Kal and from David Khan to Kal.
About the author – Ann Girdharry.
Born and educated in the UK, Ann Girdharry is a trained psychotherapist and has worked as a manager in the not-for- profit sector for many years for agencies working with: carers, vulnerable older people and those with dementia, survivors of abuse, and victims of racism and racial attacks. Today she lives in Montpellier, France with her husband and two children. As well as her passion for writing, Ann enjoys gardening and is a member of her local rollerblading club. Ann has previously published a series of short stories called Tales of the Unexpected (2015-2016). Her debut novel, and the first in the Kal Medi series, Good Girl Bad Girl by Ann Girdharry (published by CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing 23rd August 2016 RRP £8.99 paperback, £3.99 ebook) is available to purchase from online retailers including amazon.co.uk and to order from all good bookstores.