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The Interview

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A girl covered in blood. A missing man. A coded fairy tale. Detective Laura Shaw seems to have it all: a supportive husband, a happy two-year-old and a great career. She is her team's top victim interviewer, a genius at getting vulnerable people to open up. That's until she meets Jenny - a 14-year-old assault victim who talks only in fairy tales. Jenny's stepfather is missin A girl covered in blood. A missing man. A coded fairy tale. Detective Laura Shaw seems to have it all: a supportive husband, a happy two-year-old and a great career. She is her team's top victim interviewer, a genius at getting vulnerable people to open up. That's until she meets Jenny - a 14-year-old assault victim who talks only in fairy tales. Jenny's stepfather is missing and the blood on her clothes isn't her own, so Laura's colleagues need answers fast. But Laura's strange behaviour makes the girl shut down even more, leaving her bewildered partner, Niamh, desperately trying to rescue the situation. It seems that this case has triggered something deep within Laura, and Jenny is not the only one with secrets. As the clock ticks down, Laura teeters on the brink of disaster, grappling with the biggest question of all: Is every life worth saving?


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A girl covered in blood. A missing man. A coded fairy tale. Detective Laura Shaw seems to have it all: a supportive husband, a happy two-year-old and a great career. She is her team's top victim interviewer, a genius at getting vulnerable people to open up. That's until she meets Jenny - a 14-year-old assault victim who talks only in fairy tales. Jenny's stepfather is missin A girl covered in blood. A missing man. A coded fairy tale. Detective Laura Shaw seems to have it all: a supportive husband, a happy two-year-old and a great career. She is her team's top victim interviewer, a genius at getting vulnerable people to open up. That's until she meets Jenny - a 14-year-old assault victim who talks only in fairy tales. Jenny's stepfather is missing and the blood on her clothes isn't her own, so Laura's colleagues need answers fast. But Laura's strange behaviour makes the girl shut down even more, leaving her bewildered partner, Niamh, desperately trying to rescue the situation. It seems that this case has triggered something deep within Laura, and Jenny is not the only one with secrets. As the clock ticks down, Laura teeters on the brink of disaster, grappling with the biggest question of all: Is every life worth saving?

30 review for The Interview

  1. 5 out of 5

    Paromjit

    Gill Perdue certainly makes her mark in this harrowing Irish psychological thriller that revolves around the unsettling dynamics of a emotionally charged interview. Found in the streets, 14 year old Jenny is covered in blood, not hers, although her body shows signs of older injuries, so much blood that lends an urgency to the proceedings that follow and she is in a adult psychiatric ward. Jenny's mother and brother, were in a crash, are unconscious and have sustained serious injuries, and the st Gill Perdue certainly makes her mark in this harrowing Irish psychological thriller that revolves around the unsettling dynamics of a emotionally charged interview. Found in the streets, 14 year old Jenny is covered in blood, not hers, although her body shows signs of older injuries, so much blood that lends an urgency to the proceedings that follow and she is in a adult psychiatric ward. Jenny's mother and brother, were in a crash, are unconscious and have sustained serious injuries, and the stepfather, Stuart, is missing. Conducting the interview is a specialist victim's trained detective, the married Laura Shaw, with a young daughter, and her colleague, Niamh, who becomes increasingly concerned as she tries to keep proceedings on track when the interview threatens to become derailed. Laura's own troubling buried personal history and secrets begins to emerge and unravel as she begins to identify with a locked in Alice who communicates only through the grimmest of realities and horrors through fairytales and Irish folklore. The perspectives of Alice and Laura hold centre stage, along with that of Niamh, in this most chilling and disturbingly upsetting of narratives, as revelations come, where we learn of Alice's life and family. The characterisations are distinct and done well in a thriller that is loaded with intense levels of tension and suspense, and a heartbreaking social commentary on the ills that plague our world. This is a compelling, tough and brutal read of damaged and traumatised characters, of abuse, physical and sexual, that will not be for everyone, but one which I recommend. Many thanks to the publisher for an ARC.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ceecee

    A 14-year-old assault victim Jenny who is initially selectively mute and will only communicate by fairytales is the challenge set for Detective Laura Shaw who is an SVI (specialist victim interviewer). Laura seems to have it all, a good career, a much loved two-year-old daughter and a supportive husband. However, right from the start of the interview Laura‘s questions strike a discordant note which becomes increasingly worrying. Her partner Niamh becomes more and more concerned. What is going on A 14-year-old assault victim Jenny who is initially selectively mute and will only communicate by fairytales is the challenge set for Detective Laura Shaw who is an SVI (specialist victim interviewer). Laura seems to have it all, a good career, a much loved two-year-old daughter and a supportive husband. However, right from the start of the interview Laura‘s questions strike a discordant note which becomes increasingly worrying. Her partner Niamh becomes more and more concerned. What is going on with Jenny and Laura becomes increasingly apparent in this tense and gripping psychological thriller. I’m not going to pretend that in places this is anything other than a difficult read but what I can say with certainty is the quality of the writing is outstanding. The portrayal of the characters has done exceptionally well. Jenny has constructed walls and her means of conveying her truth is absolutely riveting.She is smart, dark, elusive and damaged but very clever and you wonder at times who is interviewing who. Laura seems confident but as you witness her behaviour it’s clear she’s far from that especially as it continues to change as if something dormant has awoken. Niamh, frankly, is brilliant light relief but she’s also totally on the ball in the interview and her reactions are very illuminating. Some of the cleverest parts of the book centre on the use of fairytales especially grim Grimm and also Irish folk lore and through this means we see truth and reality. There is some disassociation by them but also eventually transformation. The use of music in particular the Beatles is also ingenious casting a light on the past and the present. The quality of the writing especially as this is debut is extremely accomplished. It’s a very powerful, intense, dark novel, it’s shockingly vivid in places but utterly compelling and absorbing. The tension in parts is so taut it sends a shiver down the spine. This builds and the suspense times is so great you can scarcely breathe as truths are confronted. Yes, it’s decidedly uncomfortable but it’s mesmerising and so believable. The ending is so good you read it with baited breath as the fairytale riddles are unravelled and the spells are broken. The epilogue is exactly what you and the characters need with the last word rightly going to Minerva. A highly recommended and skilful debut. With thanks to NetGalley and especially to Penguin General U.K., Sandycove for the much appreciated arc in return for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    Specialist Victim Interviewers Laura Shaw and Niamh Darmody of the Irish Gardai have come to the psychiatric ward at Abbot's Hill Hospital to interview Jenny, a fourteen year old girl. Jenny was found lying at the side of the road, covered in blood, not far from where her mother and little brother were found seriously injured in a car crash. Her stepfather Stuart is missing and the Gardai want to know if Jenny knows where he is but she is refusing to speak. Despite all the blood Jenny had no obv Specialist Victim Interviewers Laura Shaw and Niamh Darmody of the Irish Gardai have come to the psychiatric ward at Abbot's Hill Hospital to interview Jenny, a fourteen year old girl. Jenny was found lying at the side of the road, covered in blood, not far from where her mother and little brother were found seriously injured in a car crash. Her stepfather Stuart is missing and the Gardai want to know if Jenny knows where he is but she is refusing to speak. Despite all the blood Jenny had no obvious new injuries, although evidence of plenty of old ones. At first Jenny, refuses to talk to Laura and Niamh, but gradually she starts to tell them a fairytale. The narrative is told from the point of view of the three of them and we get to see what is in their thoughts as the interview progresses. As the interview progresses Niamh becomes concerned that Laura, who is taking the lead in the questioning, seems to be off her game. Normally confident and competent, she can usually gently draw out the most resistant interviewee, but now she seems anxious and her questions too blunt and hurried to be effective. This novel touches on subjects such as abuse and trauma that are not easy to read about and it won't be for everyone. It's an assured debut novel, with the suspense building slowly to a tense finish as the truth about Jenny's family and Laura's past come spilling out. Niamh is a breath of fresh air as she tries to temper Laura's behaviour and find out what is causing her anxiety. 3.5★ With thanks to Penguin UK and Netgalley for a copy to read

  4. 5 out of 5

    Pat

    TW: rape, domestic violence, animal death Set in Ireland this rather sad tale tells the story of Jenny Cullen, a traumatised 14 year old girl who has endured more than any child should. When she was about 8 years old (I think) her father died and Stuart Cullen wasted no time in moving in on her mother Miriam. Stuart is such a great guy, his work mates love him, he’s always smiling and joking. And then he goes home and beats up his family. It is not long before he has plans for Jenny. Jenny was fou TW: rape, domestic violence, animal death Set in Ireland this rather sad tale tells the story of Jenny Cullen, a traumatised 14 year old girl who has endured more than any child should. When she was about 8 years old (I think) her father died and Stuart Cullen wasted no time in moving in on her mother Miriam. Stuart is such a great guy, his work mates love him, he’s always smiling and joking. And then he goes home and beats up his family. It is not long before he has plans for Jenny. Jenny was found slumped on some steps one morning, hypothermic and covered in blood which was not her own. She was taken to hospital where she was cleaned up and checked over. She was covered in bruises, had quite a few healed fractures and needed stitches for vaginal tearing. As she was non- responsive she was sent to the psychiatric unit and garda officers Laura Shaw and Niamh Darmody, specially trained to question traumatised children, are sent to interview her. Her parents’ vehicle been found, awash with blood, and while her mother and young brother Karl are badly injured they are in a stable condition. But there is no sign of Stuart. The garda need to know where Stuart is. Yet Jenny won’t talk, and when she does talk it’s all in riddles and full of references to fairy tales. Laura herself has had trauma in her past and is rapidly unravelling. I think the author did an excellent and sensitive job of getting inside the head of a PTSD sufferer. It was clear the girl was terrified of what she may or may not have done. She wants go home to her mammy but at other times she is certain her mammy and little brother are dead. My favourite character was Niamh - she was funny, steadfast, loyal and covered for Laura as much as she could. Laura herself though was a bit annoying. Her trauma induced OCD was getting out of control just when Jenny needed a steady hand. While I thought the book was really well done, Both Jenny and Laura’s internal monologues got quite tiresome and repetitive. I understand it is all part of the condition but a bit less about of the internal rambling would have made for a more lively reader experience.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Adrian Dooley

    The Spiel sounded intriguing. A 14 year old girl being interviewed, her mother and brother seriously injured in hospital, her abusive Step-father missing. She isnt saying a word. Is she a victim, a witness or a perpetrator? How this book panned out however left very little intrigue, tension or interest. The problems for me at least, were many. For a start, our central character Laura, the lead detective, I found incredibly annoying throughout. Like so much so that I hadnt an ounce of interest in h The Spiel sounded intriguing. A 14 year old girl being interviewed, her mother and brother seriously injured in hospital, her abusive Step-father missing. She isnt saying a word. Is she a victim, a witness or a perpetrator? How this book panned out however left very little intrigue, tension or interest. The problems for me at least, were many. For a start, our central character Laura, the lead detective, I found incredibly annoying throughout. Like so much so that I hadnt an ounce of interest in her or her story. Sure she has had trauma in her life and is not in the best place and I`m not trying to down play those whatsoever but we keeping hearing from her partner Niamh what a fantastic and cool headed detective she is. The perfect mentor. Hello, has someone robbed the real Laura and replaced her with this borderline narcissist? Incompetence after incompetence and all we get is the odd "cop on" from Niamh. Also the way she treated her husband like a doormat and yet he was cool and fine with it. Come on like. The story is narrated from three different viewpoints, each of the detectives -Laura and Niamh and also the teenage girl Jenny. Again, Jenny I found incredibly annoying. "Dumb bitch" this and "dumb bitch" that. It is used three time in one paragraph alone. It was incredibly tiresome. Yes there is a link to her abuse and again I`m in no way trying to downplay it but we are sledgehammered with this phrase from her throughout the whole book by the author. As subtle as a brick. The first two thirds of this book are incredibly slow with little or nothing happening in the main story. Its basically the two detectives "interviewing" Jenny with them trying to get her to talk. " Come on Jenny you are safe here, tell us where he is" and Jenny in her own head saying "dumb bitch dumb bitch". Interview ends for the day and we get some mostly irrelevant soap opera like filler of the detectives life stories that are of no interest whatsoever. Then back we go to the interview with the same exchanges, and this takes up more than half the book. By the time something did happen and the story started moving, I really didnt care about any of the characters or what happened to them and actually found them extremely irritating. It all comes to its inevitable conclusion with "dumb bitch" going into hyperdrive in the last few chapters. Some really serious subject matters here are told in the most laborious and uninteresting way with terribly written characters and an even worse book. I`m sorry to be so down on this book but it left me annoyed at so many junctures that I would be anything but honest if I didnt vent my true feelings. Thanks to the publisher for the ARC through Netgalley.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kristine

    I am very sad to say I had to DNF this book. The story just did not seem to budge at all, it seemed like one of the main characters had a lot of undealt-with trauma, so to think she was qualified and fit to perform this interview just makes her plain bad at her job. Also, I felt like I saw what the author is trying to deliver by presenting the 14-year old's perspective the way it was written, but it made for a jarring read. I did not connect with any of the characters either and did not care for I am very sad to say I had to DNF this book. The story just did not seem to budge at all, it seemed like one of the main characters had a lot of undealt-with trauma, so to think she was qualified and fit to perform this interview just makes her plain bad at her job. Also, I felt like I saw what the author is trying to deliver by presenting the 14-year old's perspective the way it was written, but it made for a jarring read. I did not connect with any of the characters either and did not care for them at all. I kept on making excused not to pick this book up again and again, so I decided to just leave it as a 'did not finish'. Life's too short. All in all, I did not enjoy the writing (it sort of felt like driving a car with square wheels for me) or the premise. Thank you, NetGalley for this ARC, but with sadness in my heart, I still have to give it one star.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Liz Barnsley

    The Interview is, for the most part, hugely compelling and beautifully done- the subject matter is dark and realistic and handled really well plus it is a real page turner. A girl found in shock, covered in blood. A missing man who could be dying. Two specially trained interviewers trying to get to the truth. That's the set up, what follows is a twisty tale that slowly but surely leads to an emotional conclusion. I read this fast, it is one of those books you don't want to put down once you start The Interview is, for the most part, hugely compelling and beautifully done- the subject matter is dark and realistic and handled really well plus it is a real page turner. A girl found in shock, covered in blood. A missing man who could be dying. Two specially trained interviewers trying to get to the truth. That's the set up, what follows is a twisty tale that slowly but surely leads to an emotional conclusion. I read this fast, it is one of those books you don't want to put down once you start and the writing is cleverly insightful. If I had one bugbear it was that one character had personal issues that became somewhat irritating and threatened to overwhelm the narrative- maybe that could have been pared back slightly - but overall this was am excellent read that managed to be both entertaining and socially relevant.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kristine

    I am very sad to say I had to DNF this book. The story just did not seem to budge at all, it seemed like one of the main characters had a lot of undealt-with trauma, so to think she was qualified and fit to perform this interview just makes her plain bad at her job. Also, I felt like I saw what the author is trying to deliver by presenting the 14-year old's perspective the way it was written, but it made for a jarring read. I did not connect with any of the characters either and did not care for I am very sad to say I had to DNF this book. The story just did not seem to budge at all, it seemed like one of the main characters had a lot of undealt-with trauma, so to think she was qualified and fit to perform this interview just makes her plain bad at her job. Also, I felt like I saw what the author is trying to deliver by presenting the 14-year old's perspective the way it was written, but it made for a jarring read. I did not connect with any of the characters either and did not care for them at all. I kept on making excused not to pick this book up again and again, so I decided to just leave it as a 'did not finish'. Life's too short. All in all, I did not enjoy the writing (it sort of felt like driving a car with square wheels for me) or the premise. Thank you, NetGalley for this ARC, but with sadness in my heart, I still have to give it one star.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Susan Hampson

    Most of the story centres around Jenny a fourteen-year-old girl, who was found wandering the streets covered in blood. Tests revealed that the blood wasn’t hers, but she had been sexually assaulted and traumatised. Now Detective Laura Shaw, a victim interviewer, with her partner Niamh, have to find out what exactly has happened. When her mother and brother are found unconscious and badly injured in a crashed car, the hunt for her missing step-father is stepped-up. If all the blood from Jenny’s cl Most of the story centres around Jenny a fourteen-year-old girl, who was found wandering the streets covered in blood. Tests revealed that the blood wasn’t hers, but she had been sexually assaulted and traumatised. Now Detective Laura Shaw, a victim interviewer, with her partner Niamh, have to find out what exactly has happened. When her mother and brother are found unconscious and badly injured in a crashed car, the hunt for her missing step-father is stepped-up. If all the blood from Jenny’s clothes is from him, the chances are that he is dead or dying. But Jenny will only tell her side of what has happened through several fairy tales that are difficult to decipher. There is so much more to this story than you first think. It is not an easy read as it walks you through the lives of Jenny, her mum, brother and step-father. The way that Jenny copes with it all to re-tell her life is remarkable, clever and distracting. The author has her characters perfected. Jenny, Laura and Niamh, all have voices in this story, with some shocking revelations about their pasts and how circumstances affect their current mental state. It is a great read, tense with an urgency that could mean life and death for someone. I wish to thank Net Galley and the publisher for an e-copy of this book that I have reviewed honestly.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    The Interview is a beguiling and engrossing mystery-thriller with intensely developed characters and provocative themes around sexual assault, domestic violence, coercive control and revenge. Full review to come. The Interview is a beguiling and engrossing mystery-thriller with intensely developed characters and provocative themes around sexual assault, domestic violence, coercive control and revenge. Full review to come.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bethen Evans

    I found this really hard to get in to, about half way through and I still can’t warm to either character nor do I particularly have any interest as to either back story. A did not finish for me.

  12. 5 out of 5

    J.J.

    A harrowing story of two female gardai attempting to piece together the traumatic events that led to a young girl being discovered with blood (not her own) on her clothes and a reluctance to speak or trust anyone. A life hangs in the balance and the two officers need the girl's cooperation in order to prevent an untimely death. The book is competently written and the plot holds together as the officers tease out a story of child abuse and violence. The officer leading the interview has her own p A harrowing story of two female gardai attempting to piece together the traumatic events that led to a young girl being discovered with blood (not her own) on her clothes and a reluctance to speak or trust anyone. A life hangs in the balance and the two officers need the girl's cooperation in order to prevent an untimely death. The book is competently written and the plot holds together as the officers tease out a story of child abuse and violence. The officer leading the interview has her own problems, identifies strongly with the girl and barely holds herself together to conduct the sessions. Towards the end of the story, she goes off on one of the irrational tangents that have become all too prevalent in this type of novel. I found it hard to carry on reading after the halfway point as I couldn't understand why she was allowed to continue with the case when all around her could see she was falling apart. I did finish it but felt the basic, decent plot would have benefited from a different treatment. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Harmony Kent

    Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Books UK for this Advanced Review Copy. A Heavy Read The title, cover, and description all intrigued me, and I was delighted to receive a review copy of this book. While I expected a dark read, I hadn’t expected to be quite so heavy or brutal. For certain, major triggger warnings are needed for this book, for which at present there are none. The narrative deals with domestic abuse, physical and sexual child abuse, and adult rape. The descriptions are graphic and oc Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Books UK for this Advanced Review Copy. A Heavy Read The title, cover, and description all intrigued me, and I was delighted to receive a review copy of this book. While I expected a dark read, I hadn’t expected to be quite so heavy or brutal. For certain, major triggger warnings are needed for this book, for which at present there are none. The narrative deals with domestic abuse, physical and sexual child abuse, and adult rape. The descriptions are graphic and occur numerous times. To be honest, I struggled to connect, and therefore, root for either main character—Jenny and Laura—despite their respective traumas. I did, however, love Niamh, who really came alive for me. “Inside, my mouth is jammed and crammed with blood and teeth and jagged helps that can’t get out.” … This opening line gives a good sense of where the book goes from here. We have a young girl found on the street covered in blood. Topically, there are no CAMHS beds available, so poor Jenny ends up on an adult psych ward while she waits for the doctors, social services, and the police to assess and interview her. Problematical, is the fact that the lead detective, Laura, has issues of her own, and her long battled and buried PTSD is no longer happy to stay quiescent. One huge annoyance for me, and a thing which yanked me out of the read over and over and over again, was the use of ‘literally’. More than a few times, I wanted to throw my ereader across the room … literally!! Ugh. Aside from this, some lines stood out wonderfully, such as … “She goes back into her silence, shrugging it over her shoulders like a coat.” And … “He nodded—the pissed-off nod rather than the friendly one.” And … “But that’s the problem. Time is running out and truth is running in.” I believe this novel will be a marmite read for many, in that they’ll either love it or they’ll hate it, with not many on the fence. Having said that, I kind of AM on the fence about it. On one hand, the book covers some difficult yet essential issues. On the other, the characterisation fell flat for me. Furthermore, I found myself disbelieving the neat and tidy ending. I’m certain more consequences would have befallen Laura, and I’m not at all sure that four months would have seen such a remarkable improvement in poor Jenny. So, all in all, it’s an okay read. I loved some parts and hated others. It gets 3 stars from me, which means if you can handle the heavy, give it a go. You might just love it. *** NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me. 5 STARS: IT WAS AMAZING! I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! — Highly Recommended. 4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book. 3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it. 2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines. 1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mary Lou

    Laura and Niamh are detectives specially trained in interviewing victims. They are called to speak to Jenny, a non-responsive teenager found covered in blood by the roadside. Jenny’s stepfather is missing and the team is under pressure to find out information. Laura, who normally excels at her work appears to be wrongfooted by this case and the victim and eventually takes some risky decisions to get answers. The Interview is a struggle for a number of reasons. The small amount of information being Laura and Niamh are detectives specially trained in interviewing victims. They are called to speak to Jenny, a non-responsive teenager found covered in blood by the roadside. Jenny’s stepfather is missing and the team is under pressure to find out information. Laura, who normally excels at her work appears to be wrongfooted by this case and the victim and eventually takes some risky decisions to get answers. The Interview is a struggle for a number of reasons. The small amount of information being disclosed by Jenny is presented as a fairy-tale, blurring the lines with reality and it is often impossible to know if Jenny is speaking in her own head or aloud. As a device, this would be fine in the context of solid characters and clear direction, but both are lacking. Laura is difficult to empathise with in terms of her background and her current behaviour as is Jenny’s mum, and the interviews seem endless, going over and over the same stuff. There is however, a sincerity and lack of self-consciousness in the descriptions of the violations. The imprint left on the victims is portrayed in a way which truly reveals the horror to which they have been subjected. With thanks to Netgalley UK and Penguin General UK

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kim Melbourne

    Specialist victim investigators laura and niamh have been asked to interview 14 year old jenny. She was found covered in bloid, unable to explain what has happened and for her own protection is currently being held in a secure psychiatric ward. Her mum and brother are both in intensive care and her step father is missing. Laura begins her questioning but is unable to extract vital information as Jenny seems only to tell the story via using narrative from fairy tales. Slowly it is learnt that jenny Specialist victim investigators laura and niamh have been asked to interview 14 year old jenny. She was found covered in bloid, unable to explain what has happened and for her own protection is currently being held in a secure psychiatric ward. Her mum and brother are both in intensive care and her step father is missing. Laura begins her questioning but is unable to extract vital information as Jenny seems only to tell the story via using narrative from fairy tales. Slowly it is learnt that jenny and her family suffered abuse from her step father. As events unfold there becomes a strong suspicion that jenny knows a lot of his disappearance than she is divulging. Laura struggles to cope with work, alongside that of being a wife and protective mother. She hides a secret that she is unable to share although she recognises similarities between herself and Jenny. Rash decisions in a bid for her to find the truth lead to an exciting climax with an unpredicted end. Well worth a read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Wow this was addictive! This was one of those books that had me itching to pick it back up as soon as I’d put it down for a break – I was completely gripped and desperate to know just what was going to happen. Chapters are told from the points of view of Laura the detective, Laura’s colleague Niamh and finally, Jenny the victim / suspect. I will say the subjects this book covers were pretty harrowing to read about at times but I think the author did a fantastic job of highlighting them through Jenn Wow this was addictive! This was one of those books that had me itching to pick it back up as soon as I’d put it down for a break – I was completely gripped and desperate to know just what was going to happen. Chapters are told from the points of view of Laura the detective, Laura’s colleague Niamh and finally, Jenny the victim / suspect. I will say the subjects this book covers were pretty harrowing to read about at times but I think the author did a fantastic job of highlighting them through Jenny’s ‘fairytale’. It’s hard to know at times whether Jenny is telling the truth and just how to interpret her story she is telling. It really showed just how victims of such horrific trauma compartmentalise their feelings and thoughts in order to survive and move on. I don’t want to go into much more detail as this really is best enjoyed without knowing too much. It’s an absolutely gripping story that slowly unravels with each chapter, becoming even more heartbreaking. Both Laura and Jenny have secrets and ultimately end up helping each other face their fears and past traumas. A brilliant read that was so addictive and impossible to put down!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lisa reads alot Hamer

    A psychological thriller with a hard hitting abuse thread running through it. Although a difficult subject to read it was covered sympathetically, Jenny is found covered in blood and in a psychotic state, her mother and younger brother are also badly injured and are in hospital, Stuart, Jenny's stepfather is missing. Specialist interviewers Laura and Naimh are trying to find out whether Jenny is a victim or suspect. I read this book in one sitting it was told from different views of the characters A psychological thriller with a hard hitting abuse thread running through it. Although a difficult subject to read it was covered sympathetically, Jenny is found covered in blood and in a psychotic state, her mother and younger brother are also badly injured and are in hospital, Stuart, Jenny's stepfather is missing. Specialist interviewers Laura and Naimh are trying to find out whether Jenny is a victim or suspect. I read this book in one sitting it was told from different views of the characters involved with background stories interwoven. I found it to be compelling and wanted to know more about the characters and what had happened. This book was an advanced reviewers copy from NetGallery for an honest review #NetGallery

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Faichney

    A strong debut from Gill Perdue. I particularly admired the accuracy, and authenticity, with which she portrayed the effects of trauma. Young Jenny is a difficult witness, despite the special interview training of the officers. And what's going on with Detective Laura? Previously confident and competent, she is consumed by anxiety and the ghosts of the past. Can she use her personal experience to help Jenny provide the answers they so desperately need? There's a lot going on, which makes "The In A strong debut from Gill Perdue. I particularly admired the accuracy, and authenticity, with which she portrayed the effects of trauma. Young Jenny is a difficult witness, despite the special interview training of the officers. And what's going on with Detective Laura? Previously confident and competent, she is consumed by anxiety and the ghosts of the past. Can she use her personal experience to help Jenny provide the answers they so desperately need? There's a lot going on, which makes "The Interview" a gripping read. I also enjoyed the ways in which Perdue employed traditional Irish folklore to convey Jenny's dissociative coping technique. 

  19. 5 out of 5

    Diane Merritt

    Slow moving had a hard time getting invested in the characters. Sounded like such a great book but sadly fell short for me. Hard topic of abuse and the lead character dealing with her own demons. Just moved too slow for me. Thanks to the author, the publisher and NetGalley for an early release of this.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Vicky Chapman

    Thanks to netgalley for the advanced ebook. It sounded like a dark and interesting tale, however I found the pace so very slow that it became a bit of a chore to read, to the point that I just wanted to find out what happened, but wasn't really fussed with the ending by the time we got there. Thanks to netgalley for the advanced ebook. It sounded like a dark and interesting tale, however I found the pace so very slow that it became a bit of a chore to read, to the point that I just wanted to find out what happened, but wasn't really fussed with the ending by the time we got there.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Karen Bell

    I spent a lot of my working life working with damaged children and parts of this rang so true it had me in tears. An excellent book although challenging is well worth the read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Joanna

    Unfortunately this is the first book through #NetGalley that I haven't been able to finish. Initially I found it hard to get into but I kept at it, once I reached just over a third of the way through I just couldn't carry on. I realise that these topics need to be talked about but maybe a bit like the character Laura, I struggle to get such awful images etc out of my head and it gives me terrible anxiety. I'm not sure whether animal abuse was going to happen further along in the story but I fear Unfortunately this is the first book through #NetGalley that I haven't been able to finish. Initially I found it hard to get into but I kept at it, once I reached just over a third of the way through I just couldn't carry on. I realise that these topics need to be talked about but maybe a bit like the character Laura, I struggle to get such awful images etc out of my head and it gives me terrible anxiety. I'm not sure whether animal abuse was going to happen further along in the story but I feared that could have been coming too which is something else I also avoid. I'm sure this book is well written and will appeal to many but just not for me and I do wish that book had trigger warnings on them so readers knew what to avoid. My warning to others are potential triggers for domestic abuse, child abuse, ptsd and other mental health issues.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Alison Davis

    Who is going to fall apart quickest - the abused 14 year old Jenny in the interview chair or the detective with mental health issues, Laura? A harrowing debut from Gill Perdue is a race against time. Not only is there the question of who is going to crack first but the the supposed abuser, the stepfather, has gone missing from the scene of a car crash and there was a lot of blood. The Interview has all the ingredients although the subject matter may prove to be difficult reading for many but ult Who is going to fall apart quickest - the abused 14 year old Jenny in the interview chair or the detective with mental health issues, Laura? A harrowing debut from Gill Perdue is a race against time. Not only is there the question of who is going to crack first but the the supposed abuser, the stepfather, has gone missing from the scene of a car crash and there was a lot of blood. The Interview has all the ingredients although the subject matter may prove to be difficult reading for many but ultimately for me the characters let it down. On the face of it Laura has it all, a beautiful daughter and a doting husband but she has too few redeeming features to make me care about her. She treated her husband like a doormat and had so little time for her daughter. Her colleagues seem to despair of her even though her partner Niamh cites her as an amazing mentor. There was very little light and shade in the story aside from Niamh who provides the only levity but maybe that was the whole point. This is not a book I would have read had the abusive content been highlighted better in the synopsis but I can appreciate how well researched it was. Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin for the ARC.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jodie Bovey-Brown

    A bit slow to get going with this book but the storyline was good and once I got into it I thoroughly enjoyed it. Would try other titles from this author again!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jay Dwight

    A strong debut. Set in Ireland, we have some dark subject matter, with a story commencing with a 14 year old girl covered in blood and refusing to speak, and her missing stepfather. A fascinating and compelling insight into the psychiatric profession and how they deal with trauma survivors. An interesting angle having an interviewer who is struggling under the weight of her own undealt with psychological issues, and this case is triggering those. I definitely look forward to more from this autho A strong debut. Set in Ireland, we have some dark subject matter, with a story commencing with a 14 year old girl covered in blood and refusing to speak, and her missing stepfather. A fascinating and compelling insight into the psychiatric profession and how they deal with trauma survivors. An interesting angle having an interviewer who is struggling under the weight of her own undealt with psychological issues, and this case is triggering those. I definitely look forward to more from this author.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Waldron

    Thank you to @gillperduewrite and @PenguinUKBooks for this advanced copy of The Interview in return for an honest review. Description 🔖 Detective Laura Shaw is successful, happy and accomplished. She has a great job, fantastic husband and an adorable baby daughter. She is well respected amongst her colleagues and is known to be able to get even the most vulnerable of witnesses to open up. When Laura and her colleague Niamh are sent to interview 14 year old Jenny, everything changes. Jenny is an ass Thank you to @gillperduewrite and @PenguinUKBooks for this advanced copy of The Interview in return for an honest review. Description 🔖 Detective Laura Shaw is successful, happy and accomplished. She has a great job, fantastic husband and an adorable baby daughter. She is well respected amongst her colleagues and is known to be able to get even the most vulnerable of witnesses to open up. When Laura and her colleague Niamh are sent to interview 14 year old Jenny, everything changes. Jenny is an assault victim who has been taken into hospital covered in blood, but the blood is not her own. The poor girl will only talk in fairytales and refuses to give Laura or Niamh any solid information. Laura behaves strangely during the interviews and outside of the interview room. It appears that something about this particular witness has triggered her and Niamh is left bewildered, trying to hold everything together. Laura is on the edge of a breakdown and disaster and faces a very difficult decision; is everyone’s life really worth saving? General Thoughts 🤔 This book gripped me right from the start as it jumps straight into the drama. I liked that a lot as it got me turning the pages and wanting to know more and more about what had happened to Jenny. I quite liked the fairytale way in which I had to try and piece together her story. Even though it was pretty obvious to work out what Jenny had been through, it was interesting to hear it from her subconscious. As much as I enjoyed the interviews with Jenny and the tension created by Laura falling apart during them, I was a little disappointed to not leave the interviews more. I would have liked to have known even more about the background of the various characters and maybe to have been given more detail about what had happened in the run up to Jenny finding herself in hospital. Characters 👫👭👬 There weren’t many characters in the book but there were enough for me to have likes and dislikes. The easy one for me was Laura. I couldn’t get along with this character, however hard I tried. I completely appreciate that the woman had her own demons and problems, but I thought she should have taken responsibility for that and stepped aside if she was not able to handle the job she had been given. I really liked Niamh. She seemed incredibly smart and was able to play different roles to achieve an objective. I think that the interviews would have gone very differently if Niamh had been leading as opposed to Laura. Niamh struck me as a bad ass side kick that really should have been the star but was loyal to her friend and colleague. Writing Style ✍️ The whole book is written from three points of view; Laura’s, Jenny’s and Niamh’s. I really enjoyed the way the author told the story through these three women, however I thought it would have been really interesting to have heard snippets of the story from some of the other characters. I liked that the chapters were short and snappy as it kept the pace of the book going and had me on edge. It felt like I was reading against a timer that was quickly running out. Conclusion & Scoring 🎖 This was an enjoyable thriller and was a relatively quick read. The story was a really good concept, but I think that it could have been taken a little bit further and turned a good book into a great one. I did enjoy the tone of the book and the writer’s style, so I will definitely look out for more from Gill Perdue.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Carole Tyrrell

    Jenny is 14 and a patient on the adult ward of a psychiatric hospital in Ireland. She was found by the side of the road, alone, and covered in bruises and blood and with recent signs of sexual trauma. Melanie, her mother, and her younger brother Karl are in an hospital ICU after a serious car crash. But the stepfather, Stuart, is missing. The Garda or Irish police want to find him and think that Jenny holds the key. However, she is electively mute and suffering from PTSD. So, Laura and Niamh who Jenny is 14 and a patient on the adult ward of a psychiatric hospital in Ireland. She was found by the side of the road, alone, and covered in bruises and blood and with recent signs of sexual trauma. Melanie, her mother, and her younger brother Karl are in an hospital ICU after a serious car crash. But the stepfather, Stuart, is missing. The Garda or Irish police want to find him and think that Jenny holds the key. However, she is electively mute and suffering from PTSD. So, Laura and Niamh who are both highly successful Specialist Victim Interviewers have been sent to try and unlock what is going on in Jenny’s mind. Laura really wants to help Jenny but both she and Niamh are under pressure from their senior manager to get results and find Stuart. The story is told through the interviews with Laura and Jenny both in the first person hence the book’s title. Niamh is the third viewpoint and is more of an observer to the interaction between Jenny and Laura. Jenny speaks and thinks in fairy tales, Irish folklore and myths and Laura wants to unpick the symbols to find the truth. Laura appears to be happily married to her teenage sweetheart, Matt, and they have a 2 year old daughter. But she also has a dark secret that, as the sessions with Jenny continue, begins to surface and to ‘seep out like blood through a bandage.’ Laura has never told anyone about it but it became a huge unspoken secret between her and her mum. Niamh sees its effects as it begins to take hold of Laura’s life. She wants to help but feels pushed away and Jenny observes this. Jenny slowly begins to reveal to the reader about the horror at home with Stuart who took over the household when her father died. A cowed mother, a terrified Karl and Stuart’s horrific plans for her. To the outside world he’s a great guy with a great family but on the night of the crash they were returning from the office party which didn’t go to plan. When Laura decides to unofficially take Jenny out of the hospital and back to her home, she escapes and runs back to a place she considers safe. The fairy tales are about to be finally unravelled and Jenny’s spell will be broken. This is an ambitious and confident debut novel and I thought that the author controlled the plot very well. But it won’t be for everyone as it is a tough read in places due to its subject matter and its unflinching portrayal of domestic and sexual abuse. I liked Jenny who was caught in the world of childhood while being forced to deal with the adult world that was being forced on her. And yet she is the one that decides to act. I thought that the scenes with her communicating in fairy tales and other symbolic images and also Beatles lyrics were very effective as well as the scenes featuring Laura’s resurfacing PTSD. Halfway through the book I did start thinking ‘Where is this going?’ but I was glad that I persevered as it was a very powerful plot. However, for me, the book became a little preachy towards the end although I agreed with the views that were expressed. I also didn’t agree with what happened to Stuart at the end but this is a personal opinion and I won’t say anymore as it will be a spoiler. It wasn’t an easy read but I admired the author for her courage in telling this powerful story in her first novel. My thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an ARC.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Alison Bradbury

    Well what a read that was! A 14 year old girl, Jenny, is brought to hospital after being found in the street. She is covered in blood - but the blood isn't hers, she doesn't even have any injuries. However, what she does have is evidence of old injuries that have healed without treatment. Her mother and brother are both in intensive care and her step father is missing. Kept on the mental health ward while she is being interviewed, Jenny is determined to stay silent. Laura is the detective assigne Well what a read that was! A 14 year old girl, Jenny, is brought to hospital after being found in the street. She is covered in blood - but the blood isn't hers, she doesn't even have any injuries. However, what she does have is evidence of old injuries that have healed without treatment. Her mother and brother are both in intensive care and her step father is missing. Kept on the mental health ward while she is being interviewed, Jenny is determined to stay silent. Laura is the detective assigned to the case and her job is to make the girl talk and tell her story. A very reluctant Jenny starts talking in riddles about a princess who lives in a tower with an owl and a mouse. One day a prince comes but he isn't handsome yet the princess falls for his charms - even though he hurts the mouse and the owl. Laura desperately tries to make sense of what she hears and tries to force Jenny to tell them where her step father is but Jenny just won't talk. Accompanying Laura is her assistant Niamh. Niamh battles to make Laura go slowly with Jenny and can't understand why Laura is in such a rush to push Jenny for her story. She accuses Laura of going to fast and tries her hardest to slow things down, but she doesn't understand just how much Laura sees of herself in Jenny. Because Laura has a secret. A secret she hasn't told anyone - not her mother, her husband, no one. And this secret is colouring the work that she does. Will Jenny spill the beans or will Laura ruin the investigation. This is a tightly woven story set across just a handful of days. The chapters alternate between the characters allowing us to get a really in depth insight into their thoughts and feelings (admittedly, Niamh has less chapters assigned to her and we don't see the same character depth but she is there to temper Laura and try to reign her in and this works well). Laura's story is slowly revealed through her chapters and almost parallels with the revelations about Jenny and how she came to be in hospital. It is a slow, at times painful, walk towards what really happened but it unravelled in a way that kept me coming back for more and more. If you are triggered by stories like this then it definitely won't be for you, but it is a cracking good read. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Denis Wheller

    Garda Detective Laura Shaw, a Specialist Victim Interviewer (SVI) based in Dublin, is interviewing Jennifer, a traumatised, amnesiac, fourteen-year-old, rape victim, found unconscious and hypothermic. Elsewhere in the area a crashed car containing her mother and younger brother, both unconscious and seriously injured is found. Her step-father, Stuart, is missing and it is possible that Jenny knows where he is and might have injured or killed him (he is a likely suspect for the rape. SVIs always Garda Detective Laura Shaw, a Specialist Victim Interviewer (SVI) based in Dublin, is interviewing Jennifer, a traumatised, amnesiac, fourteen-year-old, rape victim, found unconscious and hypothermic. Elsewhere in the area a crashed car containing her mother and younger brother, both unconscious and seriously injured is found. Her step-father, Stuart, is missing and it is possible that Jenny knows where he is and might have injured or killed him (he is a likely suspect for the rape. SVIs always operate in pairs, carefully unlocking the victims memory without causing additional trauma or leading them. Laura’s partner is Niamh, and she is monitoring and taking notes while Laura carries out the interview. Unknown to everyone, Laura had been assaulted as a teenager but has totally supressed all negative thoughts and emotions about it for eighteen years. This has made her a very detached observer of life but a near paranoid wife and mother to her husband and their two-and-a-half-year-old daughter. As she struggles with the interview, pushing against the obduracy of Jenny without allowing her own experience to colour the outcomes, she starts to fall apart – associating herself with Jenny and her attacker with Jenny’s. The story is told episodically, alternating between Laura and Jenny (with a few interventions from Niamh attempting to keep things on track). The story is largely told through the thoughts and reactions of both of them; Jenny inside a fairy story erected to preserve her mind from the traumatic events she has experienced and Laura trying to remain rational as her past merges with her present situation. The quality of the writing provides a very disquieting experience for the reader because it makes the interview scenes so believable, especially those seen from Jenny’s perspective. As a psychological thriller it is a resounding success; as a debut adult novel by the author, it is a tour de force. I would like to thank NetGalley, the publishers and the author for providing me with a draft proof copy for the purpose of this review.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lesley

    This book tells the tale of two SVI Guards, Laura and Niamh, and a fourteen year old abuse victim, Jenny. It is, as the title suggests about the interviews that they conduct trying to find out what happened to Jenny before she was found covered in blood, her mother and brother in a severe condition after a car accident and her step-father missing. This is a really difficult book for me to review. For me, and this is absolutely and purely my opinion, it’s not possible to say I enjoyed it. As a re This book tells the tale of two SVI Guards, Laura and Niamh, and a fourteen year old abuse victim, Jenny. It is, as the title suggests about the interviews that they conduct trying to find out what happened to Jenny before she was found covered in blood, her mother and brother in a severe condition after a car accident and her step-father missing. This is a really difficult book for me to review. For me, and this is absolutely and purely my opinion, it’s not possible to say I enjoyed it. As a retired nurse who has worked in child protection, I have read a lot of factual reports of abuse and I’ve never once finished reading one and thought ‘that was great’. And that’s how I fee about this book. It’s a distressing topic, made all the more so by the fact that Laura is, in fact, more than a little unhinged herself and that concerned me from the start - that this was never picked up in her training! The first part is very slow and 40% into the book, I almost gave up completely. I’m not a big fan of the author’s style of writing but I can see how it fitted the topic with the chapters being the narratives of the three characters. The chapters in ‘Jenny’s voice’ were mostly of her thoughts and were very abstract and disjointed, which I’m sure is probably quite accurate but not easy to read. The pace did, however, pick up and led to a dramatic end. I despaired, however, of the number of times that the detective made pretty serious procedural errors and showed signs of her own instability and still remained on the case but maybe that can happen. I can see that the book is very well researched although I find it hard to believe that a fourteen year old child would be put in an adult psychiatric ward?? Would the child psychiatric wards really be that full that a sectioned child couldn’t be found a bed? My thanks go to the author, the publishers and to Netgalley for an advanced e-reader copy of this book and I apologise for giving a poor review, especially when it’s a debut novel but I cannot lie and say I enjoyed it.

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