Desert Isle Keeper
The Girl Who Came Back
I’m always looking for new novels of psychological suspense, so when I read the blurb for The Girl Who Came Back, I knew I absolutely had to read it. I was hoping for something gripping, something that wouldn’t let me go until I reached the last page, and that’s exactly what I got.
Jules is no stranger to hardship. Her daughter has been murdered, and her husband, unable to deal with his own grief, has left her to return to his home in Ireland. Still, Jules manages to keep on living, even if she’s not truly happy. That changes one afternoon when a police detective shows up at her door to inform her that Amelia Quentin, the young women responsible for the death of Jules’ daughter Daisy, is being released from prison. As one might expect, Jules is shocked and angered to hear this. How can Amelia be getting out after serving only three years in prison? To make matters worse, Jules learns that Amelia plans to come back to her family’s home, not far from where she herself lives.
As soon as the news is made public, friends and family crowd around Jules. All of them share her belief that Daisy has received no justice, and they all want to make Amelia pay, but no one wants that more than Jules. Part of her knows that seeking revenge would be foolish, but another, more primal, part urges her onward.
The story is told mainly from Jules’ point of view, and it does jump around quite a bit. The reader is able to see the events leading up to Daisy’s death and Amelia’s imprisonment as both the past and present come to life in Ms. Lewis’ skilful hands. As I read about Daisy’s unlikely friendship with Amelia, fingers of dread were crawling up my spine and I could feel something bad coming, even if I didn’t know exactly what it was. And, in terms of the present, I couldn’t decide whether I wanted Jules to go after Amelia or not. As I read, I found myself completely invested in Jules’ inner struggle. I was eager to see how she would come to terms with this super difficult situation and greatly admire Ms. Lewis’s ability to captivate me so completely.
I must applaud Ms. Lewis for her ability to create a cast of characters that practically leaps off the page. Jules’ extended family is large and colorful, reminding me somewhat of a mafia family, and, although I didn’t always agree with the decisions of certain characters, Ms. Lewis makes their motivations very clear and believable. She has an amazing sense of detail that made me feel I was living the story right along with the characters, and, once it was over, I must admit to being a little sad to say goodbye to Jules and those who love her.
Amelia Quentin is one of those villains you love to hate. We are given glimpses into her childhood, and it’s obvious from the very beginning that she’s an extremely disturbed little girl. Unfortunately, this only worsens as she gets older. She’s a truly chilling character.
The Girl Who Came Back is the first book I’ve read by Ms. Lewis, but I can assure you it won’t be the last. I can’t wait to see what her backlist has in store for me.