Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Author: Gale Massey
Released: July 10th 2018
I received a copy of The Girl from Blind River through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
The Girl from Blind River is one of two books by Gale Massey listed on Goodreads, and based on the other one listed I can already tell she’s got a decent range of writing (fiction and non-fiction, for starters).
I know I say this a lot, but what first caught my attention when I was scrolling through the listings on NetGalley was the cover. I loved the muted tones combined with the darker trees and white font. It’s a striking mage. The title itself was intriguing as well, and obviously the description itself sold it.
The Girl from Blind River is described as a gritty thriller, and that couldn’t be more accurate. This novel was unlike any other thrillers I’ve read, and it had this way of getting under my skin. I ended up reading the book in one sitting – I just couldn’t leave it without knowing how everything was going to go in the end.
It’s impossible not to feel bad for the main character, Jamie. Sure, she may not always make the best decisions, but considering how her options in life have already been limited, who’s to blame her? Everyone in her town is so quick to judge her for her family’s actions; nobody seems at all interested in finding out the real her, instead just assuming that she’ll end up a criminal just like her mom. So in the end it all sort of becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. You can only treat a person like a criminal for so long before they start internalizing that message.
Jamie however, is a fighter. She hates the town and knows the only way to escape that fate is to get as far away as possible. The problem is you sort of need money to move, and she doesn’t have much of that. Plus she’d never leave her little brother behind. Her brother is another prime example of what happens when you treat somebody like a criminal for long enough. So naturally she’s very worried about him, and frankly she has reason to be.
This is one of those novels that from start to finish will surprise you. I knew based on the description of the book that there would be a murder that Jamie would end up having to help cover up, but honestly with the way the story started out it was actually almost easy to forget about that. Until it actually happened. From there things moved very quickly for the main plot, with one curveball after another being thrown at either Jamie or her brother.
What Massey truly excelled at here was getting us to feel for the characters. I legitimately felt bad for Jamie at times and furious for her at other times. I could see when she was being taken advantage of, or being judged, and it would make my blood boil. There were times where I wished I could step into the book and stop a situation from happening, but knowing that I never could. The end result was a myriad of emotions that left me exhausted, but in a ‘I just read a fantastic book’ sort of way.
I know this is one of Massey’s first novels, but I have to say that I am impressed. I’ll certainly be keeping my eyes open for any more thriller novels coming from her direction. She’s got a lot of potential, and I love her creative way of handling thrillers.