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Tuesday, 21 April 2009
By Claire Seeber
I love a good psychological thriller and Claire Seeber’s second novel doesn’t disappoint.
After ending a destructive love affair, TV producer Maggie Warren is involved in a freak coach crash. Lucky to be alive she’s invited to be a guest on a chat-show for survivors at the company where she works. However, the crash has affected Maggie’s memory and she can’t quite recollect what happened before the accident.
When fellow survivor, the beautiful but emotionally damaged Fay Carter appears on the same show, claiming Maggie saved her life, she can’t remember her at all. Neither can she recall the strange work experience boy, Joseph Blake, who says he knows Maggie, or why her boss is blackmailing her. Worse than that, Maggie can’t remember the events that led her to split from Alex, the love of her life, who won’t take no for an answer.
When Maggie starts getting anonymous phone calls and mysterious bouquets of lilies with messages of condolence, even though no-one has died, and her flat is ransacked she knows she’s in real trouble. Convinced that someone is trying to push her over the edge she leaves London and stays at her house in Cornwall with actor, Seb, who says he’s falling in love with her, but even there Maggie’s past mistakes keep reaching out to haunt her.
Bad Friends is a dark and gripping novel about fame and obsessive love, and also explores an increasingly immoral TV industry – something the author knows about having worked as a TV director herself. The world she describes is convincing, the characters compelling and the suspense builds nicely throughout, keeping you guessing until the very last page.
Reviewed by Karen Clarke