Book Reviews » Good Me Bad Me

April 2nd 2017

By Ali Land
Penguin Random House RRP $37goodme
Reviewed by Lynnaire Johnston

I’ve read at least a dozen books since finishing Good Me Bad Me but can’t get it out of my head. I’m not sure what that says about me because the subject matter pertains to having a mother who is a serial killer. Of young children. Take a moment to think about that and consider what it might be like. But no matter where your thoughts take you, you won’t even have begun to conceive how much that would mess with your head. This (hopefully fictional) book is written from the perspective of the serial killer’s teenage daughter, who finally dobbed her mother in to the police and is now waiting to testify at her trial. The details of the killings are mercifully kept indistinct so if gory details of hacked-up bodies are your idea of a good read, don’t bother with this. But if you like your fiction to leave a little to the imagination, to make you do a little work to put the pieces together, then Good Me Bad Me will fit your reading bill. The book is being hyped as likely to be “one of the most extraordinary, controversial and explosive of 2017” and I’m inclined to think that might even be true. It will stay with you long after you’re finished because when you’ve spent more than 300 pages inside the head of someone who has been party to atrocities on an unimaginable scale, you will never be the same again.