ShortBookandScribes #BookReview – The New Girl by Ingrid Alexandra @IngridWrites @AvonBooksUK #BlogTour #psychologicalthriller
I’m delighted to be reviewing The New Girl by Ingrid Alexandra today. My thanks to Sabah Khan from Avon Books for the place on the tour and the review copy via Netgalley.
You’ve only just met.
But she already knows you so well.
When Rachel moves into the spare room in Mary’s flat, everyone is quick to jump to the conclusion that there’s something strange about her. Everyone apart from Mary.
And when Rachel starts sleepwalking, the flatmates’ fears grow. But there’s something about the new girl that Mary can’t help but trust, and having recently escaped a toxic relationship, she needs the support.
Rachel becomes a friend and an ally, and Mary soon discovers that they have more in common than she ever could have imagined.
In fact, Rachel seems to know more about Mary than she knows about herself…
I do like a psychological thriller and this story of a new flatmate who isn’t all she appears to be appealed to me straightaway. Mary Baker is the main protagonist. She’s just moved to Sydney from Melbourne with her best friend, Cat. Mary is trying to get away from Mark, her ex-boyfriend, a man who really wasn’t very nice at all, to Mary or to anyone else. They also share with Ben and then Rachel. Rachel is ‘the new girl’. But, whilst Mary takes to Rachel and sees a kindred spirit, the others aren’t sure about her. She sleepwalks and seems to know more about Mary than she ought to do.
There’s a real underlying sense of menace to this story, particularly from the half way point. I was reading that section in bed at night and it was quite unsettling. Mary is an unreliable narrator, one of those where you don’t know if what they are saying is the truth or not. This is mainly because Mary suffers from memory problems and drinks a lot. This made for quite an exciting read and I did find this book to be a page turner.
I thought the ending let it down a little bit. It seemed a little rushed, a little contrived. But I do think psychological thrillers are often like that. To maintain that sense of unreliability, of suspense, the story often throws a curveball that might not be completely plausible. Nevertheless, I enjoyed all the book including the ending.
I liked the Australian setting. Location is relatively important in this book and I was able to really imagine the set up in Sydney in particular. The flat where the characters live, the complex swimming pool, the fact that it’s really warm at Christmas, all these helped to bring the story to life for me.
Overall, I thought this was an excellent debut novel and I’d definitely read more by Ingrid Alexandra.
Ingrid Alexandra is based in Sydney. Her work has previously been long-listed for The Ampersand Prize and while living in London, Ingrid had the privilege of being mentored by the Guardian First Novel Award shortlisted and Nestle Prize-winning author Daren King. THE NEW GIRL is her first psychological thriller novel.