Although elements of When She Was Good play according to the form of a traditional police procedural, Michael Robotham’s latest — a direct sequel to Good Girl, Bad Girl (2019) — is more than about the hunt for criminals and the simple question of guilt. This is a story of lingering human evil and trauma that is capable of destroying lives in both the past and present, transcended beyond genre fodder thanks to Robotham’s unparalleled ability to evoke true human emotion through fully realised characters — and a pulse-pounding ratcheting of tension as it builds towards its climax.
Forensic psychologist Cyrus Haven has finally tracked down Sacha Hopewell, the young constable who carried Evie Cormac — dubbed “Angel Face” by the press — out of a house in north London seven years ago, where she was discovered hiding only a few feet away from the decomposing body of a man who had been tortured to death. Cyrus and Evie are inextricably linked through their separate traumas, and he is determined to untangle the truth of her past — despite Evie’s own reluctance and fear about what he might uncover.
Then Cyrus is called to the scene of retired police officer Hamish Whitmore’s suspected suicide — but Cyrus isn’t so sure, and advises Detective Lenny Parcel to label the death a homicide. He learns Whitmore has been running an unsanctioned investigation into a series of child murders attributed to deceased paedophile Eugene Green. Scrawled on one of Whitemore’s notes is a name that sends chills down Cyrus’ spine: Angel Face. As Cyrus and Sacha edge closer to discovering Evie’s true identity and harrowing past, a covert and powerful cabal take desperate and lethal measures to silence her. Cyrus had hoped the truth would set Angel Face free. It may get her killed.
Robotham navigates dark and unsettling territory in this lacerating and haunting page-turner, which is as tightly plotted and explosively tense as it is poignant and wrenching. It’s also one of the standout thrillers of 2020.
Format: Paperback / softback
Imprint: Hachette Australia
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Publish Date: 28-Jul-2020
Country of Publication: Australia