Review: I Came To Find A Girl by Jaq Hazell

I Came to Find a Girl

Blurb: “I was happy to hear Flood was dead. I wasn’t as happy as I thought I’d be, but I was happy all the same.”

A complex game of cat and mouse in the seedy streets of Nottingham ends in death. Young artist Mia Jackson is compelled to watch the posthumous video diaries of Jack Flood – controversial bad boy of the London art world and convicted serial killer. Can Mia allow Drake Gallery to show Aftermath, in their retrospective of his work? Muse or victim, why was she allowed to survive?

My rating: 4/5

Review:   I loved the sound of the blurb for this book but when I started reading it I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it though that soon changed. The first person perspective is unusual, most of the books I read are written in the third person but here the first person works brilliantly. The book slowly draws you in, you see everything through the eyes of Mia Jackson, an art student in Nottingham, all of her highs and lows, good and bad decisions and everything else, nothing is hidden and this is both brilliant and a little unnerving. When I was reading I felt like I was in her head, watching everything she did and feeling everything she felt, the writing is really that excellent. Finishing the book was a slightly surreal experience because once I’d reached the end and closed the cover on my kindle I felt like I had re-emerged into my world from Mia’s, almost like Alice coming back out of the rabbit hole. There are scenes involving footage which has been or is being filmed (depending on the point in the story you are at) and although these could be awkward they actually work really well, they give a perspective and an insight into Jack Flood which would be missing if these scenes were not written in this way.

I realise what I have said may make this book sound odd but it isn’t, this is a really well written story that shows you how the everyday decisions we make can have unpredictable and far reaching consequences for ourselves and for others. We see the decisions Mia makes and how the results affect her as well as how the environment she lives in also affects her and those around her. Mia changes throughout the book and a lot of that change is shown through the changes in her art work which is beautifully described. All of the major characters are well written and realistic in their behaviours, and you also get a sense of the minor characters even though they may only appear in one or two pages in the whole book. I liked Mia, she tries to be tough but is clearly quite vulnerable and it’s obvious she cares about her friends and her art. Although I’m not sure a sequel to this is possible given the ending it would be lovely to find out what happens to Mia or where she is in say, 5 years from the end of the book.

I really enjoyed this book and once I got used to the pace and feel of it I read it quite quickly, time just disappeared while I was in Mia’s world. I would definitely recommend this if you enjoy psychological thrillers and/or crime novels but want something a little different. This is a fresh perspective on a genre I love and I will be looking forward to the authors next work.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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