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An intensely gripping, chilling psychological thriller, BEAUTIFUL MALICE is a brilliantly plotted page-turner, set to be the must-read book of 2010.
Rebecca James was born in Sydney in 1970. She grew up in numerous different places throughout Australia - including Bourke, Sydney, Wellington and Bathurst. Rebecca has worked as a waitress, a kitchen designer, an English teacher in both Indonesia and Japan, a barmaid, and (most memorably) a mini-cab telephone-operator in London. Rebecca lives in Australia with her partner and their four sons.
Following a family tragedy, Katherine Patterson moves to Sydney to make a fresh start in a city where no-one knows her. At school she's befriended by Alice. Stunning, charismatic and fun, Alice's personality is infectious and Katherine finds herself flattered by her new friend's attentions. As the girls spend more time together, Katherine begins to suspect there's a darker side to Alice's personality. Attentive and charming one minute, Alice turns malicious and cruel when the mood takes her. At first Katherine makes excuses for her friend's behaviour, but soon realises she is playing everyone around her like a puppet master. When she decides to end their friendship, Katherine soon finds out Alice is not an easy person to get away from. Beautiful Malice will be popular with young female readers, fans of Queen Bees and Wannabes and those fascinated by the triggers that drive individuals to acts of extreme cruelty and revenge. With pre-sales in 20 countries, Rebecca James has the potential to assert herself as a major voice on the world stage. Banafsheh Serov is an author, freelance reviewer and longtime bookseller
"I didn't go to Alice's funeral." So opens Australian author James's impressive debut, a searing coming-of-age novel that deftly intertwines two violent backstories. Studious Katherine Patterson, who's reading a book under a tree during lunchtime at her Sydney high school, is surprised when Alice Parrie, "beautiful, popular, impossible to miss," hands Katherine an invitation to her 18th birthday party. Alice draws Katherine, who has her reasons for remaining aloof from others, into an addictive relationship that fatally sours as one disturbing secret after another comes to light. James, gifted with unusual insight into teenage agonies, probes Katherine's raw-nerve guilt over her sister Rachel's murder, Alice's self-destructive narcissism, and the healing power of young love. This unflinching exploration of psychological manipulation and the tragedies it creates introduces a promising new talent in literary suspense. (July) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
Katherine, a high school senior, is trying to recover from her younger sister's rape and murder. Grieving and feeling guilty for her part in the tragedy, she changes her last name and moves to a new town to live with her aunt to escape the press and publicity, figuring she can finish her last year of school by flying under the radar. However, popular and gregarious Alice takes an interest in her, and soon meek Katherine is caught up by Alice's outrageous, domineering personality. It becomes apparent that Alice is not stable and that she has ulterior motives for befriending Katherine. VERDICt James's debut will appeal to fans of psychological fiction-early Ruth Rendell comes to mind. The choice to make the characters teenagers is a little odd and sometimes hard to swallow (they sound awfully wise and act in very mature ways), but the story is intriguing if predictable. Recommended for all thriller collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/10; library marketing.]-Rebecca Vnuk, Glen Ellyn P.L., Forest Park, IL Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.