Seventeen-year-old Hayley Reynolds is unwanted at home, and an outsider at school. Pushed away by her best friend Kirsten Green, she makes a deliberate, chilling decision – if Kirsten can’t belong to her, then she won’t belong to anyone…
DI Beverley Samuels has the body of a schoolgirl on her hands – a murder that brings back the hauntingly painful memories of the case she’s tried so desperately to forget. There’s something deeply disturbing about this crime – and yet with little hard evidence it’s up to her to decide who she will believe…
‘Kiss Her Goodbye’ is Susan Gee’s debut novel and what a novel it is. The synopsis intrigued me and I was eagerly looking forward to diving in. I absolutely loved reading ‘Kiss Her Goodbye’ but more about that in a bit.
Hayley Reynolds is one of those characters that gave me the heebie jeebies right from the first time I met her. I get that she feels as though she is an outsider and I empathise with that to a degree, as I was an outsider too. However I couldn’t understand why or how Hayley could murder her best friend, just because the best friend wants some space from her. The way with which Hayley chillingly murders her best friend and then tries to justify it really did send a shiver down my spine. Hayley just doesn’t seem to care or is bothered by what she has done. If you factor in her age too, it’s chilling that a girl of such a tender age can behave in such a way and still remain on the streets. I just kept imagining her crimes escalating and growing in seriousness.
For me, ‘Kiss Her Goodbye’ was a little slow to get going and I wasn’t sure that I would be able to read much further. However, I am glad that I persevered because the story did get going and then gathered pace., much like a snowball rolling down a hill. After a little while, I did become addicted to this book and I had to read on to see who would win the battle of wills between Detective Inspector Samuels and Hayley. Both ladies have complex personalities and complicated histories and I enjoyed finding out more about them the further I got into the book. I guess that I am just a nebby Nora (nosy parker). The more I read, the more I felt disturbed by Hayley’s character and the more I had to keep reading. The book is well written and kept my attention throughout. The chapters are written from the perspectives of Hayley and DI Samuels and this way of telling the story worked really well. Reading this book was much like watching a game of cat and mouse with each trying to outwit the other. ‘Kiss Her Goodbye’ is one of those books that packs a punch and it has more twists and turns to it than you would find on a game of ‘Snakes & Ladders’. There were times when I almost had to read through my fingers as I was dreading what was going to happen next.
In short and overall I did enjoy reading this book, although it was a bit slow to get going. I would recommend it to other readers. I can’t wait to read what Susan comes up with next. The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a well deserved 4* out of 5*.