*I received a free copy of this book, with thanks to the author. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
RECIPIENT OF THE B.R.A.G. MEDALLION
Blurb: Office jobs can be stressful. Aoife’s may be lethal.
Aoife’s life is finally on track. She’s happily married, pregnant with her first child and has the world’s best mother-in-law. Or so it seems…
When Aoife accepts a job as an office temp, her entire life begins to unravel. A horrifying discovery on her second day proves this is no ordinary office. Everyone has secrets they’re desperate to protect and there’s nobody she can trust.
As the tension mounts, Aoife turns to her husband for support. But can she trust a man who is becoming a stranger?
Can office politics lead to murder? Is one of Aoife’s colleagues a murderer? Is Aoife the next target?
Girl Targeted is a chilling tale of murder and stalking that might make you think twice about petty office politics!
Initially we get a few different viewpoints: Delia, Laura and Aoife, but the story soon settles into main character Aiofe’s life, as she struggles to juggle work and motherhood; deal with the increasingly unpleasant behaviour from her husband; and solve the mystery of a colleague’s murder when it seems like anyone and everyone around her could have done it.
As well as a psychological suspense thriller this book also features as a textbook for emotionally abusive relationships, gas lighting, and the fine balance within us between trusting our senses/instincts and paranoia that our own minds are playing tricks on us. This thread of doubt and self-doubt is actually even more terrifying than the idea of an office killer, as Aoife (and therefore the reader) is unable to determine how much danger she is truly in and where the threat is coming from.
There were a few points where the plot skipped some time, and I did find those a bit confusing occasionally; for example on one page we have a pregnant Aoife starting a temp cover job, and then the next chapter begins with her return to the workplace when said baby is months old. I can see why skipping the ‘boring bits’ is necessary to the plot, but found it a little disorienting to try to catch up with what the character was up to and mentally fill in the gaps.
The whole story is packed full of tension and misdirection, with a sense of general menace and foreboding hanging over the reader and characters and keeping nerves at snapping point. I was surprised by the final reveal, and by the decisions that Aoife makes as a result, especially those in her private life. Surprised, in a good way!
Fans of psychological suspense will really enjoy this slow-burning office thriller with a domestic edge.
Aoife made herself a cup of tea, read her newspaper and phoned Jason. She had been hired to do a compliance check on the HR files, but, as she didn’t have keys to the filing cabinet, she couldn’t start work until Laura arrived. She finished her tea and headed for the office.
The interconnecting door to Delia’s office was slightly ajar. As Aoife removed her coat, several loose coins fell out and rolled around the room. Holding onto the desk for balance, Aoife got down on her knees and shuffled around, collecting them. The last one had rolled into Delia’s office. Aoife shoved open the door and picked it up. She was manoeuvring herself into a standing position when she noticed the shoe. Black suede with a gold buckle and a six-inch heel. It was lying on its side in the middle of the floor. As she straightened up, Aoife saw two stockinged feet dangling in the air. She let her eyes travel up to the woman’s knees, then, covering her mouth with both hands, she clamped her eyes shut and backed out of the room.
– Val Collins, Girl Targeted
Girl Targeted is available on Amazon right now!