Review: Dear Amy, by Helen Callaghan

9780718182663Synopsis: Margot Lewis is the agony aunt for The Cambridge Examiner. Her advice column, Dear Amy, gets all kinds of letters – but none like the one she’s just received:

‘Dear Amy, I don’t know where I am. I’ve been kidnapped and am being held prisoner by a strange man. I’m afraid he’ll kill me. Please help me soon, Bethan Avery’

Bethan Avery has been missing for years. This is surely some cruel hoax. But, as more letters arrive, they contain information that was never made public. How is this happening? Answering this question will cost Margot everything…

Title: Dear Amy
Author: Helen Callaghan
Publisher: Penguin
Pub Date: 348
Pages: 16th June 2016
ISBN: 9780718183752

Rating: 2stars

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for my ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review

When I first read the synopsis for this book, I had to have it agony aunt gets letter from missing girl of 20 years…say what?!


I was so intrigued I started reading it within a few months of getting it which, for me, is saying something.

And the beginning didn’t disappoint. Flitting between our protagonist, Margot (aka the agony aunt), and a different girl who is currently missing – the pages seem to turn themselves.

But around a third of the way through, things started to go downhill. The pacing began to slow and the twist was blindingly obvious by the halfway mark.

There were also just too many generic plot devices squeezed in to drag out the story. Phones with no signal or battery have been done to death and scream ‘wait – something marginally tense is about to happen’. There’s also an unnecessary and completely unbelievable romance squeezed in that feels like we’re ticking a box more than adding depth to a story.

Dear Amy is what I would describe as a ‘does what it says on the tin’ type book; you know what will happen from the synopsis. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Personally, Dear Amy didn’t excite me and, with the standard of thrillers I’ve read recently, the 2.5* rating is seems fair. But if you love psychological thrillers and enjoy a quick and escapist read, then this is something you’d enjoy.

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