Fourteen years later, another name, another country, but the
nightmares remain, and the paranoia never completely subside.
Back in England where she was born, fourteen year-old Alice
stabbed and nearly killed by the Glassin sisters. Alice's
father was the author of a violent and popular graphic novel
series, "Mister Tender", where people could get their wishes
fulfilled if they did what Mister Tender asked them to do. The
Glassin twins maintained that Mister Tender, a fictional
character, told them to stab Alice.
When it comes to thrillers, I always read the blurb carefully,
as they come in many forms. I expected MISTER TENDER'S GIRL to
belong to the psychological thriller genre, and unfortunately
for me, it's more akin to slasher movies than anything else,
which I avoid like the plague. I struggled from the onset with
the writing style, and I know it's a question of taste, still
the clipped, choppy sentences didn't draw me in, although I
used to it after a while, and it improved in places thereafter.
Told from Alice's point of view, the style corresponds to
Alice's persona: raw, and unpolished, while vivid descriptions
tended to focus either on trivial matters, but mostly on gory
stuff. I am not a health professional, but I could not
understand Alice: she is somewhat paranoid, aggressive, easy to
provoke, and mostly keeps to herself, yet she owns and works in
a coffee shop, attends a gym, and has a male tenant; it just
didn't seem logical to me.
When Alice receives a parcel that upsets her because it refers
to her London past, does she do the sensible thing and go to
the police? Of course not. While Alice's past is not pristine,
it would have been possible to turn the situation to her
advantage, especially when another unpleasant event from her
more recent past surfaces. But then again with her volatile
temper, she probably would have antagonized the police
officers. How could the police have helped, Alice surmised.
Apart from preventing the murders and mayhem that would follow,
the bloody mess, literally and figuratively, that Alice gets
herself -- and others - into. I did not feel that in order to
take back her life, Alice needed to act like a vigilante,
because there were other, more rational, ways to deal with the
situation. I did not like Alice, I never sympathized with her,
and although I was ever so slightly curious about her eventual
fate, I was not overly concerned because I figured that,
whatever happened to her, she had it coming; it's never a good
thing when you wish the main protagonist a swift death. It
turns out, Alice really was MISTER TENDER'S GIRL after all. I
did not like the overall message the book delivered, and while
ever the optimist, I hoped for a satisfactory ending, there
again, I was sorely disappointed.
If don't mind blood and gore, and you enjoy the way heroines
behave in slasher-type movies, you will love MISTER TENDER'S
GIRL, but it was definitely not a book for me
At fourteen, Alice Hill was viciously attacked by two of
her classmates and left to die. The teens claim she was a
sacrifice for a man called Mister Tender, but that could
never be true: Mister Tender doesn't exist. His sinister
character is pop-culture fiction, nothing more.
Over a decade later, Alice has changed her name and is
trying to heal. But someone is watching her. They know
more about Alice than any stranger: her scars, her fears,
and the secrets she keeps locked away. She can try to
escape her past, but he is never far behind.
Addictive and chillingly surprising, this ripped-from-
the-headlines thriller will have you transfixed until the
very last page.
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