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You see the people you work with every day. But what can't you see? Amira, Sarah, Paula, Ewan and Charlie have worked together for years - they know how each one likes their coffee, whose love life is a mess, whose children keep them up at night. But their comfortable routine life is suddenly shattered when an aggressive new boss walks in .... Now, there's something chilling You see the people you work with every day. But what can't you see? Amira, Sarah, Paula, Ewan and Charlie have worked together for years - they know how each one likes their coffee, whose love life is a mess, whose children keep them up at night. But their comfortable routine life is suddenly shattered when an aggressive new boss walks in .... Now, there's something chilling in the air. Who secretly hates everyone? Who is tortured by their past? Who is capable of murder?


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You see the people you work with every day. But what can't you see? Amira, Sarah, Paula, Ewan and Charlie have worked together for years - they know how each one likes their coffee, whose love life is a mess, whose children keep them up at night. But their comfortable routine life is suddenly shattered when an aggressive new boss walks in .... Now, there's something chilling You see the people you work with every day. But what can't you see? Amira, Sarah, Paula, Ewan and Charlie have worked together for years - they know how each one likes their coffee, whose love life is a mess, whose children keep them up at night. But their comfortable routine life is suddenly shattered when an aggressive new boss walks in .... Now, there's something chilling in the air. Who secretly hates everyone? Who is tortured by their past? Who is capable of murder?

30 review for Maldad

  1. 4 out of 5

    Maxine (Booklover Catlady)

    This is it! I have read every book by Tammy Cohen including those under her previous pen name of Tamar Cohen and this one is the cherry on top of the ice cream. Absolutely stunning psychological thriller that truly had hairs on my arms standing up and a chill down my spine. Tammy - you have outdone yourself this time! Where on earth do I start? We open with some type of horrific scene, we know it's tragic but not much is given away, but by golly it really whets your appetite for the rest of the b This is it! I have read every book by Tammy Cohen including those under her previous pen name of Tamar Cohen and this one is the cherry on top of the ice cream. Absolutely stunning psychological thriller that truly had hairs on my arms standing up and a chill down my spine. Tammy - you have outdone yourself this time! Where on earth do I start? We open with some type of horrific scene, we know it's tragic but not much is given away, but by golly it really whets your appetite for the rest of the book. The book follows two storylines that of Amira, Sarah, Paula, Ewan and Charlie who all work together in a recruitment agency and suddenly have news of their boss being "moved out" and a new, rather foreboding and very different boss taking over. Let the games begin. Mind games galore. But at a whole new level. You think your workplace politics are bad? Think again. Tammy weaves perspectives from each character, letting us really getting to the bottom of what is going on with each of them (or do we?), which ultimately leaves you wondering what and who they are all about, because Tammy starts to insert question marks all through the book to keep you guessing. Why? It's because of a house, named "The House of Horrors" by the press because of what was uncovered there. It's disturbing, it's shocking and it really rocked me to the core despite me reading much darker fiction themes than this. I was totally in awe of the way Tammy creates atmospheric moments in this book that just give you the heebie-jeebies for want of a better description. How does it all link? How can meetings behind closed doors in the office and drink dramas in the pub after work be connected? That's the fun of the book dear reader, the mystery and the guessing games. I so dare you to work out the ending. I thought I had it, I thought I had it pinned but something told me in my gut Tammy Cohen was going to beat me at my own game. She did. I was wrong. So wrong. The ending truly blew me away. Gush, rave, gush, rave. I could not let this one out of my hands and read it in a few hours. Now it's not out for a little while yet (April 21st, 2016) BUT put this on your to-read list, advance order it, whatever you need to do as it's an absolute winner. Tammy Cohen takes characters to a whole new level in this book and one think I noticed is I connected with all of them, not one of them got "lost" or faded into the background. Each plays a very important role. I give nothing else away but there is a lot more to this book than this short review. 5 stars without hesitation. Already one of my contenders no doubt for my Top Ten Reads of 2016. Thanks so much to Random House UK/Transworld for my copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and professional review. For more of my book reviews, plenty of awesome books to win, and author Q&A events come to: https://www.facebook.com/BookloverCat... To follow me on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/promotethatbook

  2. 5 out of 5

    Miriam Smith

    I have to admit to having struggled with "When She Was Bad" from the very beginning, which concerned me a little as many trusted and honest reading friends had recommended it. So many characters had me confused from the start and it took me a while to grasp who everyone was. There's two storylines being told via the characters, one regarding a child welfare case and the other following the lives of office employees after the sacking of their boss and a new more aggressive one being employed. I d I have to admit to having struggled with "When She Was Bad" from the very beginning, which concerned me a little as many trusted and honest reading friends had recommended it. So many characters had me confused from the start and it took me a while to grasp who everyone was. There's two storylines being told via the characters, one regarding a child welfare case and the other following the lives of office employees after the sacking of their boss and a new more aggressive one being employed. I did enjoy Anne Cater's story regarding Child L, it was both intriguing and interesting but I found the other characters stories repetitive and boring. However, the storylines did come together at the end in a surprising way that you'd never think of and I can see why this book has been rated highly by other readers, it just didn't keep my attention enough at the time of reading - it could have quite easily been a different outcome for me at any other time. The author Tammy Cohen is an excellent writer and well respected and I would happily read more books by her again, sadly I just didn't click with this one in particular. 3 stars

  3. 5 out of 5

    Blair

    It's been ages since I read a thriller this thoroughly addictive. When She Was Bad is exactly the sort of book I want from this genre. I was glued to it, didn't figure out the twist, finished it in a breathless 24 hours and forgot about everything else on my mind while I was reading it. I wouldn't have given it a second glance if not for this WHSmith blog post highlighting the fact that it's 'office noir' set in a 'toxic workplace'. Bored of psychological thrillers with a marriage or friendship t It's been ages since I read a thriller this thoroughly addictive. When She Was Bad is exactly the sort of book I want from this genre. I was glued to it, didn't figure out the twist, finished it in a breathless 24 hours and forgot about everything else on my mind while I was reading it. I wouldn't have given it a second glance if not for this WHSmith blog post highlighting the fact that it's 'office noir' set in a 'toxic workplace'. Bored of psychological thrillers with a marriage or friendship theme, I immediately found this concept pretty exciting, especially when I read that it's set within a recruitment company. I used to work for a headhunting firm, so I was looking forward to recognising details of the characters' work (although on that point, I was disappointed. There's little about what any of the characters actually do - it's the fact they all work together that's important). There's a wide cast of characters: Paula, Charlie, Sarah, Amira, Ewan and Chloe are the office workers, each with his or her anxieties and troubles, often related to money and/or status. Rachel is the boss from hell; brought in to 'streamline' the team, she employs manipulative tactics to pit the colleagues against each other, including a truly nightmarish team bonding weekend. Then there's Anne, an American child psychologist whose link to the office plotline initially seems nonexistent. Her story is a flashback to the case that kickstarted her career: the assessment of Laurie, a four-year-old girl rescued from a so-called 'House of Horrors' where her parents kept her younger brother shackled in a subterranean cage. Anne's colleagues are convinced Laurie has survived the trauma relatively unscathed and has little recollection of her brother. But Anne sees flashes of worrying dissociative behaviour in Laurie, and suspects she has suppressed and internalised memories of the abuse. Clearly, you're being set up to think Laurie = Rachel. And yet, this being the type of story it is, it also seems likely the connection won't be that obvious. I often assume that twists in thrillers/mysteries are bound to be easily guessable, and the challenge lies in making the rest of the story interesting regardless of that - but in this case, I was genuinely unsure what was really going on until the last few chapters. Cohen does an excellent job of making each character intriguing, with a hint of hidden depths, despite the fact that with eight main players, none of them get much of the narrative to themselves. I enjoyed When She Was Bad a lot - if this is 'office noir', more, please.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jules

    When She Was Bad is another great psychological thriller by Tammy Cohen. This author is so good at creating well developed and believable characters. It’s probably the thing I love most about her books, and throughout this story, I struggled to know who to trust. There are quite a few characters introduced early on in the book, so if you have a rubbish memory like me, you might want to make a note of the characters to help you keep track of who is who early on in the story. Fiction book solves real When She Was Bad is another great psychological thriller by Tammy Cohen. This author is so good at creating well developed and believable characters. It’s probably the thing I love most about her books, and throughout this story, I struggled to know who to trust. There are quite a few characters introduced early on in the book, so if you have a rubbish memory like me, you might want to make a note of the characters to help you keep track of who is who early on in the story. Fiction book solves real life mystery... I did giggle when the song Kumbaya was mentioned. I have honestly never discussed this song with my husband in the twenty years we’ve been together, yet only two days before reading this book, I was talking about primary school songs, and told him there was a religious song where we did some hand twirling to it while we sang, but neither of us could work out the song I was trying to remember, until I read this book, and I was so happy it helped me solve the mystery. I’ve also since discovered, thanks to videos of the song online, that the hand twirling I remember was probably sign language. I would like to thank the publisher, Black Swan (Transworld Publishers) for allowing me a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    If I were to be putting this book in a genre category, I imagine I would struggle. Although outwardly a thriller, much of the story revolves around the relationships between a group of office co-workers, which I felt almost pushed it into the chick-lit category. The author approached her ideas in an odd fashion, that being her story took a long time to reach its climax, and once it did it felt rushed. When much loved boss Gill is suddenly let go from the recruitment agency she has managed for the If I were to be putting this book in a genre category, I imagine I would struggle. Although outwardly a thriller, much of the story revolves around the relationships between a group of office co-workers, which I felt almost pushed it into the chick-lit category. The author approached her ideas in an odd fashion, that being her story took a long time to reach its climax, and once it did it felt rushed. When much loved boss Gill is suddenly let go from the recruitment agency she has managed for the past eight years, her colleagues are suddenly thrust under the watchful eye of Rachel - the boss from hell. Suddenly, the office environment changes and everyone is fearful for their professional lives. The story is told from many perspectives, albeit in third person perspective. Meanwhile, there is a contrasting story told from the perspective of Anne, a doctor in child psychiatry. How these two stories entwine isn't obvious until almost the very end of the book, a part I found somewhat frustrating. Like I mentioned earlier, the ending of the book felt rushed and had, unfortunately, become almost a parody of thriller novels. There were one two many cliches, which alongside the already cliched characters, left me feeling a bit deflated. That being said, it was as a very readable novel - I didn't struggle to finish it. I'm not sure whether or not I would venture into another of the authors books, although I wouldn't rule it out in the future if a particular synopsis sparked my interest enough.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Liz Barnsley

    Basically When She Was Bad is banging. Best way to put it. I’ve always loved Tammy Cohen for her incredibly divisive and insightful characters, her beautifully constructed plots and her ability to explore the darker side of human nature- where the surface is all bubbly and friendly whilst underneath the real personalites lurk, mumbling and grumbling away until all hell breaks loose. When She Was Bad has all those elements and then some, a seering character study in a tale of two halves. On one sid Basically When She Was Bad is banging. Best way to put it. I’ve always loved Tammy Cohen for her incredibly divisive and insightful characters, her beautifully constructed plots and her ability to explore the darker side of human nature- where the surface is all bubbly and friendly whilst underneath the real personalites lurk, mumbling and grumbling away until all hell breaks loose. When She Was Bad has all those elements and then some, a seering character study in a tale of two halves. On one side we have a dark event from the past, on the other we have a group of people who work together in seeming harmony until an ambitious and ruthless boss upsets their status quo. Then the true nature of their relationships start seeping through and this sets us up for an addictive and atmospheric tale which fairly rocks along to a frankly, very creepy conclusion. The group arc is intelligently done and oh so authentic – if you have ever worked in an office environment within a team you will recognise the dynamic and if you happen to work in such a place now by the end of When She Was Bad you will be viewing your colleagues with a certain amount of suspicion. Because that is what Tammy Cohen does – she takes the normal life stuff and kicks it off kilter. Throw in some genuinely cool plot twists along the way, build the tension in fine fashion, create some unforgettable characters that the reader can develop a love/hate relationsip with whilst at the same time delving into the mundane routine of life that everyone can relate to and finally throw an explosive and unpredictable ending into the mix and you have When She Was Bad. I loved it. Highly Recommended.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for my copy. Much appreciated. Office workers lose their boss and inherit a new one. She's a force to be reckoned with and puts colleagues on edge from the moment she enters the office. As time goes on employees are being pitted against each other unknowingly. Who will come out strongest; fighting for their place to be there? A 4 year old girl is witness to heinous actions carried out by her parents. What longstanding effects will the abuse have on Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for my copy. Much appreciated. Office workers lose their boss and inherit a new one. She's a force to be reckoned with and puts colleagues on edge from the moment she enters the office. As time goes on employees are being pitted against each other unknowingly. Who will come out strongest; fighting for their place to be there? A 4 year old girl is witness to heinous actions carried out by her parents. What longstanding effects will the abuse have on the girl. That's the job of Dr Anne Cater to find out as she, along with colleagues, gently probes what's going on in the young girl's mind. Told from different viewpoints, the book cuts narratives and timeframes with ease and all remains clear as the story ebbs. It's an interesting tale as we get to know the office workers and all their backstories and it's a good long while into the book that we realise the two different storylines are going to interweave at some point. However, it was just this that I had a problem with. At times it did feel like I was reading two different books and had difficulties with it all gelling together. The positives are that it contains Ms Cohen's terrific writing and characterisation skills. She's brilliant at creating a feeling of unease and never giving much away until near the end. The dread never really leaves you and it was difficult to guess in which direction the ending would go. There was still room for surprises! Overall though I came away slightly disappointed with this particular read but wouldn't hesitate in reading more from this pen! See for yourself .... it's had a lot of positive response .... and it is only my opinion!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Fenton

    Tammy Cohen certainly knows how to weave a wicked tale. This gripping, psychological thriller had me guessing what was happening throughout the book, thinking I had worked it out and then realising by the next chapter I was completely wrong. A compulsive and addictive story about a group of individuals in an office environment all with something to hide. Gripping and Great!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lee

    I love Tammy Cohen books, always an enjoyable read. This story revolves around a group of workers at a recruitment agency whose well loved boss is being replaced. This team has worked together for a long time and know a lot about each others lives. In comes the new boss, no personality, no interpersonal skills and it seems an agenda to stir the pot to the point where now these friends are doubting themselves about their work relationships and also the safety of their jobs. There is also another I love Tammy Cohen books, always an enjoyable read. This story revolves around a group of workers at a recruitment agency whose well loved boss is being replaced. This team has worked together for a long time and know a lot about each others lives. In comes the new boss, no personality, no interpersonal skills and it seems an agenda to stir the pot to the point where now these friends are doubting themselves about their work relationships and also the safety of their jobs. There is also another side line in this story, a past horrific child abuse cased in which Dr Anne Carter was involved, as another case occurs years later. One would wonder how these two stories can intermingle but they do. In this book you will meet some nice characters and some that are not so nice but you will be totally drawn into their world. All I can say is enjoy!

  10. 4 out of 5

    C.L. Taylor

    Brilliant! I pride myself, when reading psychological thrillers, on being able to predict how a plot will develop and who the 'bad guy' is but Tammy Cohen stayed one step ahead of me all the way through this gripping and captivating book. I changed my mind several times about who the antagonist was and I was still wrong. I was on the edge of my seat throughout, never quite sure who I could trust or what was going to befall the characters. I thought the ending was outstanding and it was all I cou Brilliant! I pride myself, when reading psychological thrillers, on being able to predict how a plot will develop and who the 'bad guy' is but Tammy Cohen stayed one step ahead of me all the way through this gripping and captivating book. I changed my mind several times about who the antagonist was and I was still wrong. I was on the edge of my seat throughout, never quite sure who I could trust or what was going to befall the characters. I thought the ending was outstanding and it was all I could do not to shout, 'Bravo!' when I reached the end. Tammy Cohen is an incredibly clever author and I am a huge fan. Psychological thrillers don't get much better than this!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Hall

    Tammy Cohen is back with a bang with her latest psychological roller-coaster, When She Was Bad, and in setting her novel in the workplace she will have all of her readers very keen to get into this office..! Two stories run through When She Was Bad both of which are inextricably linked. Opening with Anne Cater watching the BBC news at her Stateside home with an air of resignation as a reporter stands outside a London court detailing an unsettling crime which has appalled the nation. Anne clearly Tammy Cohen is back with a bang with her latest psychological roller-coaster, When She Was Bad, and in setting her novel in the workplace she will have all of her readers very keen to get into this office..! Two stories run through When She Was Bad both of which are inextricably linked. Opening with Anne Cater watching the BBC news at her Stateside home with an air of resignation as a reporter stands outside a London court detailing an unsettling crime which has appalled the nation. Anne clearly seems to regard this as simply been a matter of time until an event of this nature took place. The UK public are shocked and outside the court people are commenting on how "such an ordinary person" was capable of such a thing, although the details themselves are not specified. Now a Professor in the Psychiatry Department of La Luz City University Medical Facility the news takes Anne back to a time when she was a PhD student, focusing on the long term effects of acute trauma in minors and was involved in making recommendations for the children involved in the depraved 'House of Horrors' case. What is clear is that the case which so appalled the US now has a connection to this incident which has occurred years later in London. The second strand tells the story of the sales department of London based company Mark Hamilton Recruitment and begins with former boss Gill drowning her sorrows in the aftermath of her dismissal. Whilst the others in the office might privately admit that Gill had been coasting for far too long the tensions never reached the surface and a harmonious and largely united culture reigned. When Gill's dismissal is followed by the altogether more uncomfortable news that the new boss of the department is to be Rachel "I'm not here to make friends" Masters, complete with her reputation for being "difficult, demanding and divisive". Rachel makes clear that a certain amount of restructuring of the department is her intention, and what better way to unsettle her staff than her abrasive divide and rule style of management. When the prospect of promotion enters into the equation each and every one of the staff in the department have an added incentive to make a good impression. Suddenly a strange new atmosphere seems to permeate the office as the era of Rachel Masters sends the moral compass of the team haywire and a culture of passive-aggressiveness prevails. After all, when promotion is up for grabs loyalty is a luxury that each of this team can ill afford. As nerves become frazzled a remote team building weekend brings tensions to a head and Cohen makes use of the modern day angst of being separated from mobile phones and a wifi connection to provide some amusing scenes. Within thirty pages of When She Was Bad readers will gain a pretty clear idea of where this novel is heading, and I lapped this up knowing that Tammy Cohen was going to wring out every possible moment of angst along the way. The big reveal is the ultimate payoff awaiting readers and a mounting sense of suspense ran through this novel. When She Was Bad is a sheer delight that will have you cringing with your own memories of the hell of the office atmosphere.. The awkward glances, the avoidance of eye contact and the small talk in the kitchen.. A visit to the office has never seemed so mouth watering.. The claustrophobia of the office environment and the knowledge that you can't simply distance yourself from colleagues as it is so easy to do with family and friends serves this novel well. I suspect that this novel also works quite well because the employees in the department are predominantly female. I am loathe to subscribe to the over emotional female cliches but in my experiences a female dominated environment does ratchet up the drama with everything becoming the subject of second guessing and over thinking. A cracking good yarn from Tammy "light to blue touch paper and run" Cohen.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Coos Burton

    Agradezco a la editorial Penguin Random House por el ejemplar. "Las fotografías mienten. Todos editamos nuestro pasado y escogemos lo que más se ajusta a la imagen de nuestras vidas que queremos proyectar." Damn, qué final más mórbido para un thriller, me quedé helada. Este libro fue un gran acierto para mí, y me alegra haberlo elegido como una de mis lecturas este año. Si amas esos libros que te hacen sufrir muchísimo pero que no podes abandonar ni un minuto, "Maldad" es para vos. Y puedo asegura Agradezco a la editorial Penguin Random House por el ejemplar. "Las fotografías mienten. Todos editamos nuestro pasado y escogemos lo que más se ajusta a la imagen de nuestras vidas que queremos proyectar." Damn, qué final más mórbido para un thriller, me quedé helada. Este libro fue un gran acierto para mí, y me alegra haberlo elegido como una de mis lecturas este año. Si amas esos libros que te hacen sufrir muchísimo pero que no podes abandonar ni un minuto, "Maldad" es para vos. Y puedo asegurar que acá maldad es lo que menos falta. Le estaré haciendo una reseña más completa en mi canal, por si gustan conocer mejor mi opinión: https://www.youtube.com/coosburton

  13. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    When She Was Bad is a two strand story – initially beginning in America but with the main chapters set around a London recruitment agency. The American narrator is Dr Anne Cater (many UK book bloggers will recognise that name!) who is a child psychologist, remembering one of her most famous and horrific cases –dubbed by the press ‘the House of Horror’. Although sympathetically portrayed, this part of the story did make for uncomfortable reading at times. When she is alerted by a friend that some When She Was Bad is a two strand story – initially beginning in America but with the main chapters set around a London recruitment agency. The American narrator is Dr Anne Cater (many UK book bloggers will recognise that name!) who is a child psychologist, remembering one of her most famous and horrific cases –dubbed by the press ‘the House of Horror’. Although sympathetically portrayed, this part of the story did make for uncomfortable reading at times. When she is alerted by a friend that something bad has happened in the UK and to watch the news, she seems to be half expecting it. Friends and colleagues working at the Mark Hamilton Recruitment are dismayed when their old boss Gill, becomes a victim of productivity and cost cutting measures and is sacked. Her replacement, Rachel Masters, appears to be a manipulative, cold hearted bitch who thinks nothing of playing mind games with her staff and pitting one against the other although to be fair she been brought in by management specifically to shake the department up and make it profitable. They were once a friendly and cohesive team – not any more, the atmosphere is now toxic. With each of them facing their own personal issues and scared for their jobs, they no longer know who to trust and turn on each other. Each chapter is told from the perspective of one of the main characters and this is an easy way of getting to know their background. “Charlie glanced over at Amira who was in turn exchanging wide-eyed glances with Sarah. The tension at the table was like an uninvited guest who’d arrived without warning and was refusing to leave”. Watching the characters in this story was a bit like watching a car crash in slow motion. You know that something awful is going to happen but it’s wondering exactly what that kept me turning the pages. Initially I thought I was being oh so clever in figuring out where the story was going and I had even had certain characters in mind for the reveal. However, the author is an expert in misdirection and the twists that kept appearing made me doubt everything. When She Was Bad is a wonderfully twisted story with characters that you will both empathise with and despise. If you are anything like me, the ‘team building’ weekend will have you cringing with horror – it would be hard to think of anything worse! It’s also a salutary lesson that the ‘experts’ don’t always get it right! This was such an addictive read it only took a couple of days to race through it. When you consider how much time we spend with our work colleagues, this story clearly shows that you never really know them. A twisty, compelling and addictive psychological thriller that will make you look at your work colleagues in a different way - this is certainly another winner from Tammy Cohen. 

  14. 5 out of 5

    Cleo Bannister

    This book is set in an office, somewhere a good proportion of us spend our days and the author’s sharp eye (and pen) hasn’t missed a single detail to twist into something quite sinister. ‘I thought it would be good today to go round the table and for each of us to say one thing you think could improve the performance of this department.’ What was this, circle time? The problem is that Gill the Manager of the department where Paula, Ewan, Amira, Sarah & Chloe work at Mark Hamilton Recruitment, This book is set in an office, somewhere a good proportion of us spend our days and the author’s sharp eye (and pen) hasn’t missed a single detail to twist into something quite sinister. ‘I thought it would be good today to go round the table and for each of us to say one thing you think could improve the performance of this department.’ What was this, circle time? The problem is that Gill the Manager of the department where Paula, Ewan, Amira, Sarah & Chloe work at Mark Hamilton Recruitment, has been ‘let go’ and a new boss Rachel Masters has been employed in her place to turn things around. It’s clear right from the start that she means business. Unless you have been incredibly lucky in your working life, some of the scenes set in the office will be only too familiar as Rachel Master’s plan to divide and conquer are put into force with relative ease. But, this isn’t simply a story about office life, there is another, darker, strand to the tale set in America where Dr Anne Cater is looking back at a distressing case early in her career as a psychologist. The narration by Anne is chilling because the subject is that of two young children and a different kind of office politics in the world of US academia. With the narration in the recruitment agency being given by the different members of the team, in the hands of a lesser author the characters could easily have merged into one, but Tammy Cohen cleverly keeps them distinct and as in any team there are definite winners and losers, with Rachel’s appearance easily breaking the superficial bonds that previously existed between them all. Suddenly there is an ‘I’ in team! So it only takes a team bonding weekend for the cracks to widen into a chasm, and prove what I’ve always known, in that these sessions should be avoided like the plague! With everyone suspicious of each others motives the action ramps up to a whole different level, and the purpose of the two separate strands we are being told is revealed. I raced through the book, the short chapters urging me on to read just a little bit more, to find out exactly when the tension that had been built was going to snap, all the while I was entertained by characters that were instantly recognisable and discovering the truths that those of us who work in offices deny. I loved this book, the setting was inspired, the two stories fascinating and the characters well-defined and entirely believable – Tammy Cohen has done it again! I’d like to say a huge thank you to Random House UK who allowed me to read a proof copy of When She Was Bad; this review is my unbiased thank you to them and to Tammy Cohen who kept me hooked to each and every word. When She Was Bad will be published on 21 April 2016.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Louisa

    Thanks to Netgalley and Transworld Digital for sending me a copy of this book to review. When She Was Bad definitely sounded like a story that was right up my alley. I love when characters are untrustworthy, and I am usually a big fan of alternating perspectives. For me, when done properly, they add a level of intrigue and suspense that might be missing from one narrator's perspective. The thing with this book was that I didn't feel like the alternating perspectives were handled properly. To begin Thanks to Netgalley and Transworld Digital for sending me a copy of this book to review. When She Was Bad definitely sounded like a story that was right up my alley. I love when characters are untrustworthy, and I am usually a big fan of alternating perspectives. For me, when done properly, they add a level of intrigue and suspense that might be missing from one narrator's perspective. The thing with this book was that I didn't feel like the alternating perspectives were handled properly. To begin with I liked that Anne, who was dealing with a horrific case of child abuse, was talking about the past and the case, then moved to the present in a modern day office where a new boss is causing all sorts of grief for the staff. From the start, you know that somehow these two events are going to collide. Unfortunately from this point forward, the book lost me. There were so many perspectives involved, and to be honest, I didn't feel like each voice really mattered. A lot of red herrings were thrown in, but they didn't really make sense and there were just so many that by the end of it I was sick of it and wanted to know what was going on. The characters were one-dimensional to me, and the mystery (I didn't guess it, so that's one good thing) was fairly out of the blue and far-fetched. Another thing that put me off a little bit was grammatical errors - there seemed to be a fair few throughout the book. If there were less character perspectives and stronger personalities I might have enjoyed this one more. A bit of fine-tuning and it could be a great thriller.

  16. 4 out of 5

    BookwormDH

    YOU SEE THE PEOPLE YOU WORK WITH EVERY DAY. BUT WHAT CAN'T YOU SEE? Amira, Sarah, Paula, Ewan, and Charlie have worked together for years - they know how each one likes their coffee, whose love life is a mess, whose children keep them up at night. But their comfortable routine life is suddenly shattered when an aggressive new boss walks in .... Now, there's something chilling in the air. Who secretly hates everyone? Who is tortured by their past? Who is capable of murder? This is an outstanding psychol YOU SEE THE PEOPLE YOU WORK WITH EVERY DAY. BUT WHAT CAN'T YOU SEE? Amira, Sarah, Paula, Ewan, and Charlie have worked together for years - they know how each one likes their coffee, whose love life is a mess, whose children keep them up at night. But their comfortable routine life is suddenly shattered when an aggressive new boss walks in .... Now, there's something chilling in the air. Who secretly hates everyone? Who is tortured by their past? Who is capable of murder? This is an outstanding psychological thriller. Intensely gripping which keeps your turning the pages until your eyes are falling out, but in a good way! Compelling, surprising and brilliantly suspenseful with faultless writing. This a book not to be missed and it's up there with one of the best books I've read this year. More than highly recommended - 5*

  17. 4 out of 5

    Shirley Revill

    OMG just what did I just listen to and I know I will be having nightmares tonight. Absolutely brilliant story,the first I have listened to by this author and it certainly won't be the last. I love a good murder story and this one certainly was. I was guessing till the very end and I was so Wrong. The narration was brilliant and I couldn't turn my tablet off because I had to know who did it. I am so hoping the story might continue and there might be another book to follow where this one left off. Ver OMG just what did I just listen to and I know I will be having nightmares tonight. Absolutely brilliant story,the first I have listened to by this author and it certainly won't be the last. I love a good murder story and this one certainly was. I was guessing till the very end and I was so Wrong. The narration was brilliant and I couldn't turn my tablet off because I had to know who did it. I am so hoping the story might continue and there might be another book to follow where this one left off. Very highly recommended. Really enjoyed this audiobook.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Janet Emson

    I received a copy of this book from the publishers and this is my honest opinion of the book. We spend 35 hours a week with them, see them more sometimes more than family, definitely spend more time with them than friends. Some we get on with, others we secretly can’t stand. But how well do we really know the people we work with? A group of executives at a London recruitment consultants are thrown into disarray when their manager is replaced by Rachel. Known for her tough stance, she intentionall I received a copy of this book from the publishers and this is my honest opinion of the book. We spend 35 hours a week with them, see them more sometimes more than family, definitely spend more time with them than friends. Some we get on with, others we secretly can’t stand. But how well do we really know the people we work with? A group of executives at a London recruitment consultants are thrown into disarray when their manager is replaced by Rachel. Known for her tough stance, she intentionally begins to drive a wedge between the group, causing friendships to fracture and personal conflicts to take place. But things go from being unfriendly to downright deadly. Meanwhile in the U.S. Dr Anne Cater recalls a child abuse case from many years ago, reminded of it by an event in London involving a group of executives from a recruitment firm… I’d had this book a short while and picked it up meaning to read a page or two to gauge if it was to be my next read. When I reluctantly had to stop reading I was 116 pages in and hooked. When She Was Bad is the true definition of a psychological thriller. The book starts out revealing that something terrible has happened. We know that a group of people who work together are involved. What we don’t know is what has happened. But we need to know. That desire to find out what has happened drives the reader on. The level of menace builds throughout, Rachel’s apparent mind games effecting the others in a variety of ways, each one becoming a different person to the one the reader is initially introduced to. All the while the parallel story of Anne Cater and her involvement in a horrific child abuse case she was asked to consult on years earlier adds another layer of tension. We know that this case is directly involved with one of the office workers over in London. What we don’t know is who, or why. As the story progresses the two narratives draw together fluidly, playing off each other perfectly. The setting of an office environment is perfect. The majority of readers can associate themselves with the work environment, familiar with office politics, friendships and romances, petty jealously and rivalry. We may be lucky enough to work in a friendly environment where work is fun, or may unfortunately work in a place where the bad outweighs the good. It is the fact that we can draw on our own experiences, or easily imagine a terrible work environment that makes the story all the more effective. The reader can put themselves in the position of the characters, feel the dread of having to return day after day to a place they have come to hate, the stress of working with people you realise you don’t really know. Each chapter is dedicated to a character, easy to differentiate as their name entitles that chapter. Each one is just the right length to lead you to justify to yourself ‘just one more chapter’. The great thing with this format of writing is that the information revealed about the characters is cleverly controlled. Facts are drip fed, character flaws and traits revealed but always tinged with the unreliability of the reader not quite being able to trust the character the chapter is focussed on, the belief that they may not be giving a true portrayal of the situation ever present. The book is full of twists and turned and I had enormous fun trying to work out who would be the victim and who would be the perpetrator. There were some things that surprised me, others I had guessed before the reveal, leaving me with that smug ‘ I knew it’ feeling that comes with successfully pitting the few wits I have with a skilled storyteller. The strands of the story weave together perfectly, the undercurrent of menace and knowledge that something horrendous was going to happen is ever present throughout and draws the reader along. This is a story of how we don’t really know the people we work along side every day. We only ever really see one facet of a person. We are all different things to different people. Some see us only as a mother or father, husband or wife, son, daughter, sister or brother. To others we are friends or colleagues. To each of them we reveal only certain sides to our characters, showing only those facets of us that are relevant to the person we are interacting with. We don’t know what horrors or traumas others may have faced, can’t try to take that into account when dealing with someone and so we have to be guided by our own moral compass, be kind, considerate and respectful to all, and hope that those good intentions are felt. It is also a story of the long term ramifications of child abuse. How the external scars may heal but the psychological effects of mistreatment by the ones who are supposed to love us, protect us and keep us safe can be long-lasting and far-reaching. This is the first book by Tammy Cohen that I have read. I now know what I have been missing out on. Luckily I have her other books to read whilst I wait for her next book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Damaskcat

    Once I started reading this book I was completely drawn in to the story. If you have ever worked in an office as part of a small team this will send shivers down your spine. The reader knows from the start that something horrific has happened but you don't find out until almost the end exactly what it was. The manager of the team in a recruitment company is sacked as the team is considered to be underperforming. A new manager is brought in to change things and improve performance. But she turns o Once I started reading this book I was completely drawn in to the story. If you have ever worked in an office as part of a small team this will send shivers down your spine. The reader knows from the start that something horrific has happened but you don't find out until almost the end exactly what it was. The manager of the team in a recruitment company is sacked as the team is considered to be underperforming. A new manager is brought in to change things and improve performance. But she turns out to be the manager from bell and her team members are at first united against her until she implements a policy of divide and rule which soon has everyone eyeing their colleagues with suspicion. The story is told from the various characters' perspective and the reader gradually builds up a picture of life in the office and the private lives of the various people involved. It is very well written and I didn't spot the ending at all so it was a huge shock to finally discover what happened. The clues are there but I definitely misread them. This is the first book I've read by this author but I shall definitely be reading more. I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for review.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ona

    “Imagine we could see the damage inside ourselves. Imagine it showed through us like contraband on an airport scanner. What would it be like, to walk around the city with it all on view – all the hurts and the betrayals and the things that diminished us; all the crushed dreams and the broken hearts? What would it be like to see the people our lives have made us? The people we are, under our skin.” The book has two focuses. One of them is in a recruitment agency in United Kingdom where the new bos “Imagine we could see the damage inside ourselves. Imagine it showed through us like contraband on an airport scanner. What would it be like, to walk around the city with it all on view – all the hurts and the betrayals and the things that diminished us; all the crushed dreams and the broken hearts? What would it be like to see the people our lives have made us? The people we are, under our skin.” The book has two focuses. One of them is in a recruitment agency in United Kingdom where the new boss shake thing up and brings more stress for everyone. And in United States, where a child psychologist is telling us about her time dealing with child abuse and memories of the case she worked on her past. It's a great book with a lot of twists and unexpected turns.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Elaine Tansley

    Another great psychological thriller from Tammy Cohen. This one will make you ask yourself the following questions. How well do you really know the people you work with? What about their lives outside of work? What about their secrets? Office politics will never seem quite so innocuous again! This book had me guessing and trying to work out the connections between the interwoven story threads right till the end. Great characterisation and great suspense. All in all, a thrilling read. I read this Another great psychological thriller from Tammy Cohen. This one will make you ask yourself the following questions. How well do you really know the people you work with? What about their lives outside of work? What about their secrets? Office politics will never seem quite so innocuous again! This book had me guessing and trying to work out the connections between the interwoven story threads right till the end. Great characterisation and great suspense. All in all, a thrilling read. I read this book as an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Marisa Meiga

    No esperaba demasiado de este libro, sin embargo me ha gustado mucho. Muy entretenido. Cada capítulo es la historia contada desde el punto de vista de uno de los personajes y durante toda la lectura te preguntas ¿qué está pasando? ¿quién ha hecho qué cosa?. Recomendable.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Winter Sophia Rose

    Gripping, Twisted, Scary, Shocking, Heart Stopping & Emotional! An Amazing Read! I Loved It!

  24. 4 out of 5

    s

    2/5 stars Absolute trash so boring, all this suspense out for NOTHING.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cora Tea Party Princess

    This sounds right up my street.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Claire

    Convincingly toxic, but not my cup of tea. 3.5/5 stars. This review was originally posted on my book blog. There are quite a few characters to keep up with in this book and all of them are sad, stressed, exhausted and/or worried. Each chapter gives us the opportunity to swap between their point of views, but even this doesn’t provide any light relief. You only get a reprieve from one character whose life sucks, to be passed to one whose life sucks harder. The original office group are mostly just c Convincingly toxic, but not my cup of tea. 3.5/5 stars. This review was originally posted on my book blog. There are quite a few characters to keep up with in this book and all of them are sad, stressed, exhausted and/or worried. Each chapter gives us the opportunity to swap between their point of views, but even this doesn’t provide any light relief. You only get a reprieve from one character whose life sucks, to be passed to one whose life sucks harder. The original office group are mostly just clinging onto sanity when, into this joyful mix, comes the new boss. Quick to pit the employees against each other, she creates an atmosphere which is described by one of her subordinates as “toxic”. And “toxic” is the perfect word to describe my experience of this book which was like being trapped in the poisonous headspace of a group of miserable people. Add to this past descriptions of appalling child abuse and no, I can’t say I “enjoyed” reading this book. However, I have to take my hat off to the author for the terrific job she does in creating this claustrophobic atmosphere and a group of characters whose personal and employment predicaments are entirely believable. Anyone who has ever worked in an office will recognise something in this book, whether it be the gossip machine or how quickly small things can become politicised or blown out of proportion. The mystery element of the story is also well-handled. We are given just enough clues so we can keep up and make some educated guesses as to who is who, but there are also a few things you have no hope of guessing and come as surprises at the end. I did find the ending a little disappointing and underwhelming. After all the tension the author had built up between the characters, I was expecting some sort of tragic finale. Although this could just be because I found all the characters so unlikable I was hoping a few more of them would get bumped off! Overall: fans of dark thrillers and mysteries should definitely pick up this book. Me? I’m off to re-read some Rainbow Rowell. Thank you to Black Swan and NetGalley for giving me an e-copy of this book in return for an honest review.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Beswick

    Ooft this packed a punch! The story links the routine lives of a team of office workers, each dealing with their own some mundane, some complex lives before a new manager, with a point to prove, arrives. From then on, all their personal problems become trivial compared to life under their tyrannical leader. But this is only half the story. Troubled and disturbing pasts interweave leaving a shocking trail of destruction. This is no Ricky Gervais's office! Each character evokes sympathy/annoyance/ Ooft this packed a punch! The story links the routine lives of a team of office workers, each dealing with their own some mundane, some complex lives before a new manager, with a point to prove, arrives. From then on, all their personal problems become trivial compared to life under their tyrannical leader. But this is only half the story. Troubled and disturbing pasts interweave leaving a shocking trail of destruction. This is no Ricky Gervais's office! Each character evokes sympathy/annoyance/heartache and yes even almost hatred in equal measure. Loved this book - my second by this author and most definitely not my last! Anything that leaves me thinking 'oh no' at the end, is a winner!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    Oh this was good! Lots of characters so at first it was tricky to remember who was who but you soon get in to it and suspect them all! I loved the intrigue and twists and the fact that the gory bits where enough but not too much. Will definitely read more by this author. Thanks to netgalley for the copy.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lady Delacour

    Five STARS! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ This book was Outstanding!! Author Tammy Cohen and narrator Avita Jay both have Skills. Together they made this listening experience !!!!!!!!!AWESOME!!!!!!!!! Five STARS! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This book was Outstanding!! Author Tammy Cohen and narrator Avita Jay both have Skills. Together they made this listening experience !!!!!!!!!AWESOME!!!!!!!!!

  30. 5 out of 5

    comfort

    Bloody loved this story and this author. Two seemingly separate stories set in two separate countries. You know they are going to be connected but it takes a goodly part of the novel for this to become apparent. First story is set in an office at a time when changes are coming to the organisation. The once "happy" group of co-workers are suddenly thrown into turmoil when the head of the Dept is sacked and a new go-getter is appointed to shake things up. She is a real bitch, in fact some of the st Bloody loved this story and this author. Two seemingly separate stories set in two separate countries. You know they are going to be connected but it takes a goodly part of the novel for this to become apparent. First story is set in an office at a time when changes are coming to the organisation. The once "happy" group of co-workers are suddenly thrown into turmoil when the head of the Dept is sacked and a new go-getter is appointed to shake things up. She is a real bitch, in fact some of the staff are receiving anonymous emails re-iterating this fact. They become suspicious but do nothing except gossip amongst themselves. Then on a team building weekend some very strange "accidents" take place. The other story takes place approx 20-25 years before when two little children are rescued from an abusive household and we are privy to inner workings of the Social Services system and Psychologists and how these children will be helped. It comes to light that the youngest child, a boy, is kept in a cage in the basement and fed scraps. He is referred to as IT or the Thing by his parents and his sibling, a girl. She is 4 y.o. and he is about 2 y.o. She is the favoured child and is in fact being taught by her parents how to "discipline" her little brother. Something she does with no apparent hesitation, but then she is only 4. Over several sessions we get to hear how the little girl is coping with reality. She is in the care of a foster mother who has two other kids and in these sessions we hear how she interacts with these other kids and with the children at kindy. A few interesting things come to light, but nothing that can't be explained away. As we go back and forward between these stories we get to know more about the private lives of the office workers and the private lives of the psychologists working with the little girl. We know nothing more about the young boy kept in a cage.

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