Annie’s Revenge

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Annie's Revenge

Last Free on: 13th Feb 17
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...Overall, it has a lot of promise but lacks polish. her later works may be far stronger and might be a better place to start. ...

The first thing I thought when I saw this was “Life and Loves of a She-Devil” but having read it the final half is far closer to “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle.” This could be a really good revenge story but it does have issues, and several of them are close to “book against wall”. I’ll name a few of the early ones to avoid later spoilers. Despite the exceptions being “threat to life, abortion and rape” Annie, the victim of violent rape, never considers abortion. Her attackers punched her in the stomach to induce miscarriage when she’s seven months pregnant, to stop anyone testing DNA and identifying them, but no one tested the dead foetus’ DNA to identify the father/attacker?

Annie is an interesting lead. She definitely grows and changes in the ten year jump between part one and part two, as do her attackers. She’s understandably driven, cunning, and capable of thinking on the fly. The problem is that towards the end it becomes impossible to sympathise with her. I can’t go into details without spoiling the story, but she murders innocents because they are inconvenient. The plot, at least initially, is tight and her name and face change are well explained, as is the reason why they don’t recognise her. Towards the end it goes off the rails a bit, becoming over-complex. Trevor Cain is one hell of a deus ex machina, and could have done with being woven in earlier.

There is definitely mature content in this book. Both attacks on Annie, and some of her revenge methods, are extremely graphically described. I’m sorry but her second revenge method, at least for me, is beyond conscience. No matter how badly she was treated, what she did puts her on a level with them. I’d actually have more respect for her if she’d dowsed him in petrol and struck a match. You don’t torture a rabid dog. You shoot it.

I think this book also suffers because it is targeted at an American audience and it is telling that it has far better Amazon reviews from the US than UK. A British reader is left wondering where forensics are, why the foetus wasn’t tissue-typed and DNA matched, and why the police weren’t taking the school apart and combing the woods with dogs for traces of the culprits, regardless of what Annie claims happened when she eventually woke up. In the UK an attack like that would make the national news, which is why suspension of disbelief snaps.

Overall, it has a lot of promise but lacks polish. I wasn’t surprised to read in the Author’s Note that this was an early work before she had really found her voice and topics. Her later works may be far stronger and might be a better place to start.*

(*Having realised which author this is, I can fully recommend her later works The Crier’s Club or The Day Bob Greeley Died which are a much better example of how good this author can be.)

Rating: 2
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rz3300 (20 August 2016)
Well I have to say that the title certainly grabs my attention. Usually whenever you have the element of revenge in there, it makes for a morose and chilling tale. I hope I can maybe use it as a tool, though, like some of the others if like you say it needs a little polish. I will see if it might spring some sort of inspiration. Thanks for sharing.

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