“You’d do anything for the one that got away . . . wouldn’t you?
When Billy Orr returns home to spend time with his dying sister, he bumps into his ex-girlfriend Aimi, the love of his life. He might not have seen her in eleven years, but Billy’s never forgotten her. He’d do anything for her then, and he’d do anything for her now.
When Aimi tells him that she wants to escape her abusive husband, Billy agrees to help her fake her own death. But is she still the Aimi that Billy remembers from all those years ago?
Once Aimi disappears, Billy has to face the possibility that perhaps she had different reasons for disappearing – reasons that might be more dangerous than she’s led him to believe . . .
Sometimes trusting the one you love is the wrong thing to do.”
G.J. Minett’s books have been on my radar for a while now. I’ve had Anything For Her‘s predecessor on my TBR since last Summer and it’s been giving me ‘the look’. You know about ‘the look’, right? The one that makes you want to forget about any other reading commitments you *may* have and just get stuck into another, taking you totally off-piste! So I was delighted to see G.J. Minett’s name on the list for the May (..pril) First Monday Crime panel. Finally, I would get to read one of this author’s books!
And I enjoyed it. It’s a twisty slow burn of a tale which made me reach for my Sherlock Holmesesque deerstalker and try to figure out what was going on with Minett’s secretive cast of characters. I failed, by the way – I couldn’t see ‘whodunit’ in Anything For Her.
Billy is an interesting character. We get to see snippets into his early teenage years; the loving relationship he had with his terminally ill mother, the relationship he believed he had with his father. What I really liked about Billy was the air of something being a little ‘off’ which he carries. The reader knows early on that something isn’t quite right with Billy and that feeling built into a wonderful sense of unease for me. Saying that having finished the book last night, I’m afraid I’m still none the wiser with regards to the true dynamics of Billy’s relationship with his father. And that not knowing is gnawing away at me a little.
Billy and Aimi are an item. In the throws of young, teenage love which Billy firmly believes is going to stand the test of time. Fast forward eleven years and Billy is shocked to bump into Aimi in his sister’s local supermarket. Billy, on a mercy mission having recently discovered his sister has a terminal illness, is both thrilled and surprised to be reunited with his one true love, despite her now being married to someone else. As is Aimi, but for different reasons. During a stroll along Camber Sands, Aimi confesses how bad her marriage is and shows Billy the bruises as proof. What comes next is a devious plan to deceive her husband and his influential family, and escape to a new life overseas. Once Aimi’s vanishing act has taken place with the help of the ever devoted Billy, he slowly becomes aware that the Aimi he met in Tesco and the Aimi from eleven years ago are now very different people…
There’s something really quite dark about both Billy and Aimi which appealed to my need for monstrous, manipulative characters in my books. That was particularly the case with Billy, I never really felt I had a grasp on what he was fully capable of. That doesn’t mean I necessarily liked him though. Of all the characters in Anything For Her, the only one I felt any sympathy for or warmth towards was Billy’s sister, Mia. Her acceptance of her condition and her pragmatic approach to dealing with the uncertainty of when things will end for her was really quite moving at times.
Would I recommend this book? I would. The plot gradually works its way up to a surprising reveal but it’s the final act, that ending…which did it for me. This book couldn’t have finished any other way, in my opinion. A perfect finale. If you’re looking for a well written, character-driven psychological thriller to submerse yourself in, then you may just have found it! I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up another book by G.J. Minett.
Four stars out of five.
G.J. Minnet will be appearing at the Mayril (it’s May’s First Monday panel but because of the Bank Holiday here in the UK it’s happening in April instead!) First Monday Crime on Monday 30th April 2018. Graham (G.J.) will be appearing alongside Robert Goddard, Simone Buchholz, Cathi Unsworth and moderator Joe Haddow. The event is FREE of charge and will be held at 6.30pm on Monday 30th April at City University, College Building, A130. Click HERE to book your FREE ticket or hop over to the First Monday Crime website for more information.
Anything For Her by G.J. Minett was published in the UK by Bonnier Zaffre on 22nd March 2018 and is available in paperback, eBook and audio formats (please note, the following links are affiliate links): | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Book Depository | Goodreads |
Graham was born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire and lived there for 18 years before studying for a degree in Modern and Medieval Languages at Churchill College, Cambridge.
He taught for several years, first in Cheltenham and then in West Sussex before opting to go part-time and start an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Chichester. Completing the course in 2008, he gained a distinction for the dissertation under the guidance of novelist, Alison MacLeod and almost immediately won the Segora Short Story Competition with ‘On the Way Out’.
Other awards soon followed, most notably his success in the 2010 Chapter One novel competition with what would eventually become the opening pages of his debut novel. He was signed up by Peter Buckman of the Ampersand Agency, who managed to secure a two-book deal with twenty7, the digital-first adult fiction imprint of Bonnier Publishing.
“The Hidden Legacy” was published as an eBook in November 2015 and the paperback version was published in August 2016. The second book in the deal, entitled “Lie in Wait”, was published as an eBook in August 2016 and the paperback version in March 2017.
Graham lives with his wife and children in West Sussex but retains close links with the rest of his family in Cheltenham.
Author image and bio © http://www.grahamminett.com/