“Teddy Crutcher won Teacher of the Year at the prestigious Belmont Academy. Everyone thinks he’s brilliant.
Only you know the truth.
They all smile when he tells us his wife couldn’t be more proud.
But no-one has seen her in a while.
They’re impressed when he doesn’t let anything distract him – even the tragic death of a school parent.
Even when the whispers start, saying it was murder.
You’re sure Teddy is hiding something about what happened that day.
You’re sure you can prove it.
But you didn’t stop to think that when it comes to catching a killer, there’s no place more dangerous than just one step behind . . .”
Hello and welcome to damppebbles. Today I am delighted to be joining the For Your Own Good blog tour and sharing my review. For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing was published by Michael Joseph Books in hardcover, audio and digital formats on 19th August 2021 with the paperback to follow next year. I chose to read and review a free ARC of For Your Own Good but that has in no way influenced my review. My grateful thanks to Kallie at Michael Joseph Books for sending me a finished copy.
Oh. My. Word! I read Downing’s debut, My Lovely Wife, back in 2019 and really enjoyed it. At the time, I made a note to read more of this author’s work as it was published but due to life, the universe and everything my plans didn’t quite come to fruition. However, based on my experience of For Your Own Good I will be making this author’s books a high priority purchase in future. I loved this dark and thrilling novel!
Teacher, Teddy Crutcher, is proud to be part of the prestigious Belmont Academy family. His students are very important to him and he will do everything he can to teach them accordingly, including a few ‘life lessons’ which aren’t on the syllabus. He feels it’s his duty to mould his students into intelligent, personable young adults and he’s prepared to work hard to make that happen. Being Teacher of the Year comes with many responsibilities after all. When one of the parents dies suddenly at a school event, all eyes turn to Belmont. Whispers of murder echo throughout the school halls and the arrival of the police only confirm the faculty’s worse suspicions….
Oh Teddy, how dark and twisted can one character be!? I think the answer to that is ‘very’ and I loved every darn second of it! There was something about For Your Own Good which immediately captured my full attention. I believe it was the hold Teddy immediately has over the reader. You can tell something isn’t ‘quite’ right here but it’s only a teeny tiny glimpse into what is to come! When the reader first meets Teddy he’s meeting with one of his student’s parents. Teddy controls and manipulates the meeting with such a deft hand that I immediately wanted more. I powered through this book, savouring every twist and turn as the author laid Teddy’s story before me. I was smitten – with the style of writing, with the setting and the plot, but most of all with the fully formed characters and the darkness within.
Teddy isn’t the only star of the show in For Your Own Good. He’s surrounded by a strong supporting cast who all add to the story. Zack Ward, the put-upon high achiever who Crutcher has it in for. Sonia Benjamin, who rightly feels she should have been Teacher of the Year and is highly suspicious of Mr Crutcher for that and other reasons. Fallon Knight, whose academic career was floored after Teddy decided to be truthful in his recommendation and whose life will never reach the heady heights she expected it to. I loved every single one of them but in different ways. Absolutely flipping marvellous!
Would I recommend this book? I would, yes. Without a doubt. I LOVED For Your Own Good and if I’m honest, I may have fallen a little in love with Teddy. Which I’m sure doesn’t paint me in the best light but hey ho! I adored spending time with Downing’s characters, I could happily have read another 500 pages of Teddy’s nefarious goings on (and it’s not a short book at 400 pages for the hardcover!). For Your Own Good was a dark and devious joy to read and I can see it featuring on my top books of the year list in December. Totally absorbing, exactly the type of book I love to lose myself in. I will be shouting about this one for a long time to come. Highly recommended.
I chose to read and review a free ARC of For Your Own Good. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.
For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing was published in the UK by Michael Joseph Books on 19th August 2021 and is available in hardcover, audio and digital formats with the paperback to follow next year (please note, the following links are affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.uk | Waterstones | Foyles | Book Depository | bookshop.org | Goodreads | damppebbles bookshop.org shop |
Samantha Downing is the author of the bestselling My Lovely Wife, nominated for Edgar, ITW, Macavity, and CWA awards. Amazon Studios and Nicole Kidman’s Blossom Films have partnered to produce a feature film based on the novel. Her second book, He Started It, was released in 2020 and became an instant international bestseller.
For Your Own Good was released on July 20, 2021. It has been optioned by Robert Downey Jr. and Greg Berlanti for HBO Max.