Out Of Her Depth by Lizzy Barber – Review – First Monday Crime.

About The Book

There are summers that could change your life.
There are summers that could end it.

Meet Rachel.
An unassuming young woman from a quiet London suburb.

Picture the scene:
A summer job at the beautiful Villa Medici in the Tuscan hills.
A group of glamorous teenagers, used to a life of privilege.
Lavish parties, heady sun-soaked days, backstabbing and bedhopping.

Until someone goes too far.
And nothing will ever be the same.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. It should have been the perfect working holiday for Rachel. Working in a hotel for the holiday season in Florence so she could perfect her Italian in preparation for university. However the ‘friends’ she made, Diana and Sebastian ruined it, still causing suffering over twenty years later. Admittedly Sebastian suffered more but it was difficult to have any sympathy for him. He was a character I detested immediately, I thought I’d misread him at one point, and then realised he was much worse than I initially thought. 

It was evident from the beginning that Rachel didn’t stand a chance against the other two. Privileged, selfish bullies doesn’t even begin to describe them. The only one who could see the real ‘friendship’ was Elio, only a minor character, and apart from poor Valentina, the only one I had any liking for. 

I really tried to have sympathy for Rachel but in a lot of ways she was too much like the others. She was just as manipulative, especially in the modern day parts of the novel. A certain scene made me cringe as I read it, and was the one which really made me see what she could be capable of.

A slightly different crime novel for me. No detectives or investigation. Just the victim and those responsible. 

Lizzy Barber will be appearing at First Monday Crime alongside Gytha Lodge, Anna Mazzola and Simone Buchholz. You can follow on Facebook at 7.30pm on May 9th.

My Name is Anna by Lizzy Barber – Review.


About The Book

ANNA has been taught that virtue is the path to God. But on her eighteenth birthday she defies her Mamma’s rules and visits Florida’s biggest theme park.

She has never been allowed to go – so why, when she arrives, does everything seem so familiar? And is there a connection to the mysterious letter she receives on the same day?

ROSIE has grown up in the shadow of the missing sister she barely remembers, her family fractured by years of searching without leads.Now, on the fifteenth anniversary of her sister’s disappearance, the media circus resumes in full flow, and Rosie vows to uncover the truth.

But will she find the answer before it tears her family apart?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. My Name is Anna is a book that I have been looking forward to reading for weeks. I wasn’t disappointed. It was one of those novels that I knew from the first few pages that I would like.

It is a dual narrative novel. Rosie is a teenager who lives in London. If you disregard that her older sister was abducted when she was a baby she would have a fairly normal life. Never knowing the answers to what happened to Emily has impacted on all of their lives.

And then there is Anna. A few years older, she lives in Florida and her life is ruled by religion and cleanliness. She loves Mamma but also fears her. Understandably, Mamma is one of those characters who you sit in awe at. Just wondering what punishment or rule she would inflict on Anna next.

You are aware of a mystery surrounding Anna fairly early on in the novel. But there is more to this novel than I expected. It is only in the latter stages where you get to know who Mamma is and what happened to her. And it was the moment that I started to feel differently about her. It was also when I started to enjoy Anna’s tale a lot more. Until this point I preferred to read about Rosie.

I found this a great novel that I believe would make a brilliant movie. Lizzy Barber is an author I would happily read again.