The Perfect Girl
Paperback: 464 pages
22 Sept. 2016
That difficult second novel doesn’t seem to have been a factor for Gilly MacMillan. The author of last year’s acclaimed Burnt Paper Sky has once again written a tense, dark highly emotive psychological thriller, The Perfect Girl, that is guaranteed to draw comparisons with the very best in the business.
To everyone who knows her now, Zoe Maisey - child genius, musical sensation - is perfect. Yet several years ago Zoe caused the death of three teenagers. She served her time, and now she's free. Her story begins with her giving the performance of her life. By midnight, her mother is dead.
The Perfect Girl is an intricate exploration into the mind of a teenager burdened by brilliance, and a past that she cannot leave behind. An intense psychological dissection of what it is like to be both a young convicted criminal and, also, the effects such events have on the families of all those concerned.
What truly shines in The Perfect Girl, however, are the intricate balances that MacMillian has managed to maintain throughout with regards to her characters. Each one has a different edge which brings something unexpected to the proceedings, yet not one of them ever become fanciful, stereotypical or two-dimensional.
All in all, The Perfect Girl – though getting off to something of a gentle pace – is a tight and beautifully crafted thriller that will have readers wanting to turn away from some of the events as they unfold, yet unable to do so for fear of having to put the book down.