2021 Reviews · contemporary fiction · crime · mystery · suspense · thriller

Book Review: When She Was Good by Michael Robotham

Title: When She Was Good

Author: Michael Robotham

Published: July 28th 2020

Publisher: Hachette Australia

Pages: 352

Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Crime, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

RRP: $32.99

Rating: 4 stars

He thinks the truth will set her free. She knows it will kill them. The massive Number One bestseller from the author of heart-stopping psychological thrillers THE SECRETS SHE KEEPS and THE OTHER WIFE. She has secrets.
Six years ago, Evie Cormac was found hiding in a secret room in the aftermath of a brutal murder. But nobody has ever discovered her real name or where she came from, because everybody who tries ends up dead.

He needs answers.

Forensic psychologist Cyrus Haven believes the truth will set Evie free. Ignoring her warnings, he begins to dig into her past, only to disturb a hornet’s nest of corrupt and powerful people, who have been waiting to find Evie – the final witness they have been searching for. Unbeknownst to him, Cyrus is leading them straight to Evie. The truth will not set her free. It will get them killed.

From Australia’s foremost crime writer, Michael Robotham
, this is the second explosive novel featuring gifted criminal psychologist Cyrus Haven following the Edgar- and Gold Dagger-award nominated GOOD GIRL, BAD GIRL.


‘I understand why you’ve kept quiet, Evie,’ he says. ‘To protect people. To protect yourself. I know you have tried to forget some things, or to block them out.’

Forensic psychologist Cyrus Haven returns for a thrilling second helping of crime, secrets, puzzles and twists in When She Was Good. Michael Robotham’s latest sees this astute criminal psychologist investigate more hidden truths, dark secrets and stories of murder. Full of issues of power, corruption lies and extortion, When She Was Good is a volatile read for all fans of crime fiction.

Evie Cormac is a troubled soul, with a plenty of skeletons in her closet. Evie’s direct involvement in a tragic crime has left a lasting impact on this tortured young woman. Since this shocking crime, Evie has tried to safeguard her existence as best she can by taking a different name and hiding from those who want her dead. One man who is determined to help Evie is forensic psychiatrist Cyrus Haven. Certain that he will get to the bottom of the truth concerning Evie’s past and identity, Cyrus is now the chief target of corrupt officials who want to silence his attempts to emancipate Evie. These powerful figures are relentless in their pursuit of Evie and they will not be satisfied until they can silence their key witness for good. Evie knows she must hide the truth for as long as she can, or she will face certain death along with her ally, Cyrus Haven.

Michael Robotham remains on the top of my list of must-read crime authors. I know when I am in the mood for a solid thriller read, Robotham is one author I can turn to in order to satisfy my crime fiction craving. Thankfully when my hunger for a quality crime novel arose, I was able to turn to the latest release from Robotham, which was sitting on my review shelf. I am yet to read the first book featuring Cyrus Haven, but I thoroughly appreciated this release.

When She Was Good is dripping in atmosphere. I felt surrounded by a thick air of tension and urgency as soon as I read the first chapter of Robotham’s novel. Robotham sets his scene well, immersing his audience in a rich feeling of expectation, possible revelations, danger, action and intrigue. The tempo remained at a consistent beat for the duration of When She Was Good and this book did not suffer from any dips or lags in the narrative. With plenty of activity and intriguing deeds that crop at unexpected moments, When She Was Good will implore you to break your normal bed time ritual to flick page after page until the finale!

Robotham uses this second outing with lead Cyrus Haven to continue to build on his back story. I was more than intrigued by this forensic psychologist’s personal life and his job, it definitely made for a fascinating read. Robotham manages to inhabit his male lead and his complex female core protagonist with ease. I was completely gripped by the tragic life events of both these figures. I also enjoyed the interplay that occurred between this doctor and his charge. It was a slightly strange relationship, but it was still very intriguing. The secondary cast work to support the primary characters and this strong attention to character dynamics aids Robotham’s book to be a highly absorbing read.

With themes of family, tragedy, crime, corruption, power, authority, identity, protection, trust and evil deeds defining When She Was Good, this book effortlessly holds one’s attention from cover to cover. 

When She Was Good by Michael Robotham is published by Hachette Australia on July 28th 2020. $32.99.


*Thanks is extended to Hachette Australia for providing a free copy of this book for review purposes.

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