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Dear Amy

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  8,633 ratings  ·  1,044 reviews
Alternate cover edition of ASIN B019DD8CPE

Margot Lewis is the agony aunt for The Cambridge Examiner. Her advice column, Dear Amy, gets all kinds of letters - but none like the one she's just received:

Dear Amy,
I don't know where I am. I've been kidnapped and am being held prisoner by a strange man. I'm afraid he'll kill me.
Please help me soon,
Bethan Avery

Bethan Avery has be
Kindle Edition, 348 pages
Published June 16th 2016 by Penguin
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Helen Callaghan
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Average rating 3.59  · 
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 ·  8,633 ratings  ·  1,044 reviews

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Jun 04, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a psychological thriller that turned out to be a passable read, but failed to hold my interest after a third of the way through. Margot Lewis is the eponymous Amy, an agony aunt for the local paper, with a troubling personal history. She begins to receive letters from a girl who disappeared twenty years ago, Bethan Avery, who has been presumed dead. The letters contain information that would not be known to the public and Margot's interest is ignited. It is a sprawling story but neither ...more
May 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
* Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for my ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review*

Margot Lewis is an agony aunt with her local newspaper, and receives many letters every week, but when she starts receiving them from Bethan Avery, who's been missing for years, she becomes completely absorbed in solving this mystery. Bethan is reaching out to Margot asking her to come find her , and rescue her from the man holding her captive. Could the letters really be from Bethan? It seems plausib
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley, suspense
I was dragging my feet on reading this book, based on some of the low ratings I had seen from my fellow GR friends. This was a NetGalley pick for me, and I can see why I was drawn to it--The publisher's synopsis really peaked my interest. Unfortunately, like most movie trailers these days, the best of what the book is about is told in that synopsis, so the actual read was a big let down. There were no surprises, no side stories to distract, no character that I could root for. (Yes, even poor kid ...more
May 16, 2016 rated it did not like it
As psychological thrillers go, this is at the bottom of the pile.

The twist, if you can call it that, could not have been more obvious, the pacing was slow, and I felt more connection to the person standing behind me in the supermarket queue this morning than I did to these characters.

In any case, thanks to Penguin and Netgalley for this copy in exchange for an honest review.
Missing children, missing childhoods, missing truths.

First Class Psychological Suspense From a Major New Voice in Fiction

Bethan Avery went missing seventeen years ago, but suddenly turned up in letters to an agony columnist. Details of her disappearance which was unknown before, confirmed the validity of her identity, but also baffled the columnist as well as the police. Margot Lewis, a high school teacher was also Dear Amy for The Cambridge Examiner, when one of her students, Katie Brown, v
Feb 07, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started reading this book a little coldly, it didn't seem like it was a great story. But page after page it turned out to be a really well thought out book. It is true that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but this one is really a little humble, and even the sentences on the back cover seem like the usual rhetorical sentences and do not ignite any spark. But the book deserves a lot, because the plot is well thought out and the story gets tangled up for most of the book up to about thre ...more
Tracy Fenton
Feb 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Whilst it was an interesting concept I found it far fetched and unrealistic and implausible throughout. Being an avid reader of psychological thrillers I felt this lacked something to make me connect to any characters. However this is just my opinion and I am sure others will enjoy it.
Judy D Collins
4.5 Stars * Set in Cambridge, Helen Callaghan’s hauntingly atmospheric debut, DEAR AMY- spins an intriguing mysterious tale of a current teenage girl’s abduction, with a twenty-year-old cold case of evil and desperation, and a woman of secrets.

A novel of contrasts. Good and evil. Darkness and Light. In order, to solve a mystery and help the victims, the complex protagonist must return to the underworld, her haunted past with an intense unwavering strength of will.

There is a lot here beyond
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, standalone, thriller
4 Stars

Read full review here: Brina and the Books

First of all I really enjoyed the setting of this novel. Margot Lewis lives and works in Cambridge, England. I have never been there myself but it was nice to get to know the city, especially the campus and the university. Who knew that Cambridge University isn't one big university, but that it consists of 31 independent colleges that form Cambridge University as a whole? I didn't.

Margot Lewis is an interesting character. She is a teacher by day a
Bren fall in love with the sea.
“You have to run with all your might, just to stand still.”
― Helen Callaghan, Dear Amy

I did not love this.

Dear Amy was a book with quite an interesting premise. But I just could not get involved in it. Ultimately what I did was resort to skimming and cheating by reading the ending.

It is a big book..not huge..but long enough and I read a few other reviews which really say what I felt so not alot to add. I did not feel connected to the story either and I did not like the "twists". I felt what this
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was an interesting read! What I liked about this book the most were twists. Particularly, I'd like to underline a twist ending that I did not see coming at all. Characters were well-developed, but not perfect.
I'd recommend it to all thriller fans!
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
This was a cracker of a read. I was sucked into the plot pretty quick and read this fast, eager for more. It’s got a lot going for it!

Full review on way!
A thriller.

This was ok, I enjoyed it and would recommend it if… don’t mind me telling you these are my thoughts…. it’s a bit slow to start with, I didn’t mind that so much as it was building a story.

If you don’t mind a bit unbelievable things that happen that use you to stretch your imagination.

Not sure if I’ll remember it as I lost some enthusiasm the second half.
This begins as an ultra-enjoyable, instantly unputdownable mystery with an idiosyncratic narrator who I found charming. The concept (agony aunt receives letter purporting to be from a girl who disappeared twenty years earlier) is fun, and if the story it's intercut with – harrowing scenes depicting a different girl who's currently being held in captivity, possibly by the same man – is rather more standard stuff, the protagonist's voice makes up for it. Margot simply has so much more personality ...more
May 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley, kindle
My sincere thanks to NetGalley, Helen Callaghan and Penguin UK for providing an advanced review copy of 'Dear Amy' in exchange for an honest review.

I was so hyped up over this book and I was delighted to have been approved to received an arc. However, the reality was very different and I struggled with this book pretty much from the very beginning. I just could not connect with the character of Margot and I found her monologuing quite dull, with my attention often wandering elsewhere. Her chara
Apr 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
"Wise men speak when they have something to say; fools speak when they have to say something." How true is that phrase? I can think of many this applies to...and not just men!!

Dear Amy came up as one of THE books to read this summer - a debut to watch according to Deadgood Books so I knew I wanted to read. So I was made up when the publisher approved my request through Netgalley.

Helen Callaghan definitely has a way with words. The way she described the head nun Mother Cecilia as a "female Ganda
Jun 10, 2016 rated it did not like it
All you need to know beforehand about this book is contained in the product description, to know any more would spoil the read and this is in fact a very hard book to review for that very reason. I have to say that even though I finished it, I didn’t really enjoy it. The main reason was Margot herself. I just could not find myself rooting for her as she is a very hard character to get behind. All the reasons for this are explained in the book, but too late for me to develop any liking for her an ...more
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
#2.5 stars
This gripping story is based around Margot, a Cambridge schoolteacher, who also moonlights as an agony aunt, under the alias “Dear Amy” for a local newspaper. When a haunting letter comes into Margot’s hands as Amy, from a person claiming to be Bethan Avery, it is a shock. This is because Bethan Avery was a young girl who went missing 20 years earlier and has never been found. The letter has the schoolteacher debating as to whether the letter is s
Karen Whittard
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
Thank you to NetGalley, Penguin uk Michael Joseph and Helen Callaghan for the opportunity to read this book for an honest review.

You can find my review on Goodreads and Amazon from today. Goodreads under Karen whittard and Amazon under k.e.whittard.

Ok please forgive the bad score. It isn't beau s it is badly written or anything like that. I actually really liked the writing style. Other people who like physiological thrillers may indeed love this book.

It follows an aging aunt Margot Lewis. Wh
Sara Marsden
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
What started off well for me, ended up in me skimming the last quarter of the book.
It felt so much longer than it actually was.
The premise was good, the twist fairly easy to guess, characters made me feel nothing and Martin and Margot's relationship felt just out of place.
Good idea but needed more excitement and work.
Charmaine Saliba
Well I just loved it. It is a psychological thriller, and kept me on edge, couldn't see the twist comes. It was one of those books that I wanted to finish it but didn't want to finish it lol (I know, I am weird)
Margot, is a classic teacher at St Hilda, and as a part time job writes a column in a local newspaper. It is called Dear Amy, an advise column. One day, when she was checking the letters, was surprised to notice that there was one with a childish handwriting, when she opened it she was s
All of my reviews can be found on

I loved the idea behind Dear Amy, a girl that’s been missing for almost twenty years suddenly resurfaces? I’m all over that premise, and while there were aspects that I liked, overall I wasn’t as impressed as I would’ve hoped to be by this one.

Margot Lewis writes an advice column for the newspaper, Dear Amy. Most of the letters are run of the mill, then she begins receiving correspondence from Bethan Avery who was last seen seventeen years ag
Feb 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Dear Amy has been on my radar for a while and when I had the chance to review I was over the moon. I am such a lover of psychological thrillers and love discovering new authors in this genre so this book sounded right up my street. Dear Amy arrived in an amazing package with brown string tied around the book and two letters from the book which made me incredibly impatient to start reading!

When Margot, an agony aunt in a local paper, receives letters to her ‘Dear Amy’ post box from someone claim
Jul 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Oh I LOVED this! It is a dark missing child story, that is clever and a little bit different!

Margot is a teacher, with a part time hobby as an agony aunt ‘Dear Amy’ for a newspaper. One day, she gets a mysterious letter from a Bethan Avery asking for help. The only thing is the girl went missing in the 1990s and no one has heard of her since. Margot is convinced that the letter is genuine. Local teenager Katie Brown goes missing, in the present day. We follow Margot, as she searches for answers
Dale Harcombe
two and a half stars.
Margot Lewis is a teacher at St Hilda's. Under the guise of Dear Amy she is also an agony aunt for the Cambridge Examiner and is the process of divorce from her husband of a few years, Eddy. When she receives a letter asking for her help in a kidnapping, Margot is perplexed. The letter is from Bethan Avery and she has been missing, believed dead though no body was found, for nearly twenty years. Is someone playing a cruel hoax? Or is it for real? Also at present one of the y
Feb 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was entertaining reading . I have been in a reading void just lately , which I put down to various things like the great demands of my cat. I just can't find anything I fancy, and if I'm honest I picked this because it was cheap at a time of mid month poverty.
So, it's a bit gruesome but thankfully sparing on the gory details. I liked the start more than the end but isn't that so often the way of things .
Dec 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
3.5 stars
I read A LOT of psychological thrillers - it's not just because I want the author to surprise me but because I'm interested in psychology and how people respond to trauma and extremes.
The nature/nurture concept is a constant point of interest for me.
I liked this because it combined everything I like in one story - we got a bit of everyone which worked well. A story doesn't have to be what it seems at the start.
Liz Barnsley
Dear Amy was not really for me.

First of all I should be clear this is not because its badly written - it is not. In fact I liked the style and the pace and Helen Callaghan is obviously talented- people who like psychological thrillers may well love this but I had several issues with the plot and becoming engaged with it.

The story concerns Margot, a teacher , whose alter ego "Dear Amy" is the agony aunt for a local newspaper. When she starts receiving letters from a girl claiming to be a kidnap v
This is a psychological thriller with young girls disappearing then clues being sent in letters to an agony aunt…

Margot Lewis is a secondary (high) school teacher who also writes the agony column, Dear Amy… , for the local newspaper. She regularly has letters asking for advice, but has never had one like this before. This one claims to have been written by someone who has been kidnapped and wants rescuing. It turns out that the signature on the letter is of someone that was kidnapped but initial
Apr 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
After reading the description for this novel, I knew it was one I had to read.

Dear Amy started off really promising and I was well and truly gripped. Young girls disappearing and then all of a sudden letters turning up from a girl that everyone has given up hope of every finding alive, it certainly had me intrigued.

I wanted to know as much as Margot why this girl would years after going missing start suddenly writing to her column in the newspaper.

After the initial start of investigating, this i
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My name is Helen Callaghan and I write fiction whenever I am left unsupervised. I live in Cambridge amongst teetering piles of books.

My debut novel, Dear Amy (2016), and my other novels, Everything is Lies (2018) and Night Falls, Still Missing (2020), are published by Michael Joseph and available now.

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