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Bad Little Girl

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  4,482 ratings  ·  276 reviews
‘I’m not safe – you have to help me…’

Little Lorna Bell is from a notorious family on a rundown estate. Everyone thinks she’s a nasty piece of work. The schoolchildren call her a thief. But Lorna’s hair is matted, her shoes pinch her feet and school teacher Claire Penny can’t help herself; some kids just need a bit more support, a bit more love, than the rest.

As the bond be
Kindle Edition, 325 pages
Published February 22nd 2017 by Bookouture (first published February 20th 2017)
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3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,482 ratings  ·  276 reviews

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Jan 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Frances Vick, and Bookouture for providing me with a copy of this book, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

In her follow-up novel, Frances Vick tackles some of the most troublesome areas of a well-organized society, the protection of the child. In her years as a teacher, Claire Penny has seen many children pass through the halls of her school. Some good experiences mix alongside those that are less than enlightening, but whe
Linda Strong
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Lorna Bell is 8 years old. Kids that age don't notice the dirty clothes, shoes that don't quite fit, uncombed hair and the bruises. But they do know a thief when they see one. Not everyone likes Lorna at all.

Claire Penny is a teacher. She's a truly good-hearted person who takes an interest in Lorna. Her feeling is that some kids need more loving and attention than others.

Lorna thrives on the attention ... she loves Miss Penny....wants to be with her all the time. She tells Miss Penny ... I'm not
Feb 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, mystery

Not horrible, not great either. Predictable and at times pretty far fetched story line that took a LONGGGGG time to get to the heart of the plot.

The last 50 pages were the best for me, and while the ending seemed a bit rushed in comparison to the slow lead in, it was still satisfactory.

Not much to say about the actual plot, as the title sums it up perfectly!

ARC provided by NetGalley
BAD LITTLE GIRL by Frances Vick is a psychological thriller dealing with the protection of a child. The title tells you everything. This is a dark story and one where I never knew which characters to trust…but I didn’t like any of them.

"I’m not safe – you have to help me…"

“Little Lorna Bell is from a notorious family on a rundown estate. Everyone thinks she’s a nasty piece of work. The schoolchildren call her a thief. But Lorna’s hair is matted, her shoes pinch her feet and school teacher Clai
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
Absolutely riveting. I loved this! Well! This was an unexpected treasure. I knew a few pages in I'd be reading this book every waking moment I had. It had that special something.

Oh the plot! Holy moly. I love a twist and turn storyline with elements of light and shade. This book excels at that. Take one very caring (somewhat over-involved) teacher who has concerns about one of her students from a local housing estate. The girl is ostracised by here peers, has shoes that don't fit, seems neglecte
Adrian Dooley
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
Oh dear. Where to begin with this one. I wanted to like it. I really did.

Lorna Bell is an unpopular child at school. Belonging to a notorious family, she doesn't fit in.
One of the teachers Claire Penny notices Lorna more and more being isolated. Claire believes every child should be nurtured and shown love and can't help but find herself coming to Lorna's aid on more than one occasion until they eventually build up a relationship.
Claire begins to notice Lorna appearing with bruises at school
Lynda Kelly
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: deleted
I got bored by this and packed it in at 17%. One day I read 4% and the next 3% so it's clear it wasn't as gripping as it promised to be.
There were a lot of teaching terms that were used or teaching organisations mentioned that she seemed to think we all knew but didn't, and it was irritating having to look them up. (SENCO for example). I've no idea what a statement is with regard to children, either. Or what all of a piece means.
She was at a loss, it seems to me, as to how you utilise a comma, a
Bill Kupersmith
Mar 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Caregivers are familiar with the triangle that represents the actors in an abusive relationship: the victim, the abuser, & the rescuer. What makes this figure intriguing and an excellent basis for a fictional plot is that the roles are interchangeable. All three can swap places with each other, & often the reader has to wait till the very end to find just who is which. Here we have Claire, a lonely middle-aged schoolteacher who becomes obsessed with ten y/o Lorna, obviously quite bright ...more
Louise Wilson
Feb 11, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Little Lorna Bell lives on a run down estate with her notorious family. Nobody likes her. The school children call her a thief. Claire penny is a teacher whose kind hearted, takes an interest in Lorna. Claire thinks some children need a little more attention than others, and Lorna thrives on it. Then Lorna meets Marianne Cairns. There is something unsettling about Marianne.

I felt my skin crawl a few times reading this book. To me there was an underlying creepiness throughout. A bit sl
Sam (Clues and Reviews)
Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Bad Little Girl, the newest Bookouture suspense by Frances Vick, was unputdownable. I don’t often agree with books that align themselves with Gone Girl and Girl on the Train, but for this book, I’d have to make an exception. From the unreliable characters to the fast-paced plot, this one had my eyes glued to the pages. Bad Little Girl was undeniably addicting.

From the first pages, I felt a connection to the protagonist, Claire. Vick does an amazing job at making her extremely relatable. As a te
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
All of my reviews can be found on

This wasn’t a typical psychological thriller (I mean that as a compliment) it went much deeper and darker than most psychological thrillers that I’ve read before. It had a calmer sense of intensity that may have even unsettled me more than a super fast paced read.

This is a book that I would describe as slow burning, the first half is setting the stage for what’s ahead and Vick spends a lot of time developing the characters of Lorna and Claire
Dec 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
After reading the description for this book I knew I had to read it.

Claire is a teacher who really cares about her pupils. She actually seems to be the only one that does to be fair. I think in todays society people would still rather turn a blind eye to what is in front of them than get involved. She isn’t married and doesn’t have any children of her own and to be honest I felt quite sorry for her.

Lorna is quite a complex child. She seems to be in trouble quite often and is a bit of a loner. Sh
Renita D'Silva
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Thrilling. Tense. Beautifully written. This book was a page turner from start to finish. Really liked Claire and absolutely got where she was coming from. What makes this book immensely scary is how terrifyingly real it is. Brilliant book. Fabulous author. Looking forward to reading more of her books.
Kim Ebner
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
All my reviews can be found at:

I have slightly mixed feelings about this one. I felt that the plot had a lot of potential but failed to deliver fully. The book is on the long side and I felt that it dragged at times. The first half seemed overly descriptive, going into detail about Claire's home life, her teaching and her relationship with her mother, none of which really contributed to the story in any meaningful way. From there the story jumps forward by a year and s
Rachel Gilbey
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars

Due to the nature of this book, I spent a fair amount of time during the first half of the story utterly annoyed as to what I was reading. I was trying to work out just what was being conveyed could ever happen, and having done safeguarding children workshops, I was shocked at some of Claire's dialogue and behaviour.

Unless I am mis-remembering what I've learnt in the past, about how to handle potential disclosures and child protection issues, there is a fair amount of what Claire said
Dec 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
*Received a copy from Netgalley*

There's an overall feeling of creepiness and darkness to this story. I never knew which characters to trust and, honestly, didn't really like any of them. Thank goodness you don't have to like the characters to enjoy the book. The story starts off slowly and then moves at a good pace.
Claire- devoted, caring teacher or... crazy.
Lorna- sweet, loving, abused child or... monster.
Marianne- helpful stranger or... crazy.
These are the main characters and while my opinion
With thanks to Netgalley and Bookoutre for this ARC in exchange for an open and honest review.

Claire Penny loves her job as a teacher, and is proud to be the teacher that the children remember even as adults. Five year old Lorna Bell is from a poor family, she is neglected and comes into school wearing a scruffy school uniform. One day Lorna steals something from a classmate, when the other children find out, Lorna is devastated when she ostracized further. Claire calls Nikki, Lorna's mum who sl
Λίνα Θωμάρεη
So yeah... I finished...

Bad little girl was a psychological thriller about a little girl (Lorna) and a teacher of her school (Claire).

It was a book where the limits of sympathy and help are complicated by the way of empathy and wrong conclusions.

It was a strong story and sometimes I wanted to scream from the crueliness and the craziness of the characters.

The teacher clearly had issues of her own... She was weak and miserable with low selfesteem .... so and Marriane but they were as guilty as Lor
Joanne Robertson
Feb 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Ooooo I love a book that tests the nature vs nurture theory. Anyone who has read my reviews and knows my taste in psychological thrillers will  appreciate that it’s a HUGE fascination for me, debating whether or not evil is born within some people or whether their circumstances and upbringing mould the adult we eventually become. Just don’t ask which I believe in the most as I still unfortunately don’t have all the answers! But having had twins who have been brought up the same way living in the ...more
Another good British thriller! Very good narration. I like how the reader is totally aware of what's going on but the main character is totally in the dark. You want to jump in the book and tell her to RUN!!!! 4 stars.
Angie Dokos
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
No major twists or surprises in my opinion, but it was still a great story. I find it hard to believe a teacher would allow herself to be manipulated like that, but I still enjoyed the story. It’s dark and you hate to think about any child being capable of such things, but the author sucks you in and has you on the edge of your seat.
Judy Collins
BAD LITTLE GIRL by Frances Vick is a twisty suspense of lies and manipulation, with a cast of unreliable characters.

Loran Bell was such a happy little girl with a wide smile. She was just a normal, sweet little girl- friendly, open confident.

Claire Penny is a teacher. She cared about her students. She noticed things. She was loved. When she sees the way Lorna is treated, she wants to come to her rescue. She could see Loran was shorter and thinner than most of her friends, and at first, she had
Paul Cresswell
Feb 21, 2017 rated it liked it

Didnt do it for me Im afraid, Its not a bad book but its not a great book either. I found it very slow going, predictable and far fetched, Im not one to let that bother me normally but some of the decisions made by the characters really irritated me. The story took so long to get going that once it did I had lost any feelings, Good or bad that I may have had for the characters or storyline.

Im not really sure why we had so much of the life of Claire Penny and her mother at the beginning of the bo
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
You have to read it to believe it. Really, this was my first book of 2017 and I am so glad I read it. This is one of those stories that will make you doubt everything you think you know. You never know who to believe or what is going to happen next, and you can feel something for each of the characters.

This book took me by surprise, completely. I like mysteries, but it is rare that I find one that is impossible to figure out. This book deals with many different themes, including loneliness, abu
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Bad Little Girl is a brilliantly crafted read with well-written characters, page-turning plot and some interesting issues raised. The characters were captivating, if not always likeable but always real.

I found myself awake in the middle of the night trying to work out how it would all end. A book I will not forget in a hurry, I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for future releases from Frances Vick.
Feb 06, 2017 rated it liked it
I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Netgalley and Bookouture.

Everyone, even her parents, says Lorna Bell is a bad little girl. But when a child tells you someone is abusing her, you have to believe her, no matter what. Because a little girl would never lie about something so terrible. Would she?

Bad Little Girl is a dark psychological thriller that will leave you feeling horrified at how truly evil someone can be, and how far they are willing to go in order to get what they
Dec 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ng
Full review to come but I would highly recommended this novel it as a main character that nearly everyone can relate to and I was so in grossed in the plot I missed my train truly amazing book can't recommend enough did not see that twist coming awesome
Shell Baker
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh My Days.....What a Book!

Frances Vik took me right back to my school days with this story, Where we first meet Claire and Lorna. There is always that one really nice teacher isn't there? In this story it is Claire Penny teacher of Lorna Bell. Claire notices that Lorna needs new school shoes and her hair is matted. Then things get worse when she notices Lorna's bruises and to tries to uncover the story behind them. while their friendship grows Claire protects Lorna by keeping her out of arms w
Feb 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Claire is obviously a soft touch, which we learn via her mother, headmaster and family friend. She's well meaning though Vick briefly sneaks in some information about Claire's own childhood which allows readers to see exactly why she's so sympathetic to children she believes to be at risk.

I suspect Claire was the last to realise what everyone else did in this case... even we readers and it's a bit frustrating after the point it becomes obvious. Having said that though, Claire's in denial and se
Sarah Joint
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a crazy book this is! I read it in a single day and lamented when I had to put it down. I probably would have read it in one sitting if I could have. It really sucks you in and doesn't let go, especially the second half. It's a little slow at first but that definitely doesn't last.

Lorna Bell sticks out, at least to the adults. At first the other children at school are too young to notice what makes her different. The bad family reputation, matted hair, stained clothes, too small shoes. Whe
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The only child of parents who worked at a top security psychiatric hospital, Frances Vick grew up receiving disquieting notes and presents from the inmates. Expelled from school, she spent the next few years on the dole, augmenting her income by providing security and crewing for gigs, and being a medical experiment guinea pig. Later jobs included working in a theatre in Manhattan, teaching Englis ...more
“A moment of violent release, of drunken rage, and something beautiful is debased, the darkness advances.” 0 likes
“I always felt that if I did the right thing, that if I was always polite and kind, well, then I’d be rewarded. In some way. But, it never happened. I just, people just, expected me to always be like that. It becomes your role, doesn’t it? And so you’re never really valued.’ Marianne’s” 0 likes
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