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352 pages, Hardcover
First published May 18, 2021
“‘So that was all it took,’ I thought. ‘That was all it took for me to feel like I had all the power in the world. One morning, one moment, one yellow-haired boy. It wasn’t so much after all.’ “Undoubtedly, we’re looking at a psychopath, and with the apparent lack of compassion, Nancy Tucker does a fantastic job of crafting the personality of Chrissie with her intelligent manipulative traits. She takes steps to remain close to the action, daring and unperturbed, discussing the murder with adults, the parents of the child, and police while concealing that she is the killer. Chrissie is a fascinating character, with her friends, at school, with adults and shockingly with her parents. Some minor level of empathy is possible when you consider the disdain her mother has always shown her and the physical state she characterises with lack of food, clothing and cleanliness. The interactions between the children were genuine, and the subtle ways Chrissie demonstrated her callous manipulative behaviour was superb.
‘Bet you can’t see me, bet you can’t find me, bet you can’t catch me.’
‘Your mam was the one who was supposed to fill you up when you felt empty, but she had never done that for me. She had given me dregs and scrapings of warmth.’
‘The bunk was twice as long as me, because the cells weren’t meant for kids. If you were younger than ten you didn’t usually go to the cell or have a trial, because whatever bad thing you had done, you were just a kid and it wasn’t your fault. I was only eight, but I still got a cell and a trial. Some things were so bad they stopped you being a kid.’