When She Was Good by Michael Robotham – (Cyrus Haven #2)

EXCERPT: I’ve reached the Maserati, a prestige car, in pristine condition.

Expensive. Loved. Inside is a different story. Blood covers the windows, seats and dashboard. I will dream about this tonight, picturing the bodies of my mother and father and sisters. I will wake with a scream dying on my lips, unsure if the sound has stayed in my head or set the neighbourhood dogs barking again.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Evie Cormac is a girl with no family. She has kept her true identity secret for seven years; silence has guaranteed her safety. Now, forensic psychologist Cyrus Haven is determined to discover who Evie is, and how she came to be hiding in a London house where a man was tortured to death. Powerful people have spent years hunting Evie, the only living witness to their crimes.

Evie’s ability to tell when someone is lying helped Cyrus crack an impenetrable case, but the closer Cyrus gets to uncovering answers about Evie’s dark history, the more he exposes her to danger. Ultimately, both will have to decide if some secrets are better left buried and some monsters should never be named . . .

MY THOUGHTS: WOW! Perhaps not quite as WOW! as Good Girl, Bad Girl, but WOW! all the same.

Once you have seen something, you can never unsee it. And Evie will never unsee Trevor’s tortured body. She lived with it for weeks. But she has seen a lot more than that, and what she has seen means that she lives in fear of being found, in fear of her life. She has matured, in the seven years since she was found, from a feral child with nits in her hair and cigarette burns on her skin into a force of nature. Damaged, brilliant, angry and lonely. She does not trust. She does not love. She has been there – and look where it got her.

Cyrus Haven believes the only way that Evie will ever be free is to discover her past – who she really is and who damaged her. He believed, when he became a forensic psychologist, that he would spend his days studying killers rather than trying to catch them, chasing death like an undertaker, or a blue-bottle fly. Evie, in particular, has changed that. The more he tries to discover about Evie, the more danger he puts himself, and Evie, in. Even he is not convinced that he can save her. No amount of love or tenderness or passing time could possibly erase the horrors of her past, yet she hangs in there, fighting like a demon, a caged lion; spitting, hissing and clawing, but still there.

He has convinced Sacha Hopewell, the young community officer who discovered Evie (then Angel Face), to come back from her self-imposed exile in Cornwall to reconnect with Evie. She, like Evie, is convinced she is being pursued, followed. She is vulnerable, joyless, and has cut herself off from her family to protect both them and herself. She is not totally convinced that any good can come from a reunion with Evie.

Detective Lenny (Lenore) Parvel has been transferred to the East Midlands Special Operations Unit, and she also needs Cyrus’s help to investigate what looks like the suicide of an ex-detective, one who was responsible for the capture and conviction of a notorious paedophile.

Some days, there is just not enough Cyrus to go around …

Suspenseful. Heart-achingly brilliant. Scary in its possibility, no, probability.

I took a little longer to read this than Good Girl, Bad Girl, but only because I had to go to work. I also read a little slower, appreciating the nuances more, taking my time to get to know the characters a little better. Now all I can say is: I hope you are already working hard on Cyrus Haven #3, and when can I have it Mr Robotham?


THE ARMCHAIR TRAVELER: We move around the country a little more in When She Was Gone than we did with Good Girl, Bad Girl.

Nottingham, a city in central England’s Midlands region. It’s known for its role in the Robin Hood legend and for the hilltop Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery, rebuilt many times since the medieval era. In the Lace Market area, once the centre of the world’s lace industry, the Galleries of Justice Museum has crime-related exhibits. Wollaton Hall is an ornate Elizabethan mansion with gardens and a deer park.

Cornwall is on everyone’s lips these days. Those lingering shots of wild moorland, Grecian blue sea and soft pale sand in every episode of the BBC’s Poldark have drawn visitors from around the world. Despite such popularity the county retains its cloak of tradition and sense of isolation. Yet hidden behind the stone walls of farmhouses and fishermen’s cottages are stylish apartments and restaurants where acclaimed chefs serve up the finest seafood.

The largely unspoilt coastline inspires Enid Blyton-style adventures: tripping through fields fringed in wildflowers to a remote beach; digging around in rockpools that are works of marine art, and swimming with seals or learning to surf a wave. Beyond the beach there is plenty to entertain, from wildlife conservation centres and hands-on farm experiences aimed at children to historic sub-tropical gardens, steam railways and working mines, reminders of the county’s rich industrial heritage. A few days of breathing fresh, clean Cornish air, eating fish straight from the sea and sleeping deeply in a clifftop eyrie is the perfect antidote to the stress of city living.

Situated 10km inland on the banks of the River Orwell, Ipswich shares the same coastal lifestyle, maritime history and foodie culture as many of the Suffolk Coast’s most famous towns and villages.

THE AUTHOR: Edgar finalist and Gold Dagger winning author, Michael Robotham was born in Australia in November 1960 and grew up in small country towns that had more dogs than people and more flies than dogs. He escaped in 1979 and became a cadet journalist on an afternoon newspaper in Sydney.

For the next fourteen years he worked for newspapers in Australia, Europe, Africa and America. As a senior feature writer for the UK’s Mail on Sunday he was among the first people to view the letters and diaries of Czar Nicholas II and his wife Empress Alexandra, unearthed in the Moscow State Archives in 1991. He also gained access to Stalin’s Hitler files, which had been missing for nearly fifty years until a cleaner stumbled upon a cardboard box that had been misplaced and misfiled.

In 1993 he quit journalism to become a ghostwriter, collaborating with politicians, pop stars, psychologists, adventurers and showbusiness personalities to write their autobiographies.

Michael writes in what his daughters’ refer to as his ‘cabana of cruelty’ on Sydney’s northern beaches where he slaves away daily to cater to their every expensive whim. Where is the justice?

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Hachette Australia, via NetGalley, for providing a digital ARC of When She Was Good by Michael Robotham for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system, please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page, or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review and others are also published on Amazon, Twitter, Instagram and Goodreads.com

Author: sandysbookaday

I love good quality chocolate. I love the ocean and love to be in, on or beside it. I read any and every where. I am a proud mum and Nana. I like wine, gin, Southern Comfort, a cold Heineken on a hot day. I am very versatile like that. I cross stitch, do jigsaws, garden, and work on a farm. I am an occasional scribbled. I have far too many books I want to read to ever find the time to die. I am an active member of Goodreads as Sandy *the world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* and review on Amazon under the name Sandyj21. My Goodreads reviews are automatically linked to my Facebook page. Groups I belong to and participate in on Goodreads include: The Mystery, Crime and Thriller Group; Mysteries and Crime Thrillers; Psychological Thrillers; Reading for Pleasure; Crime Detective Mystery Thrillers; English Mysteries; Dead Good Crime; Kindle English Mystery, All About Books and NZ Readers. April 2016 I made the Top 1% of Goodreads reviewers (As follows) Hello Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*, In our community of readers, you stand out in a notable way: You're one of the top 1% of reviewers on Goodreads! With every rave and every pan, with every excited GIF and every critical assessment, you've helped the Goodreads community get closer to a very important milestone – the 50 Million Reviews mark!

4 thoughts on “When She Was Good by Michael Robotham – (Cyrus Haven #2)”

  1. You have hooked me on this series Sandy. I just added both of these to my TBR. I tried to use my credit to get the audiobook of the first one, but it says it is not available in my country. I will have to try something else. Wonderful review! 💖📚😀

    Liked by 1 person

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