When She Was Bad

Title: When She Was Bad

Author: Tammy Cohen

Genres: Contemporary | Mystery | Psychological Thriller

Length: 384 pages | 4127 Locations

Source: Netgalley

Format: Mobi

Rating: 4.9/5


A horrific crime is committed.
A group of co-workers get a new boss and struggle to keep their relationships the same.
How are these two stories connected?


When She Was Bad was an amazingly refreshing read. Actually, just what I needed, in a time when I feel I keep reading the same things over and over again.
Not only are the characters far more mature than I am used to reading about, but the entire story was told is a very special manner and it developed stunningly.

The book opens with a crime shrouded in mystery, where the only thing you know is that someone was murdered and our narrator knew the killer.
Then other voices are introduced, but the narrative is always told in third person in their cases, which took a bit of getting used to but once more I found refreshing and that it added a whole new dimension to the story.

The ARC needs to be reviewed, there are quite a few errors. Also, some things here and there could be tweaked. For instance, I recall reading After all, the last time Mark had summoned them together like this out of the blue was to tell them that Gill was leaving and Rachel was taking over. They did not know Rachel was taking over until well after Gill was let out. I finished the book with the feeling there might be other examples like this but I could not find any so maybe it’s just me.

However, on the whole, the story had me gripped. I had serious trouble putting the book down. Most chapters ended with a cliffhanger which was difficult for me, particularly Anne’s, the narrator who has a connection to the person who murdered someone. It usually drives me crazy in a bad way, but this time I was able to put that ‘gimme the full story already!!’ feeling on hold because I just kept wanting to know what came next, even with the office people. They were all very interesting as well, and so I also really wanted to know how things would progress with them. Watching them devolve was jaw-dropping at times, to the point where I finally wanted to know what was up with each of them and as a team just as much as I wanted to know who the killer was and all the secrets Anne was so slowly revealing.

The mystery and suspense were a constant in this book and I was never, ever bored, which I personally could not have anticipated since I figured that a book where office politics clearly played a major part would be a let down. However, every character had his or her very specific voice, their own worries, and suffered with the extremely difficult choices they had to make at work and personal lives, which made me feel for them. At the same time, I really wanted to know what was going on and as certain mysteries were unfolded I finally began to release some pressure, while still wanting to know more.

When the final revelations were made, I was dumbstruck. Never in a million years could I have seen those main two twists coming. The author weaved this story in such a perfect way. She kept certain things just ambiguous enough to lead the reader in a certain direction while not completely misguiding him or her. So when I was finished I was like… Wait… But I read that… Oh. No, I didn’t. Those small things made all the difference and I could not help but think wow, Tammy Cohen is a genius.

Even though there were a few things that could be polished, the fact is When She Was Bad is a masterfully written contemporary psychologic thriller to whose characters I could relate and which story clasped my attention from beginning to end. There was simply not one thing I recall disliking enough to make me think any less of the book. I was simply swept away.
The chilling epilogue was the perfect conclusion and I cannot recommend it enough.

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read from Sep 24th to Sep 26th, 2016

GR Review