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Rachel Reviews: Eye For An Eye By M.J. Arlidge

Controversy forms the basis of this thriller which questions our moral responsibility to young people who offend: rehabilitate or write off?

By Rachel DeemingPublished 2 months ago 2 min read
Rachel Reviews: Eye For An Eye By M.J. Arlidge
Photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash

This is not a book for the faint of heart as it deals with the controversial subject of what we should do with child offenders. Should we release them back into the community under assumed aliases to protect them from retribution or should we deliver our own form of justice on them, when the legal system seemingly fails the victims in allowing their killers to rebuild their lives?

The book's plot revolves around finding the person who is leaking the details of offenders' new identities, those who have been released into the community. The book starts explosively with one of the offenders being hunted down by masked men and so, the tone is set for the rest of the book.

Told in the third person, the main character who we follow is Olivia, a veteran of the probation service who is dealing with problems in her personal life as well as the busy and daily demands of her job, but is determined to keep everything on track. She is responsible for Jack, newly released and finding the transition from sheltered institution to wider world a real challenge. We get an insight into what is allowed and not allowed for the probationer and Arlidge does well to garner sympathy for people who have committed reprehensible crimes.

There are other offenders too, like Emily and Andrew, as well as other probation officers, like Isaac. There is also the police investigation and the politics and so, there are many threads to this book, which all combine to make one tight narrative. Respect to M.J. Arlidge for being able to accomplish this without it becoming confusing.

At times, this was a hard read and I am sure that that was the author's intention. He shows the hurt of families but also the sometimes valiant attempts of the offenders to make their life anew. He shows the dangers of retributive violence but details the crimes inflicted on the victims without censure. He shows, essentially, that it is, to put it tritely but rightly, a thorny issue and one that cannot easily be tackled.

He shows what it is to be human in all its dire forms, both as victim and offender.

If you like to be challenged by fiction and have your thoughts as well as your views provoked, then this well-paced thriller with good dialogue is the book for you.

If not, keep well clear.

Rachel Rating: 4/5 stars

This review was first published on Reedsy Discovery:

Thanks for stopping by! If you do read the book, please do leave a comment as I love to interact with my readers. If you do read the book, please do come back and let me know what you thought of it. I love discussing books!


About the Creator

Rachel Deeming

Mum, blogger, crafter, reviewer, writer, traveller: I love to write and I am not limited by form. Here, you will find stories, articles, opinion pieces, poems, all of which reflect me: who I am, what I love, what I feel, how I view things.

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Comments (4)

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  • Cathy holmes2 months ago

    That sounds fascinating. I would read that, even though it would like upset me. Great review.

  • Does it also go into their prison experiences? Word is that sex offenders, particularly those involving children, do not fare well. And are any like the Texas pair who were charged & supposedly have to bear the brand of sexual offenders & remain on the registry for having had sex with each other while underage? (I never heard whether or not their status was ever changed or whether or not they were convicted.)

  • Andrew Pretzel2 months ago

    Honest review. like that

  • Test2 months ago

    Rachel's review is awesome and the book looks very interesting Thank you very much for sharing this... You are a blessing to this platform God bless you.....

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