Review & Giveaway: Sweet Damage by Rebecca James

Title: Sweet Damage

Author: Rebecca James

Published: Allen and Unwin April 2013

Read an excerpt

Status: Read from March 27 to 28, 2013 — I own a copy {Courtesy Allen & Unwin}

My Thoughts:

Sweet Damage is the second novel by Rebecca James. Her first, Beautiful Malice, gained international success for it’s chilling story of twisted friendship.

In Sweet Damage, Tim, an easy going, twenty something kitchen hand who has been staying on his ex-girlfriends couch since his return from an overseas trip. When she insists he finds his own space he is thrilled to find an inexpensive room in a large house in the leafy Australian suburb of Fairlight. The only catch is his young, agoraphobic enigmatic housemate, and landlord, Alice, who is not only haunted by unspeakable tragedy, but perhaps something altogether more sinister.

I was immediately drawn to the premise of Sweet Damage, tantalised by the gothic overtones and the promise of a chilling mystery and I was barely a quarter of the way through when the first wave of shivers rolled over me. It wasn’t the last time I felt that tingle of dread, the measured pace allows the suspense to build as the narrative weaves in and out of the past and present, before twisting unexpectedly.

Anna is such an interesting protagonist, and the ambiguity surrounding her character plays beautifully into the suspense. Her agoraphobia, her secretiveness and her difficulty interacting with Tim suggests she has something to hide and as strange things begin to happen in the house, it is understandable that Tim suspects her, especially since she is unable to deny any wrongdoing.

Tim is a little wary of Anna and her odd behaviour but with the arrogance of youth he is not really threatened by the odd occurrences at Fairview. Tim is more concerned with his on again/off again relationship with Lilla, his ex-girlfriend, with whom he admits an obsession. However Anna ignites his protective instinct and he is drawn to her vulnerability which contrasts so vividly with Lilla’s brash personality.

The writing is finely crafted to create an atmospheric and gripping story of psychological suspense. Several suspects move in and out of the frame as the mystery unfolds. As the story reaches it’s climax I thought perhaps Anna and Tim piece things together perhaps a little too quickly but the final confrontation is shocking and not everyone will see it coming.

I devoured Sweet Damage in a few hours, it is an easy yet engrossing read. I think it can be enjoyed by a wide range of ages (16 and up) and recommend it to those who enjoy spine tingling suspense.

Earlier today I posted a Q&A with Rebecca, make sure you take a look!

Sweet Damage is available for purchase

@Allen & Unwin I @BoomerangBooks I @Booktopia I @Amazon Kindle

via Booko


Allen & Unwin is offering my Australian readers the opportunity to win

1 of 3 print editions of Sweet Damage

To enter


Entries close April 21st. Winner is drawn via



30 thoughts on “Review & Giveaway: Sweet Damage by Rebecca James

  1. This is a fairly new genre to me, and I’m currently enjoying one of my first – and this book looks even more suspenseful and an eye opener.


  2. I’ve been waiting for Sweet Damage for what seems forever. And I’m ashamed I haven’t yet had the chance to get myself a copy and read it. I LOVED Beautiful Malice and I’m hoping for great things from Sweet Damage. Your review backs that up greatly!


  3. Love the sound of this book, saw it in the store last week and was already hooked by the blurb on the back and now reading your preview makes me want to read it more… Looking forward to it …


  4. Just started reading Beautiful Malice now. Sweet Damage sounds good too. Great to see Aussie authors succeeding.


  5. Beautiful malice was a enchanting book with twists and turns that make the books so thrilling and there’s a surprise at the end which will make you want more. Sweet Damage opens up similarly to Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier but I would not compare Rebecca to Sweet Damage even thought the story line is kinda similar. Sweet Damage is amazingly written and has you reading every word and makes you addicted; wanting to know more, it can be a drug I guess. But that’s just me I mean in Books were a drug I’d be an addict. but overall Rebecca James write lovely books that are chilling but in good a way, make you think but not too hard, they are addictive and mid blowing and the end result of reading her books is how the hell did Rebecca James think of this story???


I want to know what you think! Your comments are appreciated.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s