Review: When She Was Good by Michael Robotham


Title: When She Was Good {Cyrus Haven #2}

Author: Michael Robotham

Published: July 28th 2020, Hachette Australia

Status: Read August 2020 courtesy Hachette Australia


My Thoughts:

When She Was Good is the second intriguing thriller to feature forensic psychologist Cyrus Haven by bestselling author Michael Robotham.

When Cyrus consults on a retired detective’s suspicious death and learns of a possible connection between the murdered man’s activities and the mysterious past of a girl once known as ‘Angel Face’ and now called Evie, he ignores her plea to leave it alone, and begins an investigation of his own. Evie knows if Cyrus learns the truth of what she endured before she was found hiding in a cardboard box within the walls of a house as a half-starved twelve-year-old, neither he, nor she, will be safe from the men determined to ensure her secrets remain buried.

While Evie Cormac is introduced in Good Girl, Bad Girl, it is in When She was Good that we learn her real identity, and the horrifying secrets of her tragic past. Robotham leads us into a disturbing conspiracy among a vile subsection of society’s elite that exploits young children, one Evie was only able to escape when a driver took pity on her. His brutal murder led to Evie being found by a young special Constable, Sacha Hopewell, and eventually remanded to a secure children’s facility. Now seventeen, Evie has never trusted anyone with the truth of her experience but when Cyrus begins to investigate, he unwittingly exposes Evie to the man who held her captive and is willing to kill anyone to protect himself.

Robotham develops the tension well as Cyrus grows closer to discovering the truth. It quickly becomes clear that the ruthless leader of the paedophile ring has developed an extensive network he can manipulate to insulate himself, which even includes members of the police force. There are several action packed, heart stopping scenes as Cyrus and Evie are targeted by a contract killer.

The complex relationship dynamic, which blurs the line between the professional and personal, between Evie and Cyrus is unusual, but works well. I liked Cyrus, though given both his past and his profession, I thought him somewhat naive about the realities of facing off against a rich and powerful adversary. Evie may have limited experience with the world, but even she knows that men like her torturer are rarely held to account. Evie is cynical, brash and defensive, and I both pitied and admired her. I’d have liked to learn more about her gift for identifying lies, and think Robotham missed an opportunity there. I’ll be interested to see what role Evie plays in this series going forward, especially as there are elements of her life still unexplained.

Fast paced and absorbing, with a satisfying conclusion, When She Was Good is an entertaining thriller sure to appeal to crime fiction readers.


Available from Hachette Australia

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository I HiveUK I Indiebound

Also by Michael Robotham reviewed at Book’d Out



10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Susan
    Aug 12, 2020 @ 19:45:39

    I’ve heard this author is a great thriller writer … though I still need to read him. I’m glad you liked his new book. Have you read all of his? Interesting that it’s a series now.

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Tammy
    Aug 12, 2020 @ 22:33:19

    I’ve never read this author but now I’m tempted. This sounds like a really good series😁

    Liked by 1 person


  3. Jennifer
    Aug 13, 2020 @ 11:27:09

    A great review, and I completely agree with you.

    Liked by 1 person


  4. Verushka, an editor (@SydneyEditor1)
    Aug 13, 2020 @ 19:44:39

    This sounds amazing — do you think I could start with this one? Or is it best to go back to book 1?

    Liked by 1 person


  5. sherry fundin (@sherryfundin)
    Aug 14, 2020 @ 00:13:28

    very nice review and i love this kind of book
    sherry @ fundinmental

    Liked by 1 person


  6. kaysreadinglife
    Aug 14, 2020 @ 03:59:49

    I’ve read several of Robotham’s Joe books and loved them. I’ve been meaning to try the book prior to this one and now that there is a second book, I’ll be looking for them. Thanks for sharing about them!

    Liked by 1 person


  7. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out
  8. carhicks
    Aug 24, 2020 @ 01:58:16

    I have had Good Girl, Bad Girl on my kindle for awhile now and after reading this review, I think it is time I read it, then move on to this one. Wonderful review.

    Liked by 1 person


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