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Good Reads Review: When You Are Mine by Michael Robotham

*REVIEW ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON THE BOOKTOPIAN: June 30th. Book provided by Hachette Australia*

Coming into this book as very much a Robotham newbie, I was incredibly excited to see what the fuss was about regarding the crime phenomenon that is Michael Robotham. Judging from this new standalone effort, When You Are Mine, this is the first of many more of his books I’ll be reading.

This new thriller follows Philomena ‘Phil’ McCarthy, a promising police officer in the London Metropolitan Police Force who is called to a domestic incident. Unknown to her, the male perpetrator is a renowned police detective, and as she struggles with the impact her actions have on her position in the Force, she also strives to help protect the victim, a woman named Tempe Brown. As they begin to strike up a friendship however, it turns out that Tempe has secrets of her own: ones that she is willing to kill for.

What is striking about When You Are Mine is the ominous feeling of dread that hangs over the proceedings, and Robotham’s effortlessly engaging writing style makes this a real page turner, even if the page turning is done by an increasingly unsettled reader!

While there have been many crime novels that follow the theme of crossing and double-crossing, what really sells this book is how three dimensional all of the characters are. At the centre of this is Philomena, who herself has a chequered past that she is desperately trying to step out of the shadows of. Her desire to lay down the law and ‘put the bad guy away’ is something you really latch onto as you head further down the rabbit hole of this story, and the friendship she strikes with Tempe Brown makes for a white-knuckled finish. Tempe herself is a fascinating character, but as she begins to intertwine herself more into Phil’s life, she turns from someone you sympathise with to someone you are genuinely afraid of.

It is clear with this book that Robotham has a lot to say, not just about the world of law enforcement and justice, but the struggles that women in these domestic situations face too. The fact that he has a knack for writing this style so well means these themes really hit home in the book’s climax … but this is something for the reader to discover.

When You Are Mine sees Robotham in top form: this is a book filled with dread and jaw-dropping moments. It is an absolute must for any lover of crime fiction, and is a book that certifies him as one of Australia’s crime fiction legends!


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