**You Had It Coming was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Random Things Tours and Viper Books for having me on the tour.**
WOULD YOU SAVE THE MAN
WHO DESTROYED YOUR LIFE?
When paramedic Megan Lowe is called to the scene of an attempted murder, all she can do is try to save the victim. But as the man is lifted onto a stretcher, she realises she knows him. She despises him. Why should she save his life when he destroyed hers?
Jess Foster is on her way home when she receives a text from Megan. Once best friends, the two women haven’t been close for years, not since the night when they were just the teenage girls whom no one believed; whose reputations were ruined. All Jess can think is, you had it coming.
Now Megan and Jess are at the centre of a murder investigation. But what secrets are they hiding? Can they trust one another? And who really is the victim?
A disturbing twist of fate finds once close friends, Jess and Megan, back at the forefront of police investigations for the murder of William Newson, the defense lawyer who got all charges against the girl’s rapists dropped several years prior to his death.
It’s a dark, twisted, and deeply unsettling read that has your heartbreaking for the girls and their families when the horror of their stories begins to unfold. Their lives were destroyed by taking the case to court. They deserved justice that they never received for the crime we can only assume was committed against them. Carroll has written the girls narratives in such a way that it’s clear something went horribly wrong on the night they were allegedly raped by Thomas Malouf, and his friend Dylan O’Shea, but it’s never proven that they were sexually assaulted. It’s never proven that they were drugged at the party, they only have their memories pointing towards that being the case.
Jess’s family is well-off, which is in stark contrast to her former friend Megan’s family, whose lives were truly torn apart after what happened to her which resulted in financial ruin. Megan’s mother, Roslyn, has never fully moved on from what happened to her. She blames Jess for the death of her beloved husband due to cancer which she’s convinced was caused by the stress from the court case and the demise of his business. At that point, I felt so awful for Roslyn to think of the pain she must’ve experienced from her sexually assaulted, to her husband suffering as horribly as he had. It would be enough to drive anyway crazy. At the same time, I also felt awful for Jess because really, none of what happened to the girls was her fault, Roslyn just needed someone to direct her pain and anger towards. You Had It Coming really highlights the horrendous impact rape cases have on the victim’s families, especially when the verdict is not guilty.
On top of that, it tore apart the lives of one of the supposed rapists, Dylan O’Shea. Whilst that normally wouldn’t be a cause for concern, it becomes clear that much more happened on that night than anyone first realised. Thomas Malouf was a predator and knew his family would protect him no matter what he did. That toxic reality of his family never believing he could be in the wrong was what gave him the power to do what he did to those girls. There is no forgiveness for that, and he never showed any remorse for his actions making him highly dangerous. It’s a sad, but somewhat realistic tale of what happens in actual rape cases. After reading several in the news myself over the years, it’s typical for cases to be dropped on lack of evidence or the male defendant having more influence over the proceedings. I found myself boiling with rage and hatred for Thomas’s character the more we learned about him. But truthfully, I also hated William Newson’s character as well. His claim that everyone deserved a defense in court just sat so wrongly with me. I couldn’t comprehend how he could defend the indefensible.
The main detective on the case, Bridget, was a fantastic character. Her initial objective stance on the case was slowly being chipped away when she realised how easily this situation could happen to her own daughter. I find it’s that human response to a tragedy that some detectives in psych thrillers seem to miss the mark on, but Bridget didn’t. She really stood out to me as someone who genuinely cared about the outcome of the case, not just for her own benefit but to get some sense of closure for the girls and their families. It was easy to understand her inner turmoil about doing her job by the book vs the actual human cost of what these men had done to these girls. It was interesting to read as she tried to balance the two situations.
It’s not difficult to understand why the families involved in the cases would seek revenge for what they’d been through. No one could blame them for it, not even the detectives on the case – no matter how objective they tried to be. The twist was fantastic and I really felt it added that last bit of ‘oomph’ to the story. This Australian-based psychological thriller can easily keep you on your toes. I really enjoyed it and rate it 4/5 stars.