Please Don’t Leave Me Here by Tania Chandler book review

Please Don't Leave Me Here by Tania Chandler

I’m so proud of my mate Tania Chandler. She has just launched her debut novel, Please Don’t Leave Me Here.

Tania is one of the most disciplined and critical writers I know. I met her two years ago when she was still studying at RMIT. She said to me then that she was on her ninth draft of her manuscript and that she rose at 5am every day to write before the family got up (I know! 5am!) Two years later, and however many drafts later it is in print, and is a wonderfully compelling novel.

Please Don’t Leave Me Here is a psychological thriller that can confidently sit alongside Gone Girl, and Girl on the Train. The protagonist, Brigitte, is a great unreliable narrator. The novel begins with Brigitte in 2008 as a mother and wife. She is married to Sam, a detective who was involved in the investigation of a murder in 1994. There is suggestion of her involvement in the murder, but she claims to have lost her memory. When the cold case of the murder is brought back out, Brigitte is driven to drugs and alcohol, leading to complications in her marriage.

The novel flashes back to 1994, prior to the murder. We meet Brigitte as a 19-year-old stripper who takes a job as a perfume sales person in David Jones to please her new conservative boyfriend.

The whole novel is a brilliant mix of dark grunge and humour. It has a great Melbourne feel. Tania laces the story together so well that as a reader you need to stay alert to keep track of the clues throughout until the very end.

Well done Tania. This is a great novel and you should all go out and buy it and read it.

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