I now have two sugar daddies (SD) and I’ve learned loads in the past fortnight.
This is the first sentence from chapter 24 from “The Arrangement” by Miranda Rijks
Abi had a secret life. That’s why she had to die.
Grace is living through every mother’s worst nightmare. Her student daughter Abi went away on a dream vacation – and was murdered.
Overwhelmed by grief, and fighting off old demons which have resurfaced, Grace tries to make sense of it – who would want to kill her beautiful girl?
But as she learns more about Abi’s life, she realises she didn’t know her own daughter very well. How did Abi acquire all those designer clothes? And what was she doing on those mysterious trips to the city?
Grace desperately needs to find answers. But soon it becomes clear that someone doesn’t want her digging into Abi’s secret past. Someone who knows how to use Grace’s own weaknesses against her, sending her on a journey to the darkest hell…
My thoughts so far:
This is a classic example of making a character’s life a living hell. Rijks throws everything but the kitchen sink at poor Grace to the point I’m yelling at my Kindle, “Oh come ON.” But here’s the thing, I can SEE every horrible thing happening to Grace actually happen to a terribly unlucky person in real life. This character can NOT catch a break.
The story opens with Abi, on holiday in South Africa, excited to meet a mysterious person. Only, she’s being followed and her mysterious person changes the location from a cafe to a deserted beach. Obviously, the person following her is the person she hopes to meet up with. The chapter ends with that mysterious person stabbing, and killing, Abi.
Grace is a divorced mom of two. Abi is her oldest daughter. She’s a hair stylist just trying to make ends meet. She’s also a struggling alcoholic. When she finds out Abi has died and her local police really can’t help her since her daughter died on foreign soil she gets lost in her grief and obsessed with trying to find out why Abi was killed. She stumbles into a few secrets and Grace is left wondering if she really knew anything at all about her daughter.
To top it off, the more she discovers, the more someone doesn’t want her to find out the truth. And because she started drinking again, her friends and the authorities think what is happening to her is a figment of her alcoholic brain and don’t believe her. I won’t spoil it for anyone who wants to read it, but suffice it to say, Rijks really makes Grace suffer. I’m currently at the lowest of the low for Grace and I’m wondering how she is going to pull herself out of this.
I also have a pretty good idea who the killer is.
I’m about 69% done. It’s a pretty good read, if not a bit frustrating, but I admire the way Rijks tortures Grace.