With Malice – Eileen Cook


3 star


With Malice is the fiction equivalent  of the Amanda Knox case. A girl goes to Italy and is accused of murder. 

With Malice is an interesting account of memory loss, murder, guilt, confusion, and the heightened emotions within teenagers. The majority of the novel is told from Jill’s perspective as she tries to remember what happened in Italy and what happened to her best friend, Simone. The rest of the novel is interviews, news station transcripts, and social media postings/comments. 

What I enjoyed most about this novel was its ability to make me feel as if I’m witnessing the media frenzy this case conjured in real life. I felt swept up in the rumors and speculations being thrown. The only complaint I have is that the media/interview chapters weren’t integrated enough with Jill’s chapters. 

What I also didn’t like was Jill’s lack of agency and her passiveness. Throughout the entire novel she allows everyone to make decisions on her behalf. I understand that she’s not able to make important decisions at the beginning of novel, however as time passes she should slowly regain her agency. It isn’t until the last few pages of the novel that she makes a conscious decision and follows through. 

The best thing of about this book is that it kept me reading until the last page. The pace was consistent and didn’t feel slow at any moment. 

Overall, With Malice was an interesting read that kept me reading until the last page. It offers an interesting perspective on recovery from traumatic events with the added twist of a murder mystery.

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