Remarkable Debut: Review of Not Bad People by Brandy Scott

Remarkable Debut: Review of Not Bad People by Brandy Scott

Most of us are not bad people – sometimes we just do bad things…

Lou, Aimee, and Melinda like to believe they are inherently good people. Best friends since childhood, they share a close bond, despite their differences – Lou, a fiery single mother struggling to rein in her troubled teenage daughter; Aimee, with her picture-perfect life, husband, children, and winery to boot; and Melinda, a successful single businesswoman who has just escaped the Big Smoke and moved back to small-town Hensley where they all first met.

On New Year’s Eve, the three friends choose to celebrate by visiting a small town in the rich wine country outside of Sydney. Revelling in the end of year celebrations and wanting to commemorate the year to come, they decide to let off Chinese lanterns filled with resolutions to find meaning, to gain freedom, to earn more money. It is of course illegal to use these flickering lanterns, and, in the back of their minds, the three women know this. After the glowing bags float away and are out of sight, they spot a bright flare in the distance – perhaps a sign of luck? Or, much worse – the start of a nightmare that will destroy the women’s friendships, families, and careers.

Aimee can’t seem to shake the feeling that the flare was something bad, some terrible accident that they caused with their reckless behaviour. Surely, on the news the very next day, there is a report of a small plane accident with two victims – one a young boy – pulled from the fiery wreckage. Are they to blame, or is just a terrible, horrifying coincidence? Aimee is certain they are guilty, Melinda is in denial, and Lou is too overwhelmed by the other problems in her life to even consider what could have happened. It’s a sure-fire recipe for obsession, blackmail, shame, and guilt, and suddenly, like the flaming plane, the foundations of their friendship come crashing down…

Not Bad People is a remarkable debut by radio presenter and journalist, Brandy Scott. Alternating between the voices of the three women, Scott paints a compelling picture not only of the struggles of womanhood and motherhood, but the nuances of friendship, the complex layers and history of our relationships. The concept of the book is fresh and unique, with the accident acting as a catalyst for each women’s self-reflection – suddenly, they must face the truth about themselves, the things they have hidden for so many years, not just from themselves but also from each other.

This tension is of course heightened by the small-town setting of the novel, where resentments and tensions have been left to fester for years, and no secret can every truly be kept.

Fans of Liane Moriarty will enjoy Scott’s effortless talent for creating real-life characters. If you’re looking for a tense read that will have you gripped from start to finish, look no further – Not Bad People is next on your list.

About the author:

Brandy Scott is a radio presenter based in Dubai. Her 20-year journalism career has seen her work across radio, newspapers and magazines in several countries. Not Bad People is her first novel.

Purchase a copy of Not Bad People here 

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                      Synopsis

                      Three friends, thirty years of shared secrets, one impulsive gesture .. and a terrible accident. When friendship goes bad, someone has to pay. For fans of Liane Moriarty and Robyn Harding.It's New Year's Eve. Three thirty-something women - Aimee, Melinda and Lou - best friends for decades, let off sky lanterns filled with resolutions: for meaning, for freedom, for money. As the glowing paper bags float away, there's a bright flare in the distance. It could be a sign of luck - or the start of a complete nightmare that will upend their friendships, families and careers.The day after their ceremony, the newspapers report a small plane crash - two victims pulled from the wreckage, one a young boy. Were they responsible? Aimee thinks they are, Melinda won't accept it, and Lou has problems of her own. It's a toxic recipe for guilt trips, shame, obsession, blackmail and power games.They're not bad people. But desperate times call for desperate measures.
                      Brandy Scott
                      About the author

                      Brandy Scott

                      Brandy Scott is a radio presenter based in Dubai. Her 20-year journalism career has seen her work across radio, newspapers and magazines in several countries. Not Bad People is her first novel.

                      Books by Brandy Scott

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                      1. Neall Stewart says:

                        A great read. Got into the story quickly, and it has believable characters. Their attempts to control the way people think about them reflects life. It’s human and describes well it’s how we deal with the reality that defines us. The author has written a strong, believable narrative which uses the premise as a kick-start to a deeply enjoyable book.