Mad by Chloe Esposito
PUBLISHED BY PENGUIN BOOKS
REVIEW BY KRISTY KYI
Mad is Chloe Esposito’s first novel and the first in a trilogy (titled Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know).
The story’s central character is Alvina Knightly who at first seems like a bit of a no-hoper and non-conformist but soon reveals herself to be much more than that.
Alvie knows something is up when her identical twin Elizabeth begs her to come and visit her in Italy where she lives a lavish life with her husband Ambrogio and their son Ernesto. Alvie and Beth have not been close since they were very young, having had a wedge driven between them by their mother’s obvious favouritism of one over the other. But, seeing as Alvie has lost her job and is being kicked out of her sharehouse, she figures she may as well accept Beth’s offer of a free plane ticket.
Initially Alvie is dripping with jealousy at Beth’s life – her drop dead gorgeous husband, luxury villa, fast cars, high end fashion and hired help are so far removed from Alvie’s existence back in London. But before long she realises that Beth’s life is not all it appears to be, and finds herself in the midst of a dangerous world she never knew existed – and she kind of likes it.
Esposito writes with a confidence that belies her status as a first-time novelist. She has created a character compelling in her callousness but with whom the reader can also empathise, which is no easy feat. This novel has it all – drama, romance and mystery. I, for one, can’t wait for the next instalment to see what Alvie gets up to!
Find this novel in store at Planet Books. Ask the friendly staff for guidance too, and they’ll be more than happy to order you in a copy if it’s already sold out.