Wednesday 1 December 2021

You Need Me by Sharon Bairden #YouNeedMe @sbairden @RedDogTweets #BookReview


‘Your secret didn’t die with me.’

The mysterious note tucked inside the pages of a recently returned book leaves librarian, Morag McLaughlin, chilled to the bone. She knows it was meant for her.

Someone out there knows her darkest secrets and they could destroy everything.

Torn apart from her own family, she will stop at nothing to create a perfect new one.

Why are they all so ungrateful? She’s only looking after them...

Isn’t she?

You Need Me by Sharon Bairden was published on 11 October 2021 by Red Dog Press. I bought my signed hardback copy directly from the publisher. 

I read and adored Sharon Bairden's debut novel; The Sins of the Father back in November 2020, I had high hopes for her second book and have not been disappointed in the least. 

Bairden doesn't write uplifting, jolly stories, her characters are not people who will fill the reader with joy. This is really dark, almost overwhelmingly so in places, but once again, this clever author has got right into the hearts of her characters. 
These are people who have struggled their way through their early years, who have been let down and abused, yet have made it to adult hood. As adults, they are damaged, dangerous to themselves and to others and a couple of them seem beyond repair. 

At first, Morag the librarian feels a little different to the others. She lives in a better part of Glasgow, with her own front garden and no needles laying around. She has a steady job in the local library and runs a club for the vulnerable. Morag is a good egg ..... isn't she?

Appearances can be deceiving and it's not that long before the author cleverly begins to peel away Morag's layers. She reveals a woman who is tortured by her memories and who, in turn, feels that life is very unfair. She just wants to help other people, but Morag's idea of help may differ from the norm. 

You Need Me is a dark, often disturbing and brutal story, filled with a cast of characters who wouldn't look out of place as extras in the latest Trainspotting film. However, it is so well crafted, with such authority and realism, and becomes so gripping at time despite the darkness. 

At its heart, You Need Me is a study in humanity and how people can cause so much pain to others. Often it is those closest to them who suffer the most; the ones that they've given birth to, or have chosen to spend their lives with. The horrors that some of these characters have endured can almost absolve them of their own terrible wrongdoings .... but not quite. 

This is a dark and violent crime thriller with a huge dollop of psychological noir mixed into it. It's shocking but incredibly difficult to put down. Another highly recommended read from me. 

By day Sharon Bairden manages in a small local independent advocacy service and has a passion for human rights; by night she has a passion for all things criminal. She blogs over at Chapterinmylife and is delighted to be crossing over to the other side of the fence to become a writer.

Sharon's debut novel, Sins of the Father, was published in November 2020 and is published by Red Dog Press

You Need Me, was released on October 12th 2021, also published by Red Dog Press

Sharon lives on the outskirts of Glasgow, has two grown up children, a grandson, a Golden Labrador and a cat. She spends most of her spare time doing all things bookish, from reading to attending as many book festivals and launches as she can. She has been known to step out of her comfort zone on the odd occasion and has walked over burning coals and broken glass – but not at the same time!

Twitter @sbairden

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