Title: It Should Have Been Me
Author: Susan Wilkins
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
She thought she knew everything about her sister. It seems she was wrong . . .
DC Jo Boden was eleven years old when her older sister, Sarah, was brutally murdered during her first year at University. Her boyfriend, Nathan Wade, was convicted of the killing.
Now, sixteen years later, Wade is being released on licence and documentary film-maker, Briony Rowe, says she can prove his innocence.
The Boden family has never recovered from the tragedy, and they have always been certain that Wade is guilty. But Jo, who grew up believing her sister was perfect in every way, starts to question the evidence which put Wade behind bars. And perhaps Sarah harboured some very dark secrets of her own…
I really enjoyed this well-written novel, featuring a likable main character DC Jo Boden whose sister Sarah was murdered 16 years ago. Her family is approached to make a documentary about the impending release of Nathan Wade, who has been in prison for her murder, as a filmmaker believes he was wrongly convicted.
What follows is a twisting tale that covers multiple narratives alongside the investigation into Sarah’s death all those years ago, and I really liked the various elements – Jo is seconded into a different department at work where she goes undercover, and that was a really interesting part of the plot to read about, as is her relationship with her team at work and with her mum and dad. I also loved reading about the process leading up to getting the documentary filmed – I am a huge fan of TV series such as Making A Murderer and The Staircase, and these topics for TV shows/ documentaries are so topical at the moment.
The plot moved at just the right pace, without feeling rushed or too slow, and the characters – although certainly not all likeable – were quite convincing in that they didn’t all end up fitting too neatly into ‘good’ or ‘bad’ categories.
There were some elements of the plot towards the end which I wished had been different, but I felt that the writing in this novel is brilliant and, as someone who hasn’t read anything by Susan Wilkins before, it certainly left me wanting to read more (I was also hoping that this might be the start of a new series, as I really liked DC Jo, but I don’t think this is the case…)