Excerpt from Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Good Me Bad Me

by Ali Land

Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land X
Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Sep 2017, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 9, 2018, 304 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Erin Szczechowski

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

1

Forgive me when I tell you it was me.

It was me that told.

The detective. A kindly man, belly full and round. Disbelief at first. Then, the stained dungarees I pulled from my bag. Tiny.

The teddy bear on the front peppered red with blood. I could have brought more, so many to choose from. She never knew I kept them.

Shifted in his chair, he did. Sat up straight, him and his gut.

His hand—I noticed a slight tremor as it reached for the telephone. Come now, he said. You need to hear this. The silent waiting for his superior to arrive. Bearable for me. Less so for him. A hundred questions beat a drum in his head. Is she telling the truth? Can't be. That many? Dead? Surely not.

I told the story again. And again. Same story. Different faces watched, different ears listened. I told them everything.

Well.

Almost everything.

The video recorder on, a gentle whirring the only noise in the room once I finished my statement.

You might have to go to court, you know that, right? You're the only witness, one of the detectives said. Another asked, Do you think it's safe for us to send her home? If what she's saying is true? The chief inspector in charge replied, We'll have a team assembled in a matter of hours, then turned to me and said, Nothing's going to happen to you. It already has, I wanted to reply.

Everything moved quickly after that, it had to. I was dropped off at the school gates, in an unmarked car, in time for pickup. In time for her to pick me up. She would be waiting with her demands, recently more urgent than usual. Two in the last six months. Two little boys. Gone.

Act normal, they said. Go home. We're coming for her. Tonight.

The slow grind of the clock above my wardrobe. Tick. Tock. Tick. And they did. They came. The middle of the night, the element of surprise in their favor. A nearly imperceptible crunching on the gravel outside. I was downstairs by the time they forced their way through the door.

Shouting. A tall, thin man dressed in plain clothes, unlike the others. A string of commands sliced through the sour air of our living room. You, take upstairs. You, in there. You two take the cellar. You. You. You.

A tidal wave of blue uniforms scattered throughout our house. Guns held in praying hands, flat against their chests. The thrill of the search, along with the terror of the truth, etched in equal measure on their faces.

And then you.

Dragged from your room. A red crease of sleep visible down your cheek, eyes foggy with the adjustment from a state of rest to a state of arrest. You said nothing. Even when your face was mashed into the carpet, your rights read out, their knees and elbows pressed in your back. Your nightie rode high up your thighs. No underwear. The indignity of it all.

You turned your head to the side. Faced me. Your eyes never left mine, I read them with ease. You said nothing to them, yet everything to me. I nodded.

But only when no one was watching.

  • 1

Excerpted from Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land. Copyright © 2017 by Ali Land. Excerpted by permission of Flatiron Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Winter Soldier
    The Winter Soldier
    by Daniel Mason
    Imagine the thousands of confounding cases doctors face routinely for which diagnoses are hard to ...
  • Book Jacket: Brother
    Brother
    by David Chariandy
    Brother is the brief, moving account of how a single, tragic moment in time can alter the course of ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Islamic Enlightenment
    by Christopher de Bellaigue
    In this comprehensive and well-researched history, de Bellaigue examines the evolution of Islamic ...
  • Book Jacket: The Spy of Venice
    The Spy of Venice
    by Benet Brandreth
    Benet Brandreth's delightfully diverting historical thriller brings the Bard to vibrant life. ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott

A crowning achievement of one of the finest American writers at work today.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    French Exit
    by Patrick deWitt

    A brilliant and darkly comic novel from bestselling author Patrick deWitt.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Clockmaker's Daughter

The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton

A rich, spellbinding new novel from the author of The Lake House. On sale Oct 9.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T Turn T S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.