Book Review: Bloody Women by Helen Fitzgerald

Bloody Women by Helen FitzgeraldI got this book from, a Dutch magazine, because of Valentine’s Day (this was the Dutch translation, Ex). I hadn’t heard of this author, but the book sounded interesting.

And it was. The story developed way beyond what I expected.

Bloody Women: What it was about

When Cat Marsden officially identifies the detached intimate body part of her former boyfriend, she smiles because of the strange situation. She thinks that may be the reason that she is arrested a few days later, although the fact that all her previous boyfriends are found dead in the course of a week, may also have played a role.

Cat was about to get married to handsome Italian Joe and move from Edinburgh to the small town in Italy where he and his family live. As she’s nervous and unsure about the wedding, her mother suggests she meets up with her (four) former boyfriends to make amends (as these relationships were never properly ended).

She meets one boyfriend a day over the time of a week (only number four does not show up), but in all cases does not remember how she got home afterwards. She also doesn’t remember killing the men.

In prison, she is visited by a journalist who will write her “story”. Janet seems sympathetic but turns out to be writing a book full of lies to support her own belief that Cat is guilty. Reading in the book about her past and about the possible way the murders were committed, she realises something that changes everything.

Bloody Women: What I thought

It was a fast and easy read that only took me a few hours. But the story was interesting, and seemed quite unique to me. There were sudden twists in the story that made me look at the characters and what may have happened with a totally new viewpoint. I really liked that.

Only, the sudden twists were a little too sudden, I thought. A bit more build-up would have worked better for me. Even so, they were believable and fitted well in the story.

Cat wasn’t a woman I could identify with but I really wanted to know what had happened between her and her three ex-boyfriends. Did she really kill them?

I had to adjust my ideas about what kind of person Cat was several times, and this happened to me also for some of the other characters. The new information would make me believe it more likely that Cat had committed the murders, or sometimes less likely. I didn’t feel manipulated as a reader. I did feel I got to know Cat better and better. While I never really liked her, she did become a person I knew and cared about.

It did take me a little while to get into the book, mainly because I had no love for Cat whatsoever, at first. The only thing that kept me reading was the mystery of the murders. Later on, this changed. The writing wasn’t particularly good or bad. A fast read that I would recommend as a holiday book or for a quiet afternoon at home.

I got this book: as an e-book, free from, a Dutch magazine

I read this in: Dutch, the original language is English

Number of pages: 197 (Ebook)

First published: 2009

Genre: contemporary fiction, mystery

About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

5 Responses to Book Review: Bloody Women by Helen Fitzgerald

  1. Cindy says:

    You have me curious as to Cat, I want to find out if she was guilty.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Well, indeed, Cindy. I was convinced at first that Cat was not guilty, then I found out more about her past and realised she could very well be guilty, then later it turned out to be that it could also be someone else. But then Cat, maybe she did it after all? Etc. I quite liked that.

  2. Dorte H says:

    I reviewed her debut in 2009 and enjoyed it a lot. Some reviewers have complained that a couple of her plots are a bit silly, though.

    Happy Easter!

  3. Nadine Nys says:

    I want to know if Cat did it… It sounds a fun read.

  4. Pingback: New Arrivals! « Leeswammes' Blog

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