Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Girl Below Blog Tour - Review

Happy Wednesday!

Welcome to my stop at The Girl Below Blog Tour by Bianca Zander! The tour is organized by:

Author: Bianca Zander
Title: The Girl Below
Release date: 19th of June 2012
Published by: HarperCollins
Imprint: William Morrow Paperbacks
Reading level: FICTION – Adult: Mystery
Pages: 352 pages in paperback
Source: Received from TLC Book Tours for reviewing for the blog tour


Suki Piper is a stranger in her hometown. . . .

After ten years in New Zealand, Suki returns to London, to a city that won't let her in. However, a chance visit with Peggy—an old family friend who still lives in the building where she grew up—convinces Suki that there is a way to reconnect with the life she left behind a decade earlier. But the more involved she becomes with Peggy's dysfunctional family, including Peggy's wayward sixteen-year-old grandson, the more Suki finds herself mysteriously slipping back in time—to the night of a party her parents threw in their garden more than twenty years ago, when something happened in an old, long-unused air-raid shelter. . . .

A breathtaking whirlwind of mystery, transgression, and self-discovery, Bianca Zander's The Girl Below is a haunting tale of secrets, human frailty, and dark memory that heralds the arrival of an extraordinary new literary talent.

My review:

The Girl Below is actually quite good debut book! The author Bianca Zander has managed to create a mystery with different characters and interesting plot about self-discovery. I was intrigued by the blurb and knew that I wanted to read and review this book and it seemed like a book I would be interested to read! The Girl Below is about relationships, disconnection, abuse, abandonment and letting go, so the book was heavier reading that I expected from the blurb.

Regarding the plot:

Suki Piper is returning to London, to Notting Hill, where she lived the first years of her life. At the age of 28 she is rootless and feels that she has no place anywhere in the world. As the story develops, Suki enmeshes with the Wright family who offer Suki to do some house-sitting they are on the vacation on Greece.

While spending time with house-sitting and babysitting Peggy, the oldest generation of the Wright family, Suki turns more and more into herself, seeing flashbacks from her past, searching for her place in the world.

I really enjoyed the beginning of the book, it gave a fascinating start for a enjoyable mystery. The more I read, the more I understood, that my expectations for the book have been different. The Girl Below offered darker insight into little shallow and immature 28-years old woman where she had to fight with her demons.

The book was well-written, but I struggled with the narrative which was told from the Suki's point of view and somehow the protagonist managed to loose my interest in the middle of the book. The story picked up again towards the end, so generally it was told unevenly.

Regarding the characters:

Let me start with the statement, that there were characters in the book, which I really enjoyed. especially the supporting characters were intriguing and I think that the author did excellent job with them. I struggled with the main character though.

Suki was interesting, but I also found her disturbing. She did not seem to me like a 28-years old woman, but rather like a teenager in her late teens. She seemed self-centered, annoying and weird. I usually like weird characters, but I did not connect with Suki the way I wanted to.


The Girl Below by Bianca Zander is a good dark psychological mystery told unevenly. It had promising plot which was executed differently than expected.

5 Flowers!
3 stars!

Thanks goes to TLC Book Tours for providing me with the review copy!

About the author:
British-born Bianca Zander has lived in Auckland, New Zealand, for the past two decades. An established journalist, she has written for numerous publications, including The Listener, the Sunday Star-Times, and the Dominion Post. She has produced radio shows and written for film and television, including writing the dramatic short film The Handover, which screened in competition at the Chicago Film Festival. Bianca holds an M.A. in creative writing from Victoria University, Wellington. The Girl Below is her first novel.

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Happy reading!


  1. I'm glad you liked it overall! Thanks for being on the tour!

  2. Thank you for your insightful review - although told unevenly, there is something very INTRIGUING about this plot, and I'd love to read this book! :D