A somber and unsettling narrative unfolds in this immersive tale featuring Sally, a socially awkward protagonist with a traumatic past. Nugent skillfully portrays Sally's heartbreaking and shocking history, evoking empathetic responses from readers who hope for her recovery from the shadows of her past. The story is a haunting and compelling psychological thriller, marked by Nugent's adept storytelling and an unforgettable, unfiltered main character. However, the conclusion feels hurried and somewhat lacking. It is crucial to note that individuals sensitive to themes of mental illness, rape, pedophilia, abuse, and captivity should exercise caution when considering this read.
This was such a tragic story in so many ways, very hard to read. There should be trigger warnings in this somewhere for people to be able to start this one. I may be in the minority here, but where are all the 5 star ratings coming from? I can understand why people would find her story hopeful, but to stomach any of the abuse is not okay. Please be forewarned that there are situations in this book that are not for the faint hearted.
Thank you Gallery Books and Netgalley for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.
Oh my goodness this was deliciously dark and I just LOVED it!!!
All of the books that I have read by LIz Nugent have been so good! I can't wait to see what happens with her next book eeek!
She has slowly became one of my favorite authors but being surprised and surprised again by her books. She is so talented and know that this has been a hot thriller of 2023!!!
I highly recommend this dark thriller you will not be disappointment.
Thank you so much to Netgalley and Gallery books for my copy. Don't mind me I'm posting this review so late :(.
Pub date: 7/18/23
Published to GR 12/3/23
Immersive and engaging. A recommended purchase for collections where crime and thrillers are popular.
Definite contender for my favorite crime fiction of the year. I LOVED this book. It is DARK. But I couldn’t stop listening. It is also in some ways beautiful and hopeful; and I enjoyed how it really illustrated the ripple effects and additional harm caused by twisted, toxic people who commit horrible crimes. I am a Liz Nugent fan for life after this and cannot wait to explore her backlist now. All the stars!! The audio production is particularly excellent and really makes you feel the Irish setting. This book fixed a really bad audio slump for me so I am especially thrilled and grateful.
Absolutely loved this, brilliant novel from Nugent! This story gave me the creeps but Sally is the most unique character I’ve read this year. I was so intrigued by her backstory and the suspense is over the top!
This book was hard to put down. I listened to the audiobook and the narrators did a fantastic job. Even though this has some dark subject matter the book felt authentic to the characters and didn't feel exploitative.
Strange Sally Diamond follows the titular Sally, living an intensely isolated life with her aging father. She is discovered after a misunderstanding regarding her father’s death and suddenly a past she never remembered is thrusted upon her, centering her in her own mystery and bringing forth attention she never wanted. Okay first of all, I love Sally Diamond. I love her character so much, and although this is very much a compelling and tragic mystery, the reason this works so much is because you’re so invested in Sally growing up, creating a life for herself outside of the extremely intense childhood she escaped. I love the town, and all the supplementary characters in her story. My biggest recommendation would be going into this knowing absolutely nothing about the plot. It kind of flips between two perspectives with a past/present narration, and both timelines are incredibly interesting. I really love Liz Nugent’s writing. I think this is my third book from her, but it’s easily her best. 1000 percent recommend this one.
Twisty, disturbing, and sometimes darkly funny - I absolutely loved this book and clearly have some Liz Nugent backlist catching up to do!
I requested this book after seeing so many great reviews and let me just say they weren't wrong! I found this to be very unique and I loved Sally. One of my top reads of the year, so far.
Sally Diamond has become one of my favorite characters. Her way of speaking and thinking was enlightening and I loved how she was willing to make changes to her life and accept the good in people. I did not expect her backstory to come about like it did. Really enjoyed it.
First off, thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for this ARC! Now onto the book. I absolutely LOVED this book! I listened to it in ONE DAY (Speed 2.00)! I loved Strange Sally Diamond!!!! She was such a well-written character! A breath of fresh air who really showed how some people may struggle in social situations and it portrayed that to the reader in such a real way. You could really understand and feel how she felt! This was my first book by Liz Nugent and I enjoyed it so much that now I am going back to her other books and look forward to those! Thank you so much again to NetGalley and Gallery Books for this ARC! I will be recommending this one at my Library!
This was recommended by a book blogger that I admire, and I thought the recommendation was worthy of reading. It was a quick read for me, and I would recommend.
4.5 glowing stars for this magnificent piece of literature! Liz Nugent has proven once again what a masterful storyteller she is. Strange Sally Diamond was a dark and twisty psychological thriller mystery that was creepy and even tense at times. Sally, the protagonist in Strange Sally Diamond, had suffered from a horrific childhood trauma. As a result, her social and emotional development was greatly affected. Even as an adult in her forties, it was hard for Sally to show and feel emotions. She was socially awkward and took everything she heard literally. Sally was a loner and preferred to stay that way. She shied away from social encounters. Her one passion was the piano. She was a very talented pianist and enjoyed playing for own enjoyment.
Liz Nugent brilliantly portrayed several disturbing themes throughout Strange Sally Diamond. She skillfully wove the themes of kidnapping, physical, mental and sexual abuse, traumatic experiences, the act of abduction and misogyny into the storyline. Although Sally faced many uphill challenges, I found myself rooting for her. Although, some of the subject matter was quite disturbing, I found that it was hard to put this book down. As I already mentioned, I really enjoyed Sally’s character. She was such a unique character. I really enjoyed reading Strange Sally Diamond and highly recommend it.
Thank you to Gallery/Scout Press for allowing me to read the digital version of Strange Sally Diamond through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
I received a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book was so disturbing and unique. I liked the point of view of the two main characters and the aspect of nature versus nurture. Nugent is definitely becoming a favorite of mine!
I really enjoyed this author's previous novels and this one did not disappoint. It is not quite a thriller in the conventional sense, more of a crime novel with elements of mystery. The main character is neurodivergent and the character development is very well done. Trigger warning for abuse, but fortunately most is implied and very little is actually on the page. If you like Lisa Jewell's books, I think this would be a good pick for you! *Interesting note- I listened to a podcast interview with the author who said the UK edition ended on a darker note while American edition included a lighter addition to the ending because American readers tend to be a bit softer 😂
Thank you to NetGalley for providing a copy of this eGalley!
Sally Diamond is a character you won't forget. She is reclusive, sheltered and antisocial. Things go wrong when her father dies and she puts his body in the incinerator. Now she is the center of attention, not knowing what she did wrong. As the plot unravels she finds out about her past and tries to make friends . Sally is relatable and imperfect.
I really enjoyed this book. I don't think you can call it a thriller because of the slower pace of the book. (It's not super slow; just not non-stop action). I fell in love with our main character Sally. Her transition through the book was beautiful and the end gave me hope that it would continue to be so. I was glad that the book didn't focus too much on the mother's captivity & abuse, as that was pretty horrific. The book is disturbing, particularly with Peter and his development, but also hopeful.
How I loved this character. Well written, interesting story that kept my attention throughout. This is one character I’ll never forget.
The moment I finished Strange Sally Diamond I wanted more. While the book starts with Sally burning her fathers body it quickly turns into a heart warming story of self discovery, forgiveness, and independence. I was rooting for Sally as she learned to navigate the world without a parent to buffer situations. It was bittersweet to learn about the community who comes to understand and support Sally, if only it could have happened sooner,
The mystery of Sally’s birth and biological family was interspersed with all her other life changes and at time sets her growth back. And the ending was unbelievable and yet totally fitting in the worst way.
Definitely one of my top books of 2023.