I received an ARC copy of this book from Booklover Catlady Publicity. All review opinions are my own and this is a professional, unbiased book review.
Kathy Conner has been married to her police officer husband, Michael, for three years. He controls everything she does, and has turned her family and friends against her. But when Kathy discovers she is pregnant, she realises she has to escape. Will she succeed?
When I realised that Bully Boy Blue was a short novel, I was apprehensive about how Nicholl would convey such a serious and emotional issue over such a short number of words. However, I should not have worried. As a reader, I was dragged kicking and screaming into Kathy's world - her fear and isolation - from the very first page. This was heightened by the fact that Kathy's abuser is a police officer: a well respected member of the community who people may not believe was capable of carrying out the abuse that is described. I was willing the supporting characters, such as her family and Michael's colleagues to believe her account of her marriage, and I was desperate for Kathy to find the courage to leave.
In his professional life, Nicholl has worked as both a police officer and social worker, and I imagine he has drawn on his experience in these fields to present an accurate portrayal of what it is like to live with domestic violence. However, Kathy's plan to escape felt to me as though it was a little far fetched, so whilst I was keen to learn the outcome of the novella, I found it difficult to connect with Kathy as it drew to its conclusion.
Bully Boy Blue has an open ending - one that will see me turning over all the possibilities in my mind, probably as I try to sleep tonight! It was an unexpected twist that I enjoyed.
Bully Boy Blue is released on 1st April and is available from Amazon.