Liz Nugent: Strange Sally Diamond

This review is written with thanks to the publisher for my copy of the book via Netgalley.


From the Number 1 bestselling author of Our Little Cruelties and Skin Deep

Sally Diamond cannot understand why what she did was so strange. She was only doing what her father told her to do, to put him out with the rubbish when he died.

Now Sally is the centre of attention, not only from the hungry media and police detectives, but also a sinister voice from a past she cannot remember. As she begins to discover the horrors of her childhood, Sally steps into the world for the first time, making new friends and big decisions, and learning that people don’t always mean what they say.

But who is the man observing Sally from the other side of the world? And why does her neighbour seem to be obsessed with her? Sally’s trust issues are about to be severely challenged . . .


I’ve never read anything by Liz Nugent before, but I’ve heard a lot about her work. She’s been described to me as “the queen of opening lines”, and the opening line of Strange Sally Diamond definitely had me hooked. I wanted to know more about this character and why she behaved in the unorthodox way that she did. 

Sally Diamond is one of the most complex characters I have ever come across in a book. It is testament to Liz Nugent’s talent that she has managed to create a character with so many layers who feels many emotions that she struggles to express, and yet despite her often angry and violent presentation, I still felt sympathy for her. The narration is in the first person – between Sally, and a character who is introduced later called Peter – and these accounts are not always reliable. This meant I found it difficult to know who to trust throughout the story which made it more intriguing for me. 

Strange Sally Diamond is extremely well plotted and I loved the detail that the author has included to create a really tense atmosphere the whole way through. The novel is very dark, and at times there is some graphic violence, but whilst this may be uncomfortable for some readers, I found the story gripping from beginning to end. 

I can’t wait to delve into this author’s back catalogue now! 

Strange Sally Diamond is available from Amazon.

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