‘A coming of age, dark, humorous romantic thriller. A twenty-first century Cinderella. The protagonist, seventeen year old Mia Dent, is overweight, unhappy, dormant at school and a crutch for her alcoholic mother. Together they live on a dangerous West London estate. On route to school one morning Mia spots Flynn Mason; he is the catalyst to change. In Mia’s imagination she constructs a personality and backstory for Flynn. She fantasises about them together. Following a second sighting she begins to purposely seek him out. In the background the Wolf is abducting young women and whilst Mia watches Flynn the watcher becomes the watched.’
Rating: 3/5 stars
Publication Date: 25th November 2018
Page Count: 356 pages
Genre: Crime / Romantic Thriller
Author Gertrude T. Kitty has an interesting skill – her writing can leave you incredibly uncomfortable and confused. This is a good thing, I promise. With very, very heavy adult themes throughout, Kitty’s ability to make you squirm and question the morals of all characters makes for both a chilling and promising read.
From the opening prologue (‘I want to kill my mother, I’m not joking’), you are thrown into the world of teenager Mia Dent, a girl who has genuinely been through it all. Although stating she is a victim of the Wolf (a serial abductor, rapist, and murderer), some at Paddington Police Station are not convinced. And so this story begins with a retelling of the past year, and how her own deep-rooted obsession with a boy named Flynn to fall victim to a stalker of her own (‘It was nearly a year ago. September Sixth 2017 to be precise … I was on a train …’).
Throughout, perspective alternates. We get a glimpse of Mia’s thoughts, Flynn’s thoughts, and even the Wolf’s. I feel this helps keep the pace of Random Attachment fresh and intriguing. Often when you think a character is safe, a change in perspective helps the reader realise just how much the character has not seen.
Unlike some other reviewers, however, I was not drawn in by the blossoming Mia-Flynn romance. It felt – to me, at least – very wrong, but that is why I found the read so interesting. I felt oddly conflicted, trying to reconcile Mia’s own trauma as a reason for her actions. But what I could not seem to accept was Flynn’s actions – his love for Mia slowly building even after what she’d done.
What I enjoyed most about our protagonist was her cautious climb in confidence. Like a lot of teens, Mia finds it hard to fit in. She feels “weighty” and “like a [spare] tyre; only appreciated in a predicament”. Her growth is admirable, and so too is the recognition that her actions were wrong. She is dedicated to changing herself and becoming someone who is comfortable in her own skin.
Overall, Random Attachment was a very interesting read, with the story of the Wolf almost a secondary piece compared to Mia’s constant struggles. Gertrude T. Kitty is a promising writer, and I am very intrigued to see what may follow.
About the author
Gertrude T. Kitty’s Instagram can be found here.