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About The Book

‘[The Gosling Girl] interrogates the context of a child's crime and simplistic notions of evil by society and the media. It fosters understanding & empathy and draws us deep inside the protagonist's psychology’ Bernardine Evaristo

Monster?                    Murderer?
Child?                         Victim?
Michelle Cameron’s name is associated with the most abhorrent of crimes. A child who lured a younger child away from her parents and to her death, she is known as the black girl who murdered a little white girl; evil incarnate according to the media. As the book opens, she has done her time, and has been released as a young woman with a new identity to start her life again. 
When another shocking death occurs, Michelle is the first in the frame. Brought into the police station to answer questions around a suspicious death, it is only a matter of time until the press find out who she is now and where she lives and set about destroying her all over again.
Natalie Tyler is the officer brought in to investigate the murder. A black detective constable, she has been ostracised from her family and often feels she is in the wrong job. But when she meets Michelle, she feels a complicated need to protect her, whatever she might have done.
The Gosling Girl is a moving, powerful account of systemic, institutional and internalised racism, and of how the marginalised fight back. It delves into the psychological after-effects of a crime committed in childhood, exploring intersections between race and class as Michelle's story is co-opted and controlled by those around her. Jacqueline writes with a cool restraint and The Gosling Girl is a raw and powerful novel that will stay with the reader long after they have turned the last page.

Praise For Jacqueline Roy and The Fat Lady Sings:
'This is a novel of daring - enjoyable, surprising and original’ Bernardine Evaristo
'A strong and humane work of fiction' Jackie Kay
'A striking commentary' Scotsman
'A strong, humorous and moving piece of fiction . . . such is the life injected into the characters that by the end of the novel there remains that reluctance to part with people you have come to love' calabash
'Unflinchingly told . . . harrowing but also shockingly funny' Big Issue
'A joy' Pride

About The Author

Photograph by Clare Wright

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (January 20, 2022)
  • Length: 400 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781398504219

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Raves and Reviews

‘[The Gosling Girl] interrogates the context of a child's crime and simplistic notions of evil by society and the media. It fosters understanding & empathy and draws us deep inside the protagonist's psychology’ 

– Bernardine Evaristo

‘It was refreshing to read a thriller that wasn’t full of twists, though I kept waiting for them, as I’ve been conditioned to expect them. This well-plotted story follows Michelle, who’s recently been released from prison. Does someone who’s committed an awful crime deserve to start again?’ 

– Prima

‘A powerful read’ 

– Bella

‘This intriguing procedural is above all a portrait of two damaged women and a moving demonstration of how race and class have affected their lives'

– The Times and The Sunday Times Crime Club

'This is a beautifully written, insightful and thought-provoking novel. Michelle's story drew me in immediately, and while it's heartbreaking in places, it's uplifting in others. Jacqueline Roy writes with deep compassion and empathy, and I have a feeling this wonderfully compelling novel will stay with me for a long time'

– Susan Eliot Wright, author of The Flight of Cornelia Blackwood

'A thoughtful, slow-burn exploration of how damaged children damage, The Gosling Girl asks whether some children are born evil - and shows emphatically that an abusive childhood is to blame. I felt increasing sympathy for Michelle Cameron, in all her manifestations. At times, disturbing, poignant, and thought-provoking'

– Sarah Vaughan, author of Anatomy of a Scandal and Reputation

'A tour de force of engaged storytelling. With heart-wrenching pathos, The Gosling Girl delineates the bleak aftermath for all concerned when one child kills another' 

– Peter Kalu

'An absorbing, powerful slow-burn'

– Lisa Howells, Crime Monthly

‘I loved this novel. Compelling, meticulously crafted, unflinching but rarely bleak, it gripped me from the first page. As in The Fat Lady Sings, Roy writes with astonishing tenderness about characters the likes of whom the real world excludes, ignores or vilifies. As hopeful as it is heart-breaking, this is a beautifully rendered and haunting coming-of-age story’

– Judith Bryan, author of Bernard and the Cloth Monkey

‘The skill and sensitivity with which Jacqueline Roy approaches this story is astounding. Her novel is full of humanity and compassion for the people and experiences that society would otherwise look away from...once I started reading I couldn’t put it down’

– Dr Josie Gill, Bristol University Senior Lecturer in Black British Writing

‘Roy’s writing is powerful, unflinching, empathetic and, above all, thought provoking, never shying away from the darker, uncomfortable realities of our society. It’s not an easy read – and it shouldn’t be – but it feels like an essential book for our times too'

– Culturefly

‘Written with compassion, and an exceptional sense of identity by Roy — born to a Jamaican father and a British mother — it is both striking and powerful’ 

– Daily Mail

‘(a)…provocative tale of institutional racism, and how the marginalised fight back’ 

– Stylist Magazine

‘A powerful look at institutionalised racism and the after-effects of a childhood crime'

– S Magazine

The Gosling Girl is one of the most moving thrillers I’ve read for some time'

– Observer

‘The harrowing pathos of the story portrays the psychological impact of being repeatedly hounded’ 

– Woman’s Weekly

The Gosling Girl is a tense, humane story that encompasses betrayal, class, racial stereotyping, judicial prejudice and media-fuelled hate, raising many poignant questions…Jacqueline Roy perfectly captures marginalised people trying to claw their way back from the edge of an abyss; it cries out for a big-screen, Steve McQueen-directed adaption'

– Buzz Magazine

‘The words I would use to describe it are, thought-provoking, riveting, memorable, well-written, brilliant and blinking brilliant…It’s exceptional’ 

– Quick Book Reviews podcast

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