For Your Own Good – Samantha Downing

Teddy Crutcher has won Teacher of the Year at the esteemed Belmont Academy, home to the best and brightest.

He says his wife couldn’t be more proud—though no one has seen her in a while.

Teddy really can’t be bothered with the death of a school parent that’s looking more and more like murder or the student digging a little too deep into Teddy’s personal life. His main focus is on pushing these kids to their full academic potential.

All he wants is for his colleagues—and the endlessly meddlesome parents—to stay out of his way.

It’s really too bad that sometimes excellence can come at such a high cost.

Book Information: Print length: 389 pages. Publisher: Penguin. Publication Date: 20 July 2021.

Samantha Downing is the author of the bestselling My Lovely Wife, nominated for the Edgar, ITW, Macavity awards in the US, the CWA award in the UK, and the winner of the Prix des Lectrices award in France.

Her latest novel, For Your Own Good, was released on July 20, 2021. It has been optioned by Robert Downey Jr. and Greg Berlanti for HBO Max.

My Review:

Samantha Downing is fast becoming one of my “go-to” authors for twisty books with unreliable narrators, crazy characters and enjoyable plotlines.

For Your Own Good centres around a prestigious private school for the gifted and rich children – Belmont Academy and our main narrator is Teddy Crutcher who at first glance appears to be a dedicated English teacher and having won the coveted Teacher of The Year Award is determined to ensure his students are taught the most important lessons in life to succeed.

However, this being written by Samantha Downing – you can forget Mr Crutcher being like Mr Keating from Dead Poets Society – more like a lovechild of Miss Trunchbull and Dolores Umbridge with a splash of delusion and a pinch of psychopath.

When a parent of one of the pupils is murdered during a school celebration, the school is thrown into panic and horror and the reader is whisked away on a bumpy journey with some of the main characters as they face what appears to be a spate of violence towards the staff and pupils.

This book almost gave me whiplash – I was absolutely convinced I knew what was happening and then another character popped up and blew my theories out the water.

For Your Own Good has Downing’s unique dry humour with some brilliant batsh*t characters that bring the world of privileged education to life. Another highly entertaining, dark, dysfunctional and often disturbing book which I would recommend.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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