Make Me Clean – Tina Baker

She will leave your surfaces sparkling.
But she may well leave you dead…

Maria is a good woman and a good cleaner. She cleans for Elsie, the funny old bird who’s losing her marbles, with the terrible husband. She cleans for Brian, the sweet man with the terrible boss. She cleans for the mysterious Mr Balogan, with the terrible neighbours.

If you’re thinking of hiring her, you should probably know that Maria might have killed the terrible husband, the terrible boss and the terrible neighbours. She may also have murdered the man she loved.

She didn’t set out to kill anyone, of course, but her clients have hired her to clean up their lives, and she takes her job seriously – not to mention how much happier they all are now. The trouble is, murder can’t be washed out. You can only sweep it under the carpet, and pray no one looks too closely…

Darkly funny and completely gripping from the first page to the last, Make Me Clean is one thriller you won’t be able to scrub from your mind. Perfect for fans of Harriet Tyce, Fiona Cummins and My Sister the Serial Killer.

Book Info: Print length: 384 pages. Publisher: Viper. Publication Date: 16 February 2023

Tina Baker, the daughter of a window cleaner and fairground traveller, worked as a journalist and broadcaster for thirty years and is probably best known as a television critic for the BBC and GMTV. After so many hours watching soaps gave her a widescreen bum, she got off it and won Celebrity Fit Club. She now avoids writing-induced DVT by working as a Fitness Instructor.
Call Me Mummy was Tina’s first novel, inspired by her own unsuccessful attempts to become a mother. Despite the grief of that, she’s not stolen a child – so far. But she does rescue cats, whether they want to be rescued or not.

Her second book Nasty Little Cuts was published in February 2022 and her latest book Make Me Clean is out in February 2023.

My Review:

This is my first book by Tina Baker and I can confidentally say that I will now move her first two books Nasty Little Cuts and Call Me Mummy up my huge TBR pile.

I do love a good old twisty psychological thriller especially one with a female killer and a dry sense of humour and that is exactly what you get with Make Me Clean.

Meet Maria, a full-time cleaner with a variety of clients and part-time carer for a lovely old lady with dementia called Elsie. Maria is a true perfectionist, she is thorough, professional and takes immense pride in her work. She has a knack for removing all kinds of stains and has a particular skill when it comes to blood, brain matter and body parts.

When we first meet Maria she is with Elsie, carefully putting her back to bed, ensuring she is safe and comfortable and then gets on with the minor task of dragging Elsie’s dead husband Nick down to the end of the garden and burying him under the rose bushes. Although I’m pretty sure that isn’t on her list of jobs to do, the book slowly takes the reader back to why and how Nasty Nick ended up smelling the roses 6 feet under.

It’s fairly obvious that Maria isn’t your usual “cleaner” and is running from something or someone in her past. She’s a fascinating character with a sad and violent past who just wants to be happy and fit in. With a really dark and vicious temper, Maria works hard to keep in control, she’s loyal to her clients and friends and isn’t not entirely her fault when she accidentally kills a few people along the way.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The humour was fabulous, the relationship between Elsie and Maria was both tender and beautiful, despite the blood and I was routing for Maria throughout.

I am so happy that I already have Tina’s previous books on my kindle and look forward to reading both very soon.

5 sparkling stars from me.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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