She will leave your surfaces sparkling.
But she may well leave you dead…
Hi and welcome to my review of Make Me Clean!
Make Me Clean is Tina Baker’s third novel and my favourite one to date, which is saying something because I thoroughly enjoyed her previous books. I went in blind, not needing to know anything beyond the author, and reading the blurb as I was preparing this review, I feel I did myself a favour by going in blind, which is why I’m not including the blurb here, as I do feel it’s just a tad too spoilerish.
In summary, if you haven’t read it already, skip the blurb and just buy the book! Yes, it is that good!
Make Me Clean is told from the perspective of Maria, a cleaning lady with a tough past and an even tougher present. She has a good heart, she really does, but she also has a bit of an aggressive streak. She’s incredibly lovely to Elsie, an elderly lady who’s slowly sinking into dementia for whom Maria cleans and cares, and to Elsie’s cats as well, and really, can anyone who’s nice to cats be that bad a person? Surely not. And can I just say how much I love Elsie and her cats myself?
Make Me Clean shows us Maria’s present with flashbacks to her past and in doing so shows us a flawed woman, a strong woman, a courageous, sometimes dangerous woman, a woman in all her facets. In that way, it’s a truly accomplished character study. Everything about her makes sense, everything she does and says rings true, and I feel like this is a flesh and blood woman whom I really got to know and care about. Which I must admit is something I rarely experience reading thrillers.
Make Me Clean is a riveting, fascinating, dark yet funny and superbly addictive thriller that I hated to put down (ugh, social obligations 🙄) and only managed to leave behind by promising myself I would binge it the next day. Which I did. Those 400 something pages just flew by.
This is one I would highly recommend to fans of the thriller genre, especially if you like well-rounded and fleshed out characters. And cats.
Make Me Clean is out today, 16 February, in digital formats and hardcover, with the paperback to follow in November. Happy publication day to Tina Baker 🥳🥂
Massive thanks to Viper Books and NetGalley for the eARC.