Mad is outrageous, sensational, sexy and witty. Alvina Knightly demands your full attention. She has shades of Mia (Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction) and Catherine (Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct) but with layers of vulnerability I wasn’t expecting. Chloé Esposito has created a complex, compelling character: Alvina is neglected and unloved. Most of all she is damaged.

Twists and unexpected turns were a delight the whole way through, keeping me thumbing the pages. But this is not pulp fiction, it is high concept and intelligent. The first of a trilogy: Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know – the phrase used to describe the infamous poet Byron

Sun, sex, sea and murder. Bring it on!