Who Did You Tell by Lesley Kara ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for this new thriller. Thank you to Anne at Random Things Tours for the invitation to take part, and Bantam Press for the gifted copy of the book.

SYNOPSIS:

Every town has its secrets. Lesley Kara knows them all…

From the author of 2019’s biggest crime thriller debut, The Rumour, comes an addictive new novel…

It’s been 192 days, seven hours and fifteen minutes since her last drink. Now Astrid is trying to turn her life around.

Having reluctantly moved back in with her mother, in a quiet seaside town away from the temptations and painful memories of her life before, Astrid is focusing on her recovery. She’s going to meetings. Confessing her misdeeds. Making amends to those she wronged.

But someone knows exactly what Astrid is running from. And they won’t stop until she learns that some mistakes can’t be corrected. 

Some mistakes, you have to pay for…   

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MY REVIEW:

This brilliant thriller started slowly but then drew me in as the pace and tension increased and simmered with fear. It was well written and plotted and I loved the suspense that came from the paragraphs in italics as a mysterious person fantasises about murder and vengence. Is this voice Astrid’s before she got sober or is it someone else who has their sights on her? I wasn’t sure and changed my mind on this and the identity of this mystery narrator many times throughout the book. As the story progressed it was impossible to know which characters we could trust and like Astrid I was seeing enemies everywhere, even in those I’d never wondered about early on.

Dealing with a central theme of alcoholism and addiction, this is an emotional read in places. The author has clearly done her research and captured the daily battles that are faced by a recovering alcoholic and the devastating effects on their life, friends and family in a way that was honest, real and raw. I had never really thought about the extent of the turmoil, exhaustion, terror and they face every moment they’re awake until I read this book. The author wrote Astrid’s constant battle to stay sober so expertly that my own heart would race when she faced temptation and I shouted inside my head for her to stay strong. 

Astrid was an interesting protagonist. I could never quite decide if she was unreliable or really in jeopardy, which I liked because it added an extra layer of tension and mystery to the story. The small town setting helped to convey her feeling of being watched and monitored every time she leaves the house and I could feel her fear radiating from the pages as she tried to decipher who knew her secrets, if she’s really going crazy, and who she could trust.  Guilt and depression are themes that ran through the book and, for Astrid, go hand in hand. The author explored this in a way that showed her vulnerability and self-loathing as well as her dark side, and managed to make her less likeable yet more sympathetic.

Who Did You Tell is a captivating and twisty thriller full of dark secrets, suspicion and revenge. Every time I thought I had things figured out the author would throw in another twist and I’d have to rethink what I thought I knew. The further I got into the story, the more I was on the edge of my seat. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough as we approached the end. Though I got some things right, when the full picture was revealed it still had my jaw on the floor in shock.

Out December 5th.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lesley Kara is an alumna of the Faber Academy ‘Writing a Novel’ course. She grew up in Essex and now lives with her family on the North Essex coast. Lesley has been a teacher and worked as a bookseller. Her first novel, The Rumour, was a Sunday Times Top 10 Bestseller. The Rumour has been optioned for TV (Cuba Pictures) and has sold in 15 territories to date.

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