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.

November Wrap Up

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Another month gone and we’re in the last month of the year. How did that happen?!

November has been a good reading month. I’ve read fourteen books, one sampler and took part in eight blog tours. Almost all the books I read this month were by new authors to me. Only three of the fifteen were by authors I’ve already read. I love discovering new authors and can honestly say that I would, and will, read books by them again. I love a good book series and this month three of the books I read – Snow Creek, The Vanished Bride and Hold Your Tongue – were the first in an exciting new series. I will definitely be reading the next installments and can’t wait to see where the authors take the characters next.

So here’s what I read this month. You can find the synopsis and reviews for most of the books on this blog. Some of them will be published shortly.

  • The Photographer of the Lost by Caroline Scott ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Snow Creek by Gregg Olsen ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • The Child of Auschwitz by Lily Graham ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • The Vanished Bride by Bella Ellis ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Her Dark Heart by Carla Kovach ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • The Glass Woman by Caroline Lea ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • The Wish List of Albie Young by Ruby Hummingbird ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver ⭐⭐⭐.5
  • Hold Your Tongue by Deborah Masson ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • The Assistant by S. K. Tremayne  ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • High Heels and Beetle Crushers by Jackie Skingley ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Violet by S. J. I. Holliday ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • The Lies We Hide by S. E. Lynes ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Who Did You Tell by Lesley Kara ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Saving Missy (Sampler) by Beth O’Leary ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The stand out book this month was The Vanished Bride. Although I read a lot of great books, that is the one I’ve not been able to get out of my mind the most. As I said in my review, it is a luminous novel that was a joy to read.

So with December upon us I am putting together my favourite books of 2019 and looking forward to so many books that are coming in 2020. I have six blog tours I’m taking part in and  I can’t wait to share my reviews with you for those.

Have you read any of the books in my list for November? What was your favourite book this month. Comment below.

Thank you to the tagged publishers, authors and to NetGalley for my gifted copies of the novels.

Review: ‘Someone We Know’ by Shari Lapena ⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

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SYNOPSIS:

It can be hard keeping secrets in a tight-knit neighbourhood.

In a tranquil, leafy suburb of ordinary streets – one where everyone is polite and friendly – an anonymous note has been left at some of the houses.

‘I’m so sorry. My son has been getting into people’s houses. He’s broken into yours.’

Who is this boy, and what might he have uncovered? As whispers start to circulate, suspicion mounts.

And when a missing local woman is found murdered, the tension reaches breaking point. Who killed her? Who knows more than they’re telling? And how far will all these very nice people go to protect their secrets?

Maybe you don’t know your neighbour as well as you thought you did..

REVIEW:

Everybody has their secrets. And in the wealthy New York suburb of Aylesford the secrets of some neighbours are about to collide when one of them is found dead in her car in the lake. Was it her husband who was sleeping with one of the neighbours? Was it her own secret lover? And did the teenage boy who’s been breaking into neighbours homes see something that could be the key to solving the crime?

Once again Shari Lapena takes you on a roller-coaster ride of twists and turns in this surprising thriller. She is an author who knows how to grip and entertain her audience, building the tension slowly before ramping it up to a point where I was so hooked that I stayed up until ridiculous o’clock to get to the end.

The story involves a number of characters and subplots that are clearly all going to link together but you aren’t quite sure how. Sixteen-year old Raleigh Sharpe has been breaking into people’s homes for a kick, his mother Olivia is beside herself when she finds out and thinks he should be made to apologise to his victims, something his father, Paul, is against. Robert Pierce has reported his wife, Amanda, missing after she never returned from a weekend away with her friend. The police think she’s run away until her body is found stuffed in the boot of her car at the bottom of the lake. Both of the Pierce’s were being unfaithful but with whom? Other neighbours are harbouring their own secrets and you are left guessing who’s secrets are the important ones, who will be the key to finding out who killed Amanda, and who is actually telling the truth.

Out of all the characters I thought Olivia was the most sympathetic. I could feel her pain, despair, and helplessness after finding out what Raleigh had done. Her concern at what else she doesn’t know and how she had no idea what to as her world falls apart were reactions I think any of us would have. As a mother of teenage boys I could relate to her feelings and know I would feel as shocked and lost as she did if I were in her shoes. The least sympathetic character was Robert. He was creepy, chilling, malevolent and manipulative. He seems to be the obvious killer and I found myself understanding why Amanda cheated on him as he was so vile. I don’t think I’ve ever hoped someone is guilty as much as I did with him.

I’ll admit, I didn’t know if I was going to like this book. It started slowly and though my interest was held it didn’t instantly thrill me like her other books. But then the author masterfully began to weave the puzzle pieces together, the secrets began to escalate, and there is one twist after another until we reach the dramatic final reveal. Someone We Know is another fantastic thriller and example of Shari Lapena’s skill at writing character-driven suspense with a conclusion that will leave you in awe.

Thank you to NetGalley, Random House UK, Bantam Press and Shari Lapena for the chance to read this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Publication Date: July 25th.