Published: September 20th, 2021
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Noir Fiction, Crime Fiction
Format: Kindle, Paperback, Audio
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for this gripping thriller. Thank you to Bookouture for the invitation to take part and the gifted ARC.
Marissa lives alone in her tiny one-bed apartment. It’s quiet and safe; all she’s ever wanted. But when the police knock on her door with the news that her last remaining family member has died, she comes face to face with the family secret she has spent a lifetime running from.
A witness saw her car outside his house that day, but Marissa knows she’s innocent. She hasn’t seen her uncle in years and remembers going to bed in her own home that night. But she’s had blackouts before and can’t always trust her memory.
Days later, Marissa’s neighbour is found dead in his home, exactly like her uncle. It was no secret that Marissa didn’t get on with her neighbour, but she’d never want to see him hurt.
As you read, you’ll think you know where to draw the line between innocence and guilt. But blame is a dangerous thing, and nothing is ever what it seems…
Perfect for fans of C.L. Taylor, Teresa Driscoll and Lisa Jewell, What She Did is a dark and twisty crime thriller that will keep you up all night!
I am a big fan of Carla Kovach’s Gina Harte series so when I heard that she’d written her first standalone thriller, I was excited to read it. As much as I love a series I always enjoy getting to know fresh characters in a standalone and I was interested to see if this would have the same vibe as the series or feel totally different.
What She Did is a taut, tense and gripping thriller that centres around a young woman named Marissa who has a tragic backstory full of loss, heartache and trauma. When she was just five-years-old she witnessed her mother’s murder while hiding under the bed. The killer was never caught and she is still haunted by that night and lives in fear that the killer will one day come back for her too. Sadly, that night was just the beginning of her nightmare, and when she went to live with her aunt and uncle she found not solace, but cruelty and abuse. These events, and other secrets she is hiding, still linger and have left her isolated, fearful and scared to trust.
Now twenty-eight and living in an apartment and working towards her dream of owning the cottage that was special to her and her mother, Marissa’s life spirals out of control after her uncle is murdered. She can’t remember where she was or what she did the night it happened and, plagued by sleepwalking since childhood, she can’t trust her memory of events. Could she have killed him? When the neighbour she has been arguing with is also found dead just a few days later after a similar blackout, Marissa really begins to question what’s going on. She is sure she didn’t kill them. But how can she prove it when she can’t remember? And why does it seem like someone is out to frame her?
Carla Kovach has proven with this book that she can write any thriller and knock it out of the park. As much as I love the Gina Harte series and her team, this novel shows us that even with all new characters and a totally different storyline, she can keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. The story moves seamlessly between dual timelines using flashbacks to significant events in Marissa’s life. This was a vital tool in helping us to understand her paranoid and skittish behaviour, inability to trust and why she has almost no friends or family. I just wanted to reach into the book, put my arms around her, and comfort her, especially in the scenes when she is a young child; I wanted to protect her from witnessing her mother’s murder or rescue her from her vile aunt and uncle’s clutches. Her pain was palpable and my heart broke for her.
But Marissa is also an unreliable narrator and we are never quite sure what is true and what is paranoia. While I was rooting for her and wanted her to be innocent, part of me was never quite sure, and I really enjoyed that. I think it’s a talent to make a reader like a character while also making it possible that they have committed awful crimes, and Ms. Kovach pulled it off expertly. This unreliability also meant that we were never sure if she really is being followed or set up, so it made it hard to know what to make of some of the other characters and know if things were red herrings. I loved the tension this added and how it kept me on my toes. And when the truth was revealed I was totally blindsided by a scenario that I had never even contemplated. Bravo, Ms. Kovach. Bravo.
Captivating and twisty, What She Did is a first-rate psychological thriller from one of my favourite writers in the genre. Definitely one not to be missed.
MEET THE AUTHOR:
Carla started writing more seriously ten years ago after having flirted with musical theatre and occasional writing in her youth.
Since then she has written & produced several stage plays, has four self-published books, has acted in several independent films and is currently in the final stages of production of her feature horror film, Penny for the Guy.
She now writes full time as well as co-owning a film, photography & video production company located in the heart of Redditch town centre.
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Please check out the reviews from the other bloggers taking part in the tour.
Thanks for reading Bibliophiles😊 Emma xxx