I’m going to begin with a confession: before October 2019, I hadn’t heard of Lesley Kara! Then I was invited to a soft launch of her second novel, Who Did You Tell? Not wanting to meet Lesley in a state of ignorance, I bought a copy of her first novel, The Rumour.
Now, I love books but I don’t have anywhere near the time I’d like to sit and read. Fast-paced, gripping books are, therefore, perfect for me. And, The Rumour was just that.
Anticipating another can’t-put-it-down book by Lesley, I started reading my proof copy the day after the book event. Did it live up to expectations..?
The story is set in the fictional town of Flinstead (also the setting for The Rumour), a sleepy coastal town with a population just large enough for its residents to live in fair anonymity; unless you have a secret that would threaten to make you the talk of the town. But nobody knows about it, right?
At the start, we’re presented with a description of Simon, who we soon discover is pivotal to the story. And it quickly becomes apparent that the central character, Astrid, is living a fearful existence. You’re drawn straight in, wanting to find out more about her and why she finds herself living back at her mother’s home, aged 32.
A central theme of the book is alcohol dependence and recovery, and the ups and downs that come with staying sober. It’s sensitively handled by Lesley, although that’s not to say that she shies away from the emotional grip of addiction. It’s hard-hitting in places.
Is Astrid’s paranoia a symptom of her alcoholism, or is she really seeing, even smelling Simon, her former partner? Can she begin a new life, with a new partner and new friends? Or will her darkest secret get in the way of it all?
Each central character has a solid back story, and you find yourself immersed in their worlds; it’s easy to form a view on whether you like them or not – although some of your judgements may be challenged as you continue reading.
The chapters are short, so it’s easy to tell yourself, “just one more, and maybe another before bed”, making it perfect for people like me, who have limited time to read and can’t wait to find out the ending.
And if anyone tells you they guessed how it ends, I’d say are probably fibbing! I thought I’d guessed correctly, then I changed my mind, and still got it wrong 😊
I thoroughly enjoyed Who Did You Tell? with its tense twists and turns. I sincerely hope that Lesley has another Flinstead story in the pipeline!
If you’re a fan of psychological thrillers, hurry to your local independent shop for your copy – you’ll be so glad you did. And, although Lesley Kara’s first two books are standalone novels, there are a few subtle crossovers, so I think you’ll enjoy reading The Rumour too.
If you’ve read one or both of Lesley Kara’s books, I’d love to hear your thoughts on them!
Bye for now!
Disclosure: I was given a proof copy of Who Did You Tell? by the publisher, Transworld Books. This review is written entirely in my own words and contains my personal thoughts about the book.