When single mum Joanna hears a rumour at the school gates, she never intends to pass it on. But one casual comment leads to another and now there’s no going back
Rumour has it that a notorious child killer is living under a new identity, in their sleepy little town of Flinstead-on-Sea.
Sally McGowan was just ten years old when she stabbed little Robbie Harris to death forty-eight years ago – no photos of her exist since her release as a young woman.
So who is the supposedly reformed killer who now lives among them? How dangerous can one rumour become? And how far will Joanna go to protect her loved ones from harm, when she realizes what it is she’s unleashed?
Published December 2018 by Bantam Press (UK)
~ Review ~
Lesley Kara’s debut novel, The Rumour, is immediately gripping. It’s one of those books which you start, and then when you next look up a huge chunk of both time and pages have flown by. This is down to both her incredibly catchy and easy writing style and her ability to create remarkably recognisable and relatable characters.
We’ve all been there … said a little more then we meant to, got caught up in a moment. But when Joanna finds herself involved in gossip about the rumours flying around her local community, she has no idea of the danger she will shortly be facing. I thought Joanna was portrayed perfectly and could relate to her feelings of isolation, wanting to fit in and unease with herself. I also thought the tense, simmering anger of the small town was perfectly captured, as fingers started pointing and revenge is sought. I’ve lived in that small town kind of environment – I’ve seen how quickly rumours can spread, evolve and completely spiral out of control. Lesley Kara’s The Rumour is absolutely on point in that respect and completely believable.
I got completely caught up in this book, desperately wanting to know just who was the notorious child killer and wondered why they seemed so intent on singling out Joanna for her part in the gossip and speculation. Kara throws the reader off scent several times with red herrings, which kept me on my toes and glued to the pages. The first half of the book was excellent, I couldn’t put it down and it was heading towards five star read status. However, I guessed the big twist just before it came, which unfortunately for me dampened the impact a bit. And while I could’ve lived with this, I thought the ending became a little far fetched. Whereas I’d been completely convinced for the majority of the book, the ending just lacked quite as much credibility for me.
The Rumour is still a great read. The writing flows, keeps the reader engaged and the pages turn effortlessly. The themes of small town mentality, gossip, rumour and revenge are a fascinating and compelling combination. It’s a very solid debut and despite feeling some of the impact was lost at the end, I still enjoyed this book very much and will definitely look out for more from the author in the future.
*I read a free advance readers copy courtesy of the Amazon Vine Program and the publisher*