#BookReview – Anything You Do Say by Gillian McAllister

anything you do sayJoanna is an avoider. So far she has spent her adult life hiding bank statements and changing career aspirations weekly.

But then one night Joanna hears footsteps on the way home. Is she being followed? She is sure it’s him; the man from the bar who wouldn’t leave her alone. Hearing the steps speed up Joanna turns and pushes with all of her might, sending her pursuer tumbling down the steps and lying motionless on the floor.

Now Joanna has to do the thing she hates most – make a decision. Fight or flight? Truth or lie? Right or wrong? 

Published 25th January 2018 by Penguin (UK)

 

I went into Anything You Do Say knowing very little about it. I knew that Gillian McAllister’s books had been highly praised by lots of my blogger pals, and so when I was browsing Amazon a few weeks ago on a bit of a kindle splurge, I clicked the buy now button without even reading the synopsis. If I had read it, then I’d have excitedly bought it thinking it sounded right up my street, but you know what? It was an absolute treat to know so little and be so completely blown away by a plot I wasn’t expecting and a thrilling story of what if’s, alternative paths and many twists and turns.

The book begins when, after an unpleasant experience in a nightclub, Joanna hears footsteps behind her. Convinced she is being followed she acts out impulsively to protect herself and is then left with a moral dilemma. Should she stay and help the injured man who she believed was about to attack her? Or should she run? I have to say, this tense introduction to Joanna’s dilemma is both chilling and completely believable. I could imagine the scenario acting out, feel her unease and fear as she hears the footsteps, and sense the building panic that explodes in a rash action which will turn her world upside down, whatever she decides to do.

But will Joanna make the right decision? Well, we get to find out the consequences of both with alternating chapters titled reveal and conceal. I LOVED this! I’ve read books that use the Sliding Doors concept before, but Gillian McAllister does it so very, very well. I was hooked to both stories – becoming riveted as Joanna’s life hurtles in one direction before having it all upended and becoming immersed in an alternative version, as she battles in each with the aftermath of her decision.

Yet, what struck me was that whichever version I was reading, I was absolutely convinced by the characters and their actions, and despite the tension and drama which unfolds, McAllister maintains an air of authenticity throughout. I believed this could happen. I believed in both outcomes to Joanna’s dilemma. And I was gripped from beginning to end. Anything You Do Say is clever, complex and thought provoking.  I flew through the pages, thinking just one more chapter before suddenly finding I’d read a huge chunk of book, desperately wanting to know the outcome to both scenarios. A fantastic read, which will have you questioning what you’d do in that situation and pondering how a split second can change your whole life.

 

 

WWW Wednesday – 24th January 2018

www wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Taking On A World Of Words to record and share our weekly reading.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?  

Currently Reading   

I never usually read two books at once, but I’ve reason to use my kindle a lot more now, mainly because I want to carry a wide choice of books about with me easily! And so I’m now a two book reader, with one in physical form and one on the go on the kindle. Here’s what I’m currently enjoying!

the girl before.jpgEnter the world of One Folgate Street and discover perfection . . . but can you pay the price? 

Jane stumbles on the rental opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to live in a beautiful ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect, on condition she abides by a long list of exacting rules. After moving in, she discovers that a previous tenant, Emma, met a mysterious death there – and starts to wonder if her own story will be a re-run of the girl before. As twist after twist catches the reader off guard, Emma’s past and Jane’s present become inexorably entwined in this tense, page-turning portrayal of psychological obsession. 

Published in P/B 25th January 2018  

 

ourhouse

On a bright January morning in the London suburbs, a family moves into the house they’ve just bought in Trinity Avenue.
Nothing strange about that. Except it is your house. And you didn’t sell it.

For better, for worse.

When Fi arrives home to find a removals van outside her house, she is completely blind-sided. Trinity Avenue has been her family’s home for years. Where are all her belongings? How could this have happened? Desperately calling her ex-husband, Bram, who owns the house with her, Fi discovers he has disappeared.

For richer, for poorer.

The more Fi uncovers, the more she realises their lives have been turned upside by a nightmare of their own making. A devastating crime has been committed, but who exactly is the guilty party? What has Bram hidden from her – and what has she hidden from him?

Till death us do part.

Published April 2014 by Simon & Schuster UK

 

Recently Finished   

I’m on a roll with my reading at the minute, with one great book after the other!

Reading Next  

the perfect stranger

 

Everyone in this rural town has something to hide. How do you uncover the truth when you are busy hiding your own?

Confronted by a restraining order and the threat of a lawsuit, failed journalist Leah Stevens needs to get out of Boston when she runs into an old friend, Emmy Grey, who has just left a troubled relationship. Emmy proposes they move to rural Pennsylvania, where Leah can get a teaching position and both women can start again. But their new start is threatened when a woman with an eerie resemblance to Leah is assaulted by the lake, and Emmy disappears days later.

Determined to find Emmy, Leah cooperates with Kyle Donovan, a handsome young police officer on the case. As they investigate her friend’s life for clues, Leah begins to wonder: did she ever really know Emmy at all? With no friends, family, or a digital footprint, the police begin to suspect that there is no Emmy Grey. Soon, Leah is forced to question her version of reality. To save herself, she must uncover the truth about Emmy Grey – no matter how dark or terrible that truth may be…

Published by Corvus 25th January 2018