The Rumour: A shocking domestic thriller

The Rumour by Lesley Kara is a tense, gripping small-town domestic thriller which will leave you questioning who might be living near you. I raced through this book in just two days, taking it all in and vastly enjoying it. With a main character who is not a whiny damsel in distress, but can actually get up and find things out for herself, this book is a breath of fresh air and sets me up for a great 2019. The Rumour by Lesley Kara is out now from Bantam Press.

The story
Joanna has moved to a small, seaside town with her son because he was facing difficulties making friends at school in London. Living closer to her mother, but further from her partner and son’s father, Michael is difficult enough to begin with. When attempting to fit in with the other mothers, Joanna spreads a rumour she has heard about a girl named Sally McGowan who murdered a five-year-old boy when she was ten, having moved to their town as a grown woman. After she shares the rumour with more than one person, she finds the threats coming from all angles and she is sure she is being forced to keep quiet. How will she protect her son while discovering the truth?

Why I liked this book…
The Rumour by Lesley Kara is a good book because it keeps you guessing; every character has a backstory that will make you question them. I love how many strong mothers and female friends are portrayed in this book. It ensures that the reader does not want it to be one person, so then you become convinced that it must be them and your brain is doing a constant circle trying to figure it out. Because of the likelihood that it will be someone Joanna knows, I enjoyed it more than a generic crime thriller where it could be absolutely anybody in the world. This guessing game is a lot of fun.

I am not sure what to make of some of the characters; Joanna and Kay are brilliant characters and Sally herself is a multi-faceted woman with some deep-rooted secrets which she will keep forever. Karen, I felt was a little naive, while I didn’t get Liz’s role in the story. I also now want some of the characters’ backstories in separate books themselves, as Kara has developed them so well already. Michael is an excellent character, and I am happy that he was not villainised as one of the only prominent male characters in the book. I would like a novel dedicated to his journalistic endeavours also.

Furthermore, Kara knows how to increase the tension throughout the book while not forgetting characters, their jobs and commitments and their families. It is a real credit to Kara that she managed to write a book which remembered all of these thins while building the tension and making the reader guess so much.

Overall, I think that The Rumour by Lesley Kara is a solid 4.5* book. I only knock off .5* because I occasionally was confused by the characters’ ages, as it is not always obvious. I would recommend this book to anybody looking for a tense, but not overly disturbing or graphic thriller with no detectives present. I would like to thank NetGalley and Bantam Press for my advanced e-copy of The Rumour by Lesley Kara, out now.

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