Every town has its secrets. Lesley Kara knows them all . . .
From the author of 2019's biggest crime thriller debut, The Rumour, comes an addictive new novel . . .
It’s been 192 days, seven hours and fifteen minutes since her last drink. Now Astrid is trying to turn her life around.
Having reluctantly moved back in with her mother, in a quiet seaside town away from the temptations and painful memories of her life before, Astrid is focusing on her recovery. She's going to meetings. Confessing her misdeeds. Making amends to those she's wronged.
But someone knows exactly what Astrid is running from. And they won't stop until she learns that some mistakes can't be corrected.
Some mistakes, you have to pay for . . .
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Lesley Kara’s The Rumour was one of the most gripping debuts of 2018, and she piles on the suspense in her unputdownable second novel. Astrid, a thirty-something alcoholic, retreats from London to a small coastal town to undergo rehab. She’s likeable and relatable but her condition makes her an increasingly unreliable narrator, which helps Kara weave a deliciously unpredictable tale of secrets and revenge—slowly revealing the demons festering in Astrid’s past. Full of sharp, unexpected turns, this thriller is an authentic and sensitive story of how the effects of one person’s addiction can ripple through multiple lives.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Astrid formerly known as Hilary is a 32 year old recovering alcoholic, she has now been sober for 192 days, trying to turn her life around. Back living with her mum in a sleepy seaside town, where everyone seems to know everyone’s business. It’s the last place Astrid had thought she would be. With her Quaker mum, who has had to deal with a lot from Astrid, but you know this is her last chance, not just with her mum but maybe with life. Astrid had gone off the rails at 15 which is when she had changed her name believing she would become more ‘visible’.
Astrid has many demons she is fighting, some of those demons you aren’t sure whether they are real, or the drink, creating false memories. But as the story moves on you realise some of those worries are genuine. She attends weekly AA meetings where she meets Rosie, who is a volunteer at Oxfam, Astrid doesn’t seem too keen on her, then there’s Helen, who Astrid does befriend but are either of them a good influence, Astrid sees Helen coming out of a shop with bottles of alcohol, should she really be that close to temptation.
She is clearly trying to make up for any misdeeds committed whilst under the influence of alcohol. But what is she running from? Who is following her? What did she do when desperate for a drink? What has she done that is so bad? There are lots of twists in the story to keep you engaged, can she resist temptation?
The description’s of the battles that Astrid is fighting every time she goes out the door, passing a pub or an off licence, that temptation is always there. With alcohol available 24/7 , it makes it very difficult, when she craves that taste, whether it’s a bottle of cheap cider, or a shot of vodka that craving is there. She is continuously fighting it.
Just as things are starting to look a little brighter, gaining a bit of employment, a possible relationship although she isn’t honest about being an alcoholic, this puts a strain on things when she refuses a drink. Although realistically it shouldn’t matter whether she has alcohol or a soft drink. Messages start arriving in the post, as well as some left in the house. What has she done that someone knows about?
Although this book was a bit of a slow starter the pace did pick up. I like the way the author shows the difficulties an alcoholic has, that craving which doesn’t go away, it’s a temptation that will be there for ever, one sip of alcohol can sends you straight back down the slippery slope, the same as any addiction, but it may be harder for alcoholics with so many social drinkers nowadays. This is a debilitating addiction, the effects it has on the drinker, how you behave, the effects on family. Such a tough thing to give up when it has you gripped.
A good story with enlightening insights to what alcoholics go through, the AA meetings. But also the suspense in the story.
I would like to thank #netgalley and #Randomhousepublishers for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest, fair and unbiased review.
Starts well, ending is poor
I was really getting into this book then it just died a death and didn’t pick up again.
A bit boring
Bland characters, the twist seems to have been there a hundred times before ...