“Keeps you guessing until the final page.”—Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train
“A rollercoaster ride to the very last sentence.”—Fiona Barton, author of The Widow
“Everyone will be talking about The Rumor.”—Shari Lapena, author of The Couple Next Door
When a single mother hears a shocking rumor outside her son’s school, she never intends to pass it on. But one casual comment leads to another . . . and now there’s no going back.
Rumor has it that a notorious killer, who committed a brutal crime as a child, has been living a new life under an assumed identity in Joanna’s seaside town. So who is the criminal hidden in their midst? Suspicion falls on everyone.
As Joanna becomes obsessed with the case, her curiosity will expose her son and his father to the supposedly reformed murderer—who may be ready to kill again. She will learn how dangerous one rumor can become . . . and just how far she must go to protect those she loves. She is going to regret the day she ever said a word.
Praise for The Rumor
“A brilliant premise with a killer twist. The Rumor depicts the prejudices and secrets that simmer in a small seaside town to devastating effect.”—Colette McBeth, author of An Act of Silence
“This mystery has an unusual and resonant theme—how a single rumor can morph into a completely unmanageable, deadly force. . . . [There’s] psychological acuity throughout and [an] astonishing ending.”—Booklist
In 1999, single mother Joanna Critchley, the narrator of Kara's suspenseful debut, and her six-year-old son, Alfie, move from an unnamed city to her hometown of Flinstead, which appears to be on the coast of New England. Anxious to be accepted by the other parents, Joanna thoughtlessly repeats a rumor that Sally McGowan, who at age 10 stabbed a six-year-old playmate to death in Dearborn, Mich., in 1969 and was released from a juvenile detention center in 1981, lives in the town under a new name and that the convicted child killer could easily be anyone's neighbor. When the rumor mill starts to run rampant, a noose of suspicion begins to tighten around Flinstead, where the residents' idyllic lives soon begin to crumble amid a firestorm of conjecture. Joanna, despite receiving warning messages from a well-meaning friend, is determined to find out whether the rumor is true. Meanwhile, a kidnapper targets Alfie. Well-developed characters and a twisty plot will keep readers turning the pages. Those who stay to the very last sentence will be doubly surprised. Kara is off to a promising start.
Suspenseful, Gripping, Chilling Story
Lesley Kara’s debut novel "The Rumor" was an exciting read. Thank you to Penguin Random House and NetGalley for the advanced digital copy. This was completely captivating, chilling, twisted tell. A gripping story full suspense, paranoia and accusations. The storyline shows how spreading a rumor can have dangerously destructive effect in a small town. This one will keep you intrigued until the very end. A good psychological thriller to add to your reading list.
Synopsis: Rumor has it that a notorious killer, who committed a brutal crime as a child, has been living a new life under an assumed identity in Joanna’s seaside town. So who is the criminal hidden in their midst? Suspicion falls on everyone.
As Joanna becomes obsessed with the case, her curiosity will expose her son and his father to the supposedly reformed murderer—who may be ready to kill again. She will learn how dangerous one rumor can become and just how far she must go to protect those she loves. She is going to regret the day she ever said a word.
NEVER would have guessed this ending!
The edition I read was “translated” into American English, location and idiom. The reason I gave it four stars is that, in my opinion, it lost something in the translation and relocation.
The story takes place in a very small town or suburb where almost everyone knows each other. Jo and her son, Alfie, recently moved there from a city where they had been living because the mixed race boy was being bullied there. Both were having a slow time being accepted into the town’s social life and Jo repeats a story she heard about a woman who, as a child was convicted of the death of a 5 year old boy. She spent time in a juvenile detention facility and eventually was released and put into the equivalent of witness protection. Supposedly this woman was living in their community. Jo begins to research this and it leads to more untenable situations for her and her son. I won’t go further into it because of spoilers, but will recommend it to anyone who appreciates psychological thrillers. Thanks to Net Galley and Ballantine Books for an ARC for an honest review.