I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Who Did You Tell? by Lesley Kara
Published by Transworld on December 5, 2019
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers, Suspense
Format: ARC, eBook
Buy on Amazon
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 . . .
Thanks to Anne Cater@ Random Things Book Tours and the publisher for my spot on the blog tour. All thoughts are my own.
What would you do if being an alcoholic was the only thing you knew? It provided sanctuary from a cruel and uncaring world. It was your safe place. You could crawl into yourself when it all became too much. It gave you confidence, and it brushed away your tears. How on earth could you navigate the unchartered waters of becoming sober, recalling lost memories and engaging with your problems in a healthy and conducive manner? How easy would it be to slip back into old habits? You can’t just have one drink because that would be a slippery slope, if you do it, you need to do it all the way.
Astrid hasn’t had it easy. She’s plagued by tragedy. Her old alcoholic self is like a ghost that roams the passageways of her brain. She’ll remember past experience whilst under the influence. She’s had a messy breakup with her ex. He has treated her appallingly and she was too trashed to tell that it was wrong. She has lost years of her life and the regret of that continues to eat away at her. Will this be enough for her to keep strong and move forward or will it have a negative effect and allow her easy pickings into relapse. The story is basically Astrid’s heart wrenching journey to sobriety. The writing was so cathartic from Astrid’s point of view. She was a strong character that was doing everything to get her life back on the right tracks, but it often felt like she was trying to run through a swamp. You would move forward but the weight of the swamp would make you weary. How long could you keep on fighting to move forward before the swamp consumed you so completely. The writing was captivating. I was enthralled from the first page.
Astrid moves back home to stay with her mum. At this point it is her only option. Her mum demands it, she needs to make sure that this time she does it. If not, she probably would have cut all ties. A sleepy seaside town, surely this is the perfect place to move to to heal? To recuperate. To just rediscover who she is. It has been so long since she knew who she was and what she enjoyed…other than drinking. Is the events that seem to be happening since she arrived there nothing or is someone watching her? Is it her imagination gone crazy?
Whilst being back home Astrid forms a relationship with Josh. If I’m completely honest I think Astrid really needed to be focussing on herself. She’s been through and ordeal and she has abused herself for much too long. She needed to show herself a bit more love and affection than she had been doing. Was she trying to find it in someone else to retract from what was going on in her head? Maybe. He introduces her to his dad, he employs her to paint a window scene on a wall in a room in his grand house. It’s magnificent to see Astrid rediscover her love of painting once more. You can see it brings her peace and she just loses herself in her art. I’m glad the drink hadn’t taken that away from her.
I love a thriller that explores the fragility of the human existence. Life isn’t easy and too often people turn to substances that just make situations more difficult. Alcohol is the big one for me. It really has more of a depressive countenance for me and for the reason I mostly stay well clear of it. It made me think a lot about how bad things must be to lose yourself and your problems in the bottom of a bottle. How bleak the existence must be?
We soon realise that everything isn’t as it seems. Events occur that make Astrid think someone’s out to get her. Is it revenge? Does someone blame her for something? She feels like its connected to her ex, Simon. Is her recovery just turning into a horror story? Why does she feel like someone is watching her? She swears she can smell his aftershave, she spots a rare, limited edition t-shirt in a charity shop. Is this just paranoia or does she have someone or something to fear? Is Astrid an unreliable narrator or are things about to go spectacularly sideways? I was rooting for Astrid though, I wanted her to have a settled and calm life after the turbulent alcoholic lifestyle she has subjected herself to. Who did you tell was atmospheric and suffocating pleasing?
Lesley Kara has created a multi-faceted thriller with the cold complexity of being watched. The twists spun my head like a spinning top. She took us down a path that was dark and depraved but there was no looking back. She led us to the edge of the cliff and pushed us off when we were least expecting it.
Who Did You Tell? Was a punch to the jugular. This was a quick read, I had to find out what was going to happen next. The author pulled the rug out on more than one occasion. She grabbed me by the throat and didn’t let go until the very last word. A must read!
Lesley Kara is an alumna of the Faber Academy ‘Writing a Novel’ course. She completed an English degree and PGCE at Greenwich University, having previously worked as a nurse and a secretary, and then became a lecturer and manager in Further Education. She lives on the North Essex coast.
Her debut novel The Rumour is a Sunday Times hardback and paperback bestseller and 2019’s bestselling print crime and thriller debut.
Her second novel, Who Did you Tell? is coming soon.