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's There? by Kerena Swan
Published by Amazon Digital Services LLC - KDP Print US on November 12, 2019
Genres: Psychological Thriller
Buy on Amazon
Appearances can be deceptive...Arnold Eastwood is thrilled when social services allocate him a flat all of his own. Independence hasn't come easily to a young man with Downs Syndrome but now he has the chance to live free from his mum's nagging, find a girlfriend, watch endless movies and make new friends.Meanwhile a London drug gang is setting up a supply line in Arnold's town. They're looking for someone to deliver drugs for them and somewhere to set up a base of operations. Soon Arnold and his flat are in the drug gang's sights. Drawn into the dark underworld of crack cocaine and modern slavery, Arnold soon discovers that friends can in fact be deadly enemies.The question is: can he break free?What people are saying about Who's There?: 'It's the most moving, heart rending yet pacy crime thriller I've read in years. Arnold Eastwood is an amazing young man who, despite his Downs Syndrome, is determined to make his own way in the world. What happens when drug dealers cuckoo him and his flat is happening in a town near you right now. Prepare to gasp, cry and be stunned.' Graham Bartlett - retired police commissioner and adviser to Peter James.'This is an eye-opening and heart wrenching story. A story highlighting the vulnerability of people and a tale of trust. And the lack of it. A story of what fear will drive you to do. At times an uncomfortable read. A book that has clearly been researched and written with emotion, care and love, it's shocking and dark at times, but dotted with Arnold's humour, and the friendship that grows between Arnold and Chip, it's also heart warming. The writing is so accessible, anyone could pick this up. I truly loved this book, so different from anything I have read this year, it made me sad and it made me smile as it took me through a whole universe of emotions. Sarah Hardy - book blogger.'Who's there? landed in my inbox and completely took my breath away; it was different from anything else I had read in recent years, with brilliant characterization and an inventive plotline. I loved it!' Anita Waller - best-selling author.'I loved the way the characters developed and the surprises along the way. The descriptions were very graphic and the care the author took in writing about Arnold was very moving. I read this in two days! I'm now Kerena Swan's no.1 fan - Graham Rolf'I loved meeting Arnold. His unique voice leaps out, his warmth and trusting childlike qualities are a joy but as a young man with Downs Syndrome he's too trusting. A recipe for unbearable tension. In 'Who's There?', Kerena Swan makes masterful use of her Social Work background to weave scenarios that could easily be happening in a town or city anywhere. ' A B Morgan'A refreshingly original tale on a crime theme''Shockingly believable. This story resonates all too chillingly with some of the social problems in modern-day Britain.
Thank you to Sarah for my spot on the blog tour. All thoughts are my own and unbiased.
How many times did our parents tell us never to talk to strangers? If your parents were anything like mine, it was too many times to count. This is the main theme at play in Who’s There? This is just easier said and done for a character like Arnold Eastwood, a naturally trusting young man with Downs Syndrome. He dreams of having his own independence after years living and relying on his mother. He knows he can do it. He wants to do it. The time has come, he has been offered his first flat. How hard can it be, right?
Just how dangerous can trusting anyone be? The author expertly weaves Arnold’s trusting nature with the worst vestiges of human behaviour. Manipulation, lies and deceit has the reader feeling heart wrenching emotion for Arnold. He doesn’t deserve the treatment he receives. He is a kind-hearted young man that doesn’t have the need to deceive people. What you see is what you get. I only wish that more people were like him. He truly wears his heart on his sleeve. I really enjoyed Arnold’s interaction with his boss and family. A true gentle soul.
Drug running and a young man with Down’s Syndrome…the two are just not compatible. Arnold lives next door to local drug addict, Saskia. She is a troubled soul with immense amounts of baggage. Something happened to her daughter that inevitably triggered her destructive relationship with heroin. As expected Arnold is naïve and has designs on her being his girlfriend. He’s adorably sweet to her but she’s just looking for her next fix. I feel for her, I really do. We meet Chip a runner for a much bigger and deadlier dealer called Poker. Chip is branching out and starting his own drug business under Poker. It doesn’t all go to plan. The waters getting muddier and Arnold is sandwiched in-between with no immediate way out due to his amazing character.
It isn’t straightforward, and everything isn’t as it seems. Arthur’s own family is dripping in flaws. His mother seems outrageously overprotective of him. This is to the detriment of her own physical health. I can understand fully what she thinks and feels as I am also a mother of a child of a rare genetic condition. My son was born with a segment of gene data missing from chromosome 15. This book really struck a chord with me and the author did a stellar job of pinpointing the mannerisms, the speech, the need to love and please and it made my heart warm that the author brought some much-needed awareness.
A horribly accurate telling of how naivety and manipulation come hand in hand. Terrifying and chilling. A slow burn of imminent disaster.
Kerena Swan trained as a Social Worker and worked for Social Services for over 25 years. For the past 14 years she has owned and managed an ‘outstanding’ rated agency for children with disabilities. Following serious illnesses she decided to fulfil her long-held ambition of writing a book and getting it published. ‘Dying to See You’, published by Bloodhound Books, was her debut novel.
After many years of writing professionally in the course of her work, Kerena has discovered the exhilaration and deep joy of writing fiction and can be found at all hours in front of her computer. Her second novel ‘Scared to Breathe’ is now available and her third book, ‘Who’s There?’, will be released on December 13th 2019.
Kerena lives with her family in a small village in Bedfordshire, UK and her books are set in the surrounding areas.
Drawing on her extensive knowledge and experience of the problematic world of social work and social studies, Kerena adds a unique angle to the domestic noir and crime genre.
If you would like to hear more about new releases, read Kerena’s blogs and download a free short-story – the prequel to Dying to See You – then visit kerenaswan.co.uk and join her mailing list.