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Thanks to Emma Welton from Damp Pebbles Blog Tours for organising this tour and to Claire McGowan, Thomas and Mercer and Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.
A vicious assault. A devastating accusation. Who should she trust, her husband or her best friend?
It was supposed to be the perfect reunion: six university friends together again after twenty years. Host Ali finally has the life she always wanted, a career she can be proud of and a wonderful family with her college boyfriend, now husband. But that night her best friend makes an accusation so shocking that nothing will ever be the same again.
When Karen staggers in from the garden, bleeding and traumatised, she claims that she has been assaulted by Ali’s husband, Mike. Ali must make a split-second decision: who should she believe? Her horrified husband, or her best friend? With Mike offering a very different version of events, Ali knows one of them is lying, but which? And why?
When the ensuing chaos forces her to re-examine the golden era the group shared at university, Ali realises there are darker memories too. Memories that have lain dormant for decades. Memories someone would kill to protect.
Published in hardback, paperback, audio and ebook formats on 1st August 2019
I have to say that I completely devoured this novel. It is most definitely one of those books that you pick up and cannot put down until the very end but you seem to move through it at a lightening pace.
The novel begins right in the middle of the action and then takes a step back to the events leading up to it. Ali has organised a 25 year reunion of her and Mike’s (her husband) best friends from university. The evening ends with some guests wondering off to bed and others staying in the garden drinking further. Waking up for a drink in the middle of the night Ali is greeted by a distressed and injured Karen coming into the house claiming that she has been raped by Mike – and so begins a path of devastation for all parties involved.
Ali has no idea who to believe and who to trust anymore after revelations from her husband. She has two children to care for in the midst of all the chaos and am event from university days which is told in flashbacks scattered throughout the main story-line plants the seed of doubt into the readers head. What is clear is that not everyone and everything is as it seems.
Each character is written with depth and precision and if you searched your own group of friends you’d likely find the variety of characters among them – although maybe milder. The planning that Claire McGowan must have done to prepare for this is phenomenal. Each chapter weaves a small thread of the story whilst developing the characters and their changing relationships. As a new thread is added, you are forced to re-evaluate your opinions and everything you had previously thought making this a suspenseful novel full of twists and surprises.
I cannot rave enough about how brilliant this novel is and tackles a really interesting question. Who would you believe?
for lovers of darker suspense and thriller.
Author Bio – Claire McGowan
Born in Northern Ireland in 1981, Claire McGowan studied in Oxford then lived overseas in France and China. She is the author of standalone thriller The Fall, and the Paula Maguire series, including The Lost, The Dead Ground, The Silent Dead, A Savage Hunger, Blood Tide, and The Killing House. The Paula Maguire series was optioned by the BBC in 2014. A ten-part radio drama written by Claire was broadcast on Radio 4 in early 2019, and as a screenwriter she was selected as the 2017/18 Nickelodeon International Writing Fellow.
Claire set up the Crime Thriller Writing MA at City University, London, and has also taught for the Arvon Foundation, Guardian Masterclasses and at many literary festivals.
As Eva Woods, she has published four women’s fiction novels, including the bestselling How To Be Happy.