Thursday 27 December 2018

The Rumour by Lesley Kara @LesleyKara @TransworldBooks #TheRumour @alisonbarrow

When single mum Jane shares a rumour at the school gates – desperate to ingratiate herself with the clique of mothers at her son’s new school – there is no going back . . .

Rumour has it that a notorious child killer is living under a new identity, in their sleepy little town of Flinstead-on-Sea. 

Sally McGowan was just ten when she stabbed little Robbie Harris to death over 47 years ago – no photos of her exist since her release as a young woman.

So who is the supposedly reformed killer who now lives amongst them? How dangerous can one rumour become? And how far will Jane go to protect her loved ones from harm, when she realizes what it is she’s unleashed?

Jane is going to rue the day she ever said a word . . .

The Rumour by Lesley Kara is published in hardback by Bantam Press / Transworld on 27 December 2018. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

I was very lucky and very honoured to read a very early, pre-publication proof of The Rumour back in June of this year.  I don't read digitally so carefully printed out my PDF copy, put it in a folder and read it on a train journey to London. It was a good job that my train terminated in London because I hardly lifted my head from the book during the whole journey. I was hooked from page one, right through to the totally unexpected ending that had me gasping out loud.

Children who kill; child murderers ... the subject of a dark and uneasy fascination for many of us. This novel centres around Sally McGowan who stabbed to death a small boy when she was aged just ten years old. The crime happened almost fifty years ago and Sally was in prison for many years. It's a well known fact that she is now free, living under an assumed identity, with no photographs of her as an adult.

Jane is a single mother, recently moved to a small seaside town and when she hears the rumour that Sally McGovern is living in the same town, she doesn't hesitate to repeat what she's heard at the school gates.

Jane's words create chaos and mayhem in the small community and this author very cleverly examines how one piece of unconfirmed gossip can change lives. All of a sudden, Jane is invited into the circle of the school-gate mum and the babysitting club. For Jane, this is the acceptance that she craved, and a way to ensure that her small son will also be accepted by his peers. However, Jane's new standing in the community also causes fear and grief and regret for her.

Lesley Kara skilfully examines small town mentality and does it so very very well. As the rumour gathers speed and increases in intensity, every single person falls under suspicion. I certainly had my suspects, although this clever author throws some impressive curve balls along the way, catching me and the people in the story unawares, many times.

The Rumour is written with skill and precision; testing the reader throughout. It is a compelling and intelligent take on human nature, the power of gossip and the hidden family secrets that can shatter lives and create turmoil. And .... oh my goodness, that final paragraph! Pure genius.

Author photo credit: Christian Davies Photography.
Lesley Kara is an alumna of the Faber Academy ‘Writing a Novel’ course. 

She lives on the North Essex coast. 

The Rumour is her first novel. 

Website :
Instagram : @lesleykarawriter
Twitter @LesleyKara
Author Page on Facebook

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