Tuesday 23 January 2024

Every Smile You Fake by Dorothy Koomson #EverySmileYouFake @DorothyKoomson @headlinepg @ed_pr #BookReview


Please take care of my baby. But don't try to find me. You'll put him in danger. x

Profiler and therapist Kez Lanyon is shocked when she finds a baby on the backseat of her car, with an unsigned note asking her to take care of him.

Kez has a pretty good idea who the mother is - Brandee, a popular social media star with a troubled background, who once lived in Kez's house.

Brandee recently dropped out of the limelight and if the internet rumours are true, Kez knows Brandee's life is in danger.

Kez is torn. Should she simply take care of the baby as she's been asked, or should she risk her whole family by using contacts from her previous job to save this young woman?

Time is running out for Brandee. Can Kez find her before it's too late?

Every Smile You Fake by Dorothy Koomson is published in hardback on 15 February 2024 by Headline. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review. 

I have been reading Dorothy Koomson for twenty years! TWENTY YEARS! Crikey that makes me feel old, especially as I can clearly recall those early books so well. In fact, her 2006 novel, My Best Friend's Girl is one of very few books that I've read more than once. 
Over the years, this author's style has changed and developed, her early novels were more romance and general fiction, her latter novels, including this one would be classed as psychological thrillers. 

Every Smile You Fake is a book that takes the reader on an incredible journey, incorporating domestic noir, undercover agents, the rise of online misogyny, with an overwhelming theme of the power of love and family connections. 

The story is narrated by Kez, we hear her present day story and she also takes us back many years. The second narrator is Brandee; an online influencer, she tells her side of the story in messages that she posts on her 'Joyn' platform. 

Kez is force to be reckoned with, we encounter her first at a book launch. She is part of the panel as she is a profiler and psychologist and has helped the author when writing the book. When an audience member makes a statement that clearly is aimed at Kez, she doesn't hold back and uses her psychological knowledge to make the man look so small. When he follows her across a dark car park after the event, Kez once again holds her own. It is then that she discovers a baby in the back of her car, just months old. There's a note asking her to look after the baby, but not to try to find the author of the note as this could put the baby in danger. 

It soon becomes clear that asking Kez not to do something is totally the wrong thing. She knows who the mother is and she knows that she has to find her. Brandee is like a daughter to Kez, she's cared for her for years, and she is worried about her. 

It's a complex story that takes some really unexpected turns along the way. As we learn more about Kez's early life, and how she met her husband Jeb, we also learn that she has experienced some dangerously dark and terrifying things. It is those past experiences that have made her who she is today, and that haunt her on a daily basis. 

This novel is extremely relevant to today's modern society. As we see Kez and Jeb's son Moe pulled away from his family; attracted by the slick messages put out by a man who has accumulated a massive following, we can only fear for the safety of both Kez and Brandee. 

There are many different threads woven throughout the book and Koomson cleverly and expertly ties these together to create a jaw dropping, totally unexpected finale. It's so classy, so extremely well put together and it is totally gripping throughout. Highly recommended. 

 is an award-winning, internationally bestselling author and journalist whose books have been translated into more than 30 languages, with sales that exceed 2 million copies in the UK alone.

Her third novel, 
My Best Friend's Girl (2006) was selected for the Richard & Judy Summer Reads Book Club, while a TV adaptation based on The Ice Cream Girls was shown on ITV1 in 2013.

Dorothy was featured on the 2021 Powerlist as one of the most influential Black people in Britain and appeared in 
GQ Style as a Black British trailblazer.

She loves reading and writing, and is passionate about supporting other writers no matter what stage they are at in their career.

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