The Rumor

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 19 Aug 2019

Member Reviews

After leaving the city for the small beach town in which she was raised, Joanna finds she doesn’t fit in with the other mothers at her son Alfie’s school. In trying to get their attention, she repeats a rumor that a notorious child killer was in the witness protection program after her release, and had been sent to their town. Things quickly spiral out of control, with innocent people being accused and harassed, and Joanna is unable to slow the progression of things, especially after it becomes all too personal. 

I will admit I did not expect the reveal about Sally McGowan’s current identity, and I enjoyed the suspense and the way the storyline flowed. I was a bit put off by the style of writing; I don’t think the book translated all that well from a British story into one for an American audience. Some phrasings weren’t ones Americans would use; for example, saying something was “brilliant.” That aside, I enjoyed the book and found it interesting and exciting.
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This was an engaging story which kept me guessing.  No spoilers but there was one part that just caught me by surprise.  I love to be caught by surprise when I am reading!
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This book is really a 3.75 but Goodreads doesn’t give us that flexibility. If you’re looking for an easy thriller to keep the pages turning, this is it! Joanna has relocated back to the small coastal town where she grew up from Boston. She is looking for a simpler life for her and her young son. Settling in near her mother helps provide stability. As she tries to ingratiate herself with the local moms, Joanna plays into the rumor mil. She inadvertently spreads a rumor that has potential to ruin lives. Is her hometown the hideout spot for an infamous murderer? Or is this just a terrible rumor? Read to find out. It’s your perfect summer beach book
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I received a free e-copy of The Rumor by Lesley Kara from NetGalley for my honest review.

In 1969 Robbie Harris, who was five years old, was stabbed to death by Sally McGowan, a ten year old.

Since Sally's release, she has been in witness protection. She has a new name and a new identity so no one knows who she is or what she looks like now. But there are rumors that she is living in Flintstead.

Joanna Critchley is moving from London to Flintstead with her son, Alfie. He was bullied while living in London so the fresh start will hopefully help. Joanna's mom also lives there and it is where Joanna grew up.

Moving back home has been a big change for Joanna. She joined the local book club but just hasn't put herself out there yet to meet people or make friends. One day while at the gates of Alfie's school, she joins a conversation with the other moms about the rumor of Sally McGowan. Then, at Joanna's next book club meeting she brings up the conversation.

Soon, the rumor is spreading like fire all throughout Flintstead. There are lots of women living in this community that could potentially be Sally McGowan. How far will a rumor go and how many lives can be changed or destroyed over it. A gripping and chilling read that will keep you guessing.
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An engaging thriller, I found The Rumour to be unputdownable. It sees single mum Jo trying to fit in with the women in her new town, where she has moved to be closer to her mum after her son was being bullied at his school in London. In trying to be liked, more for her sons sake than her own, she passes on a rumour she has heard, that a famous child killer has been living in the area, and unwittingly releases a chain of events that sees Jo eventually fighting for everything she holds dear.
Though I did figure a great deal of the twist of this one in the first third of the book I didn't have it all worked out, so I found myself racing through the novel to see how it all came together. A good read for lovers of psychological fiction.
My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This is a great book!  Every time I thought I had things figured out, there was a twist.  And the ending caught me by surprise.
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Overall I found this book a little dull. A few twists but most were predictable. Overall it was a really quick read though. 

Thanks for the ARC, Netgalley!
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Have you ever seen a rumor quickly spiral out of control like a fire across a parched prairie? In The Rumor, Joanna sees this scenario play out in real time, at times often aiding the public's urgent hunger for more information, whether true or not. 
Kara has written a jaw droppingly good thriller, with the expected twists and turns that keep the reader second guessing to the very end. I was able to see some of them coming before they had fully landed, but it didn't take away from my enjoyment. However, it was a tad unnerving to read a book that feels and sounds like it's set in a small British town when there are frequent mentions of the setting actually being a Chicago suburb. The tone and nuance of the characters' speech, as well as what I think of as more typically British names, made this lose a sense of setting. I believe the author originally had this placed outside of London, and wish the publishers (or whoever it was who made the decision) had stuck to that when it was printed for the American market. As it is, there are certain moments where I felt pulled out of the story when something struck me as being particularly British sounding/influenced and then be told I'm to believe this is taking place in middle America. 
Apart from that one quibble, I found this book to be a marvelously done with likable characters that I bonded to almost instantly, children who were well written without being either too precocious or too infantilized, and a tense conclusion that led to a believable ending. 
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the free advanced copy. This did not influence my review.
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This started out great......and then it just went on with nothing happening.  It's been a week now and I am still only 30% of the way through and am struggling so hard.  Should I keep going?
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Joanna is having a tough time fitting in to her new city. It’s where she grew up, but she moved away and spent a lot of time in London. Moving back to a small town is a bit of a culture shock. But she wants to make friends, she needs to make friends, both for herself and for her young son Alfie. Alfie was bullied at his school in the city, and while he’s not being bullied now, he’s also struggling to make friends. He sits by himself at lunch and doesn’t get invited to birthday parties. 

Joanna knows it’s up to her to make inroads. While they moved back there so they could be close to her mother, Joanna has had trouble connecting with the other moms at Alfie’s school. So when she heard the rumor, she may have mentioned it to another woman or two in town, to help act as social lubricant. And maybe she said something about it in book club. I mean, it’s not like anyone would really believe it, right? That Sally McGowan lived in their little town? 

Sally McGowan was just a little kid herself when she was accused of killing a young boy, a neighbor, by stabbing him with a knife. It came out later how abusive Sally’s parents were, but it was too late. She was tried and sentenced by the court of popular opinion, so after the years she spent locked up, she was given a new identity and set up in a town far away from where the death took place. 

But the rumors are taking on a life of their own. As the accusations grow around the town, and women are being put into danger, can Joanna undo the damage she helped to cause? Can she figure out who Sally McGowan really is in time to protect the woman from those who seek to destroy her? And will Joanna’s figuring that out put her and Alfie in danger? 

Lesley Kara’s debut novel The Rumor shows the damage that can happen in a small community when a rumor gets out. Part story of starting over and part mystery, The Rumor is a fascinating tale of the damage that can be done by those who sacrifice the present to keep living in the past. 

I really enjoyed this domestic thriller and had a hard time putting it down. It’s a solid story with lots of red herrings and surprises. Twisty fun!

Galleys were provided by Ballentine Books through NetGalley, with many thanks.
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This book just shows how one little rumor can ruin someone's life! The main character thinks that she is spreading harmless nonsense but it seriously comes back to bite her on the behind! This book was incredibly intriguing to me and I really enjoyed the twist at the end! Highly recommend!
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I really enjoyed this first novel by Lesley Kara. I did not guess the twist until it was time to and there were so many red herrings thrown my way it made it really fun.
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"A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes— Mark Twain."

"It’s happening again. Don’t ask me how I know. I just do. I see it in the roll of the waves, the way they’re bearing in at a slant. Fast. Relentless. I feel it in the nip of the air on my skin, smell it in the rotting leaves and damp earth, hear it in the silence of the watching crows. You’re coming for me again and there’s nothing I can do to stop you. This is how it happens. One night I go to bed and everything’s fine. Everything’s under control. The story has ceased to be a story. It’s real. Solid. Unbreakable. Then I wake up and it’s changed. Cracks have appeared overnight and I realize that I’ve been fooling myself all this time, that I’ve only ever been the most fragile of constructions. I’m the hunted. I’ll always be the hunted."

"It starts with a rumor. Whispers at the school gate. 
I’m not really listening at first. I promised Dave I’d pick up the keys to the Maple Drive property and meet a client there. I don’t have time to stand around in a gossipy huddle with this group. 
But then I catch sight of Debbie Barton’s face—the way her jaw’s just dropped—and my curiosity gets the better of me.
“Say that again,”she says. “I don’t believe it.”
I edge closer, as does little Ketifa’s mother, Fatima. Jake’s mother—is it Cathy?—looks from side to side before she speaks, milking her moment in the spotlight for all it’s worth. 
“There’s a strong possibility that a famous child killer is living right here in Flinstead,”she says, pausing to let her words take effect. “Under a new identity, of course. She murdered a little boy when she was ten, back in the sixties. Stabbed him with a kitchen knife, right through his heart.”

**********
Stop me if you've heard this teaser before... 
The Rumor by Lesley Kara is a thrilling read with a massive twist! 
In this case, it's absolutely true! 
As I read, I had my pick for the the identity of the notorious child killer. Of course, I changed my mind half a dozen times but rounding the last corner to the finale, I had my pick chosen and I was certain I was right! 

I was wrong!! Very wrong! 
Not just with my final choice, but all of them! Wow! I was shocked! 
I've already decided to add Lesley Kara's next book, Who Did You Tell?, coming out in January 2020.

With thanks and appreciation to NetGalley, Ballantine Books/Random House publishing, and Lesley Kara for this advanced digital copy to read and review.
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Not as interesting as the description lends it to be. The mystery of it all was a bit of a let down, it kind of tosses you back and forth without good development into the real story. Not something I would recommend.
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This is a suspenseful thriller that will keep readers turning pages and will surely in everyone's beach bag this summer.
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I was not a huge fan of this book. The twists in it were fairly predictable and I figured them out early on. There is nothing more disappointing than believing the book will surprise you and switch things up; that there is absolutely no way they will end it the way you think they will...and then they do. I also found that the story dragged on because of this and I found myself very eager to finish it up.
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What becomes of a rumor once told? Joanna wants for her son to fit in and make friends with his school mates. So she shares a rumor with her book club that she heard on school grounds. She cannot imagine the consequences to her and her family once the rumor spreads. Soon she starts to suspect everyone around her and doesn't know who to trust. Then her son's father enters the picture and he wants to write a story about the story behind the rumor. I quite liked the story and did not suspect who was the culprit until the same time as the main character. The ending providing a twist that I did not see coming (read until the end).

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishing company for the free ARC. All opinions are my own and no meant to cause rumors.
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I love the way this authour writes.  This was a good story how one little comment, rumour, can get out of hand a ruin someone's life.  

This is about a woman, Joanna,  and her son, Alfie,  move back to her hometown.  Her mother lives there and Joanna is trying to make friends.  She hears a rumour and decides to share it.  Will it be a good thing or not?

At times the story did drag but I did enjoy it and would recommend it.
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This book started out like so many others. Female character, new in town, trying to fit in with upper class mothers, silly coincidental things start happy pening, then bam! The rollercoaster begins. A unique thriller with well developed characters. Kept a me on the edge of my seat. A terrific summer read
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First of all, I’d like to thank Netgalley and Random House-Ballantine Publishers for giving me an opportunity to read and give my honest review.  I had great difficulty maintaining interest in this book for several reasons.  I found myself feeling irritated with most of the characters.  The main character, Joanna, was in a constant state of panic about everything.  I didn’t care that the father of her son was black, but she seemed obsessed with it.  Her mothering skills were awful and she continued to make decisions that caused her son to have more difficulty than necessary.  I began to dread what she would do next.  It was hard to keep track of all the women in town.  When the “big reveal “. Was disclosed, I felt angry that there was a huge background story that had not even been hinted at previously and didn’t even make sense.  I finally stopped reading on page 226 of 261 because I didn’t care what happened after that.  #Netgalley, #randomhousepublishing, #amazon, #barnesandnoble
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