The Rumor

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 19 Aug 2019

Member Reviews

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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Rumors do not really help anyone, they only make matters worse.  Just ask Jo.  Trying to fit in with the women in her new town, she starts a rumor that Sally McGowan, who killed a small boy when she was a child, is now living in their town.  No one knows if the rumor is true but the mothers at school and in the book club are busy trying to figure out who it is.  They settle on the woman who runs a gift shop and try to run her out of town.  Because Jo started the rumor, she believes she and her son , who is the same age as Robbie who was killed, are being targeted.  A Halloween picture at school has all Alfie's classmates in costumes but Alfie has a knife sticking out of him.  There is a twitter feed threatening Jo and her son.  It turns out that the person threatening Jo is not just out to threaten but wants revenge.  This book keeps you guessing with many surprises.
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A rumor can do all sorts of damage - sometimes just to a single person and sometimes it rockets through a town and like a brush fire destroys all in its wake. Sally Mcgowan killed a little boy when she herself was only a child. She went to jail and was eventually put into witness protection. The rumor begins that Sally Mcgowen may be living in Flintstead Michigan, where Joanna Critchley  lives with her son Alfie and her Mom living in a home nearby. Jo tells someone else about this possibility, and then she has to repeat it again at her book club and then Alfie's father wants to look more into this so he can write a book about it. Jo finds herself trying to figure out who Sally is. Then some things happen that begin to scare Jo, and things unravel from there until the book concludes with a shocking end. 

This book was a super slow read for me. I could not get into the story, and the characters felt flat. The story also felt like it had holes all over the place, and to the end, this reader did not feel like those holes were adequately filled. About 80% through the book it finally grabbed me and I was interested in reading it through to the end. Overall though, this was a disappointing read for this particular reader. The idea for the book was a good one though, I just wish it had been better executed.
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A short psychological thriller. Murder, family, friends, small town.. I felt the parts of the ending were too predictable. But then there was a twist at the very end..
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A fun and suspenseful read! With a Big Little Lies type of vibe, this story kept me guessing until the very last page. I love small towns with big secrets and had high hopes for this book; and I wasn’t disappointed. Though there were times I felt the story got buried in mundane details, the plot and the twists more than made up for it.
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The Rumor, written by Lesley Kara, just was not a book that I was able to get into. Generally, I love thrillers, I love the mystery and this book should have had everything I wanted.
It was well written, but there was something missing in the story that made me want to keep reading. Getting through this novel was a bit of a chore.
Could be that, while the idea of a rumor kicking this all off sounded interesting, the level that it is brushed off when first introduced just... made the rest of the novel end up feeling forced?
Looking for a thriller? REALLY want to read something that feels like All the Missing Girls? Maybe this can be that for you. The plot didn't push, and the characters just didn't propel the story forward.
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The Rumor is a novel of psychological suspense that examines the role rumors play in today's society. It has a pretty strong moral message, but I never felt that the author was preaching. Instead, the situations in which the characters find themselves deftly tackle some of the most important questions of our time, handling things like honesty, fidelity, and trust with much grace and insight.

Single mother Joanna Critchley has just moved to a small seaside town with her young son Alfie. She's hoping to give the boy a fresh start after some rather nasty bullying he experienced in London, and she thinks living near her mother in a quieter place might do him some good. For the most part, she's right. Alfie settles in well, seeming to make friends with some of his classmates, but Joanna herself is struggling to adjust to her new surroundings. She doesn't have much in common with the other mothers she encounters on a daily basis, and she hopes her own social awkwardness won't rub off on Alfie.

One afternoon while she's waiting for Alfie to come out of school, she strikes up a conversation with a group of women who are also waiting to collect their children. Hoping to impress them with her knowledge, Joanna repeats a rumor she recently heard in her neighborhood. Someone in town isn't who she seems to be. In fact, this person was sent to prison for murdering a child many years ago, and is now living under an assumed name in an attempt to escape her past. The women are shocked by what Joanna tells them, and it's not long before the news has spread throughout the community, inciting a rash of fear-based violence as everyone tries to figure out who the killer really is.

Joanna never wanted to ruin the life of an innocent person, but it soon becomes clear that the town's residents will not rest until the truth is uncovered once and for all, and Joanna finds herself torn between her desire to be accepted by the community as a whole and her strong belief that distancing herself from the storm of gossip is the safest option for herself and her son. Unfortunately, avoiding trouble might not be an option for Joanna, especially once she begins to suspect that the mysterious killer might have ties to her own past.

The novel moves quickly, making this a book you could easily devour in just a couple of sittings. The plot itself is pretty straight forward, especially during the first half, but that doesn't make it the least bit boring or predictable. There are a couple of big twists toward the end that I actually found quite surprising.

The cast of characters is on the large side, and I'm not sure every character really needed to be included. I sometimes found it difficult to keep them all straight in my head, especially as many of them only show up a couple of times. The main characters are all very well-developed though, making it easy for me to relate to them and their various struggles. A smaller-sized cast of supporting characters would definitely have been easier for me to wrap my head around though.

This is the author's début novel, so I'm willing to look past its few flaws. It's a book I enjoyed reading, and I'll be keeping an eye out for more of Ms. Kara's work in the future.

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