The Rumor

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 19 Aug 2019

Member Reviews

I really enjoyed this book and loved that it came from different viewpoints.  Like so many of us, Joanna hears a rumor and passes it on.  Little does she know that this will change her entire life as she knows it.  The story that she shares ends up becoming an obsession and she no longer knows who she can trust.  I loved that this book was not obvious and kept me guessing throughout and would like to see what else this author has up her sleeve.
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I read this last week in a day and a half because I could not put it down. I don't want to say too much because I don't want to give anything away, but read this book! If a great, creepy beach read set in a sleepy oceanside town where nothing ever happens...until the rumor starts...
This novel definitely surprised me, in a good way. That's all I'm going to say as not to spoil the fun. Give it a read and let me know what you think!
Thanks to @netgalley and @ballantinecorp for allowing me to read this book in exchange for my review!
Rating: 🙀🙀🙀🙀 #lesleykara #therumor #bookstagramreviews #booksharks #netgalley #summerreads
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Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgally for review purposes.

*Takes really deep breath* okay guys what the fuck was that 🤦

 I had a lot of problems with this book which sucks because I really wanted to like it. It had a lot of fluff, like a lot. The main character just has a lot of inner monologue and I can't bring myself to care about any of it - probably because she hates Halloween and when dogs lick people. She also has a "I'm better than you" personality and judges all the other moms for gossiping and being catty but this girl started and perpetuated the rumor the entireee book. 🤦🤦🤦🤦

She also says she'll do whatever it takes to stop her kid from being bullied but when her kid gets invited to a Halloween party it's a big eye roll and being ticked off that she's going to need to get him a costume - even saying that maybe just throwing a sheet over him and calling him a ghost will be good enough. Like, yeah, good effort lady.

The whole book just centered around self centered rich white ladies and it was a looot. Also I had no idea who anyone was??? They mention like tons of characters and I think I grasped two.

I usually don't post spoilers but my main problem with the book is very spoilery so SPOILERS BELOW


we're supposed to sympathize with the child killer? Look I'm pretty fricken liberal but at her age you know right and wrong and I'd be pissed too that you got out and got to live a normal life 😑 efffff that. I was 100% with the lady who was trying to ruin her family and kill her. Not only were you selfish enough to not tell your family this endangering them but you literally destroyed a entire families life and just think saying oops sorry is good enough. Nope nope nope I'm sorry but if someone hurt my family or god forbid killed my sibling or child id hunt you down for revenge too 🤷
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“The Rumor” is a story about how damaging a rumor can be once it gets started.  It is very well written, intense and suspenseful.....a well plotted psychological thriller.  The story and characters instantly drew me in.  The twist towards the end is almost hard to believe, a total shock.  
Thank you to NetGallery, the publisher and author, Lesley Kara, for the opportunity to read and review this intriguing debut novel.
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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️— The Rumor by Lesley Kara (Out July 9)
Thank you to Ballantine Books and Netgalley for a free copy!
Sally McGowan was a young girl who murdered an even younger boy. So when rumors pop up that this person is living in her small town, Joanna passes the rumor along as idle gossip. A mom trying to fit in, she unleashes a flow of gossip/rumors that cannot stop once it starts.
What I Loved: The first 1/4 drug a bit but once it picked up it was moving fast. I liked how I suspected numerous people and kept changing my thoughts. Though it wrapped up quickly there was nothing else to do this time. And I appreciated how the author didn’t try to throw in 800 twists to “wow” you, which normally leaves readers confused and frustrated. The ending was to the point!
What I Didn’t: There were definitely more characters than needed. Some were there it seemed to take up space and it made the story drag a bit at the beginning. 
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Flinstead is a small town.  The moms at school hear a rumor that Sally McGowan was living in their town under an assumed name.  Sally McGowan killed a young boy when she was ten years old.  After serving her time, Sally disappeared.  

Joanna Critchley repeats the rumor at book club.  The rumor spreads and soon the town is searching for Sally, accusing anyone they think may be her under an assumed name.  They do not want her in their town.  Chaos erupts.  Jo and her partner, Michael, look for Sally in earnest.

The Rumor is a fast-past ride with several twists and an explosive ending.  Jo is a normal single parent (although Michael is definitely in the picture).  She feels she must find if Sally McGowen is living in Flinstead.  Responsibility for her part in all that is happening and could happen weighs at her.  Jo doggedly pursues each bit of information, whether true or a red herring.  

I cannot express how much I enjoyed this book.  I could not stop reading and ended up finishing it in one setting.  I never expected the ending and was blown away.  I, literally, had no clue.  I will definitely read every book written by this author!

I received an ARC from Random House Publishing - Ballentine Books through NetGalley in
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2.5 Stars* (rounded down)

Joanna and her son Alfie move into the quite community of Flinstead where her mother lives in hopes that both Jo and Alfie will fit in. Fitting in has never been either’s strong suit.  It is then that Jo does it.  Starts the rumor!  Of a notorious murderer living in Flinstead.  It takes off like wildfire.  And just like that, Jo is a part of the “in crowd” and everyone wants to know more about Sally McGown.

I’ve never personally thought much about rumors.  But then I’ve never spread any.  Just goes to show you.  This book sure makes you think about them - I’ll give you that.  It also makes your eyes roll, and roll.

If you like idle chit chat, gossip and/or you will live in a small community, maybe you’ll like this novel, unfortunately, it just wasn’t my cuppa.  

Thank you to NetGalley, Random House Publishing Group and Lesley Kara for an arc of this novel in exchange for an honest review.  

Published on Goodreads and NetGalley on 6.22.19.
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I loved this book. It definitely shows how rumors can get out of hand. The mystery around who the person was kept me questioning many different characters. Even when the answer was revealed, there was yet another twist. Very good read!!!
Thanks Net Galley for providing this book for me for an unbiased review.
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Joanna lives in the small seaside town of Flinstead with her six-year-old son Alfie. At Alfie's school Joanna hears a rumor that a child killer from long ago may now be living in Flinstead under a different name. Rather than keeping her yap shut, Joanna tells people, who in turn tell people, the rumor spreads, and now everyone in town is trying to figure out who the child killer is. And this book is FLYING by with great writing as the story is being laid out and as characters are being introduced...and then I hit a wall. Hard. I felt I had read this story before, and I also felt I already knew who the woman was. Huh? I took a break, watched cheesy TV, and came back to it cause dudes, there was a LOTTA book left so I was obviously wrong, right? Wrong. I was right. Sigh. For me there were too many throwaway characters, the clues were a bit too obvious, the story really did feel like several other "nasty mommy" books I've read, and the ending was a just plain silly. But this is only MY opinion, folks. It's like I always say - the best part about books is that we all have different tastes and we all react differently to what we read. In the end, for me, The Rumor reminded me of that old Yogi Berra quote: "It's like déjà vu all over again."
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Thanks to NetGalley, Ballantine Books, and Lesley Kara for the opportunity to read and review her debut novel - I could not put this book down!  I can't wait to read more from this author.

Rumors - so easy to spread and what harm they can cause.  Joanna is a single mom to Alfie and recently moved her son to be close to her mom because he was being bullied in school.  But Joanna and Alfie are still having trouble fitting in.  When Joanna lets slip a rumor that she heard to the other moms, she gains an in to the group, but at what cost.  The rumor is that a murderer of a small boy has been released and is living in their town under an assumed name.  Suddenly everyone is suspect.  Joanna becomes obsessed with the case as well.  Just how dangerous for everyone will this rumor become?

Just as in the book, everyone is suspect and I was glued to the pages to find out the answers - and was still blown away by the last page.  Great read!
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It starts with a rumor. Whispers at the school gate.

"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" ...

The Rumour debuted in the United Kingdom in December of 2018. The setting is the fictional "cozy" seaside village of Flinstead-on-Sea and the dialogue is distinctly British. The novel crosses the Atlantic in June, 2019 and has been revised for an American audience. Just in time to pick up a copy for a nice beach read! Other reviewers have called it a psychological thriller or heady suspense but I would place it more as a women's fiction with a who-dun-it theme.

Joanna Critchley, a single mother, was a very successful real estate manager in a large metropolitan area near the sea. She gave it all up - the big salary, beautiful home, and fancy car - to give her son, Alfie, a new life away from cruel school bullies.

She surprises herself by choosing to be near her mother in the small seaside town of Flinstead. When she was eighteen-years-old she couldn't leave Flinstead fast enough. The tiny town is a mecca for retirees and she longed for the bright lights of the city and the more hip crowd. Now returning, she hopes that Alfie being near his beloved grandmother and entering a new school system would give him a brighter future. Alfie is a bi-racial child and the reader is left to assume that Joanna expected the smaller community would be more tolerate of her mixed race child.

She soon learns that a small town can be harsh on newcomers. Children aren't the only ones to find it difficult to find a place in the existing pecking order.

Encouraged by her mother, Joanna makes an effort to meet other women in local social activities and joins a book club. When another member of the book club is being hazed over her love life, Joanna attempts to deflect the conversation by asking,

"Just out of curiosity, has anyone heard of Sally McGowan?". . . that child killer from the sixties . . . I'm sure it is a load of garbage, but someone mentioned they'd heard something about her living in Flinstead, under a new identity."

And just like that - the rumor begins to spread throughout the town like a lightning strike in a hay field. Once ignited, the rumor is unstoppable and splinters into different directions fueled by fear, curiosity, paranoia, and suspicion.

Suspected victims are harassed and threatened. No one is above suspicion. And everyone remembers who first brought up the subject. Joanna becomes a target by someone who seems to know Sally McGowan and she fears for her life and that of her son.

The twisty plot explores the damage an innocent comment can do in a small town with everyone having an ax to grind. The truth of the rumor becomes a rationale to expose the town's underbelly.

The book is not overly harsh and easy to read. The kind of book you would take on a plane trip; it doesn't require the reader to deeply engage in the themes just enjoy the journey.
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This was a fascinating psychological thriller. Rumor’s can spread quickly and many times they have devestating consequences.  Deadly consequences.  Kara delivers a fair amount of suspense with this debut novel.  
Many thanks to Random House Publishing and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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I received this from Netgalley for honest review. 
4 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐
What a great thrill and suspence it was to read. What a great psychological thrill! This novel had everything in it. The  thrill, the suspence, the psychological, and the twist is crazy. This novel will keep you thinking and guessing. When you think you right, well let me just say that you might be wrong. This had me all over the place. My heart beatting so fast! I couldn't believe what I was reading. If had me in shock. Every page, every chapter was a page turner. I couldn't believe my eyes what I was reading. I highly recommend everybody get this book and read it. It will surprise you in every way.
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This is touted as a read similar to Girl on The Train.......partly accurate, I would say.
Story unfolds with a woman moving back to a small town with her young son. And then becoming involved, intrigued, confused about a child killer from a number of years ago.
  It is an easy read in that it does not jump around to much, but is also a read wherein the author pulls more from what she is thinking than what she is writing, leaving the reader wondering WhY the character is feeling the way she is.
   Not a bad book, but I had it figured out pretty early on.
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I felt like this book was a little slow going in the beginning.  The big reveal of who Sally McGowan was actually turned out to be a surprise.  I feel like there were too many holes in the ending though.  Stop reading now to avoid spoilers!  An older woman with cancer flings herself down a rotted out staircase in an abandoned house, and another woman seriously breaks her collarbone, and we are supposed to believe they can just elect to keep everything a secret?  That there will be no police investigation? That the news won't get a hold of it?  There doesn't seem to be any possibility that would happen.  I feel like it would've made a better ending if Michael had actually written a story about Sally McGowan, perhaps without identifying her directly, and talked about how many lives had been ruined in the aftermath.  I was actually not surprised at the second twist, that it really was murder.  Overall, I enjoyed the book, and I would be interested in seeing what this author comes out with next.
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The Rumor, by Lesley Kara, is a twisty thriller that I thoroughly enjoyed and could not put down.  I finished it in less than a day.  It is a story intended to make a mother‘s (or grandmother’s) heart race. This is not my usual genre, and I definitely was surprised by the final resolution.

The story stands as a warning to be careful what you say and to whom you say it.  Almost all of the characters are likeable and sympathetic, which makes it particularly troubling to identify the culprit, and upsetting when you finally do know.  The setting, a seaside village is exceptionally appealing.  Unfortunately, location and geography are problematic.  This book was originally written for a British audience and “reworked” for American readers, for reasons that completely elude me.  Unfortunately, the tweaking was inartful and inconsistent so that it was never really clear where the characters were.  I did not let it get in the way of the story, and I very much hope other readers will do the same.  I highly recommend this engrossing mystery/thriller!

Thanks to NetGalley and Ballantine Books of Random House Publishing for the opportunity to read an electronic ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Rumors can kill…

The Rumor is Lesley Kara’s debut novel and tells the story about Jo, a single mother who moves back to her hometown, a small, coastal town in New England.  Trying to make friends with the other school moms to help her son to be included and make friends, Jo decides to spread a rumor she heard about a convicted child murdered living in their town under a new name.  The story unfolds, but who is this mysterious child killer?  With all the crazy characters in the town it could be anyone, maybe even someone Jo knows.  With the help of her son’s father, a freelance journalist, Jo tries to figure out who it is, but what she’s looking for might be putting her son in danger.  Is listening to a rumor really worth it?  

This to me was a very easy read.  I was intrigued from the beginning and needed to know who this child killer really was?  Was it Liz, the eccentric head of the book club?  Kay, the kind, older neighbor?  Karen, the sort of friend?  Karen’s mother, who didn’t seem to like Jo at all?  Susan, the woman whose house Jo was selling? Or maybe it was one of the other characters in this town?  There were a lot of characters to keep track of in this book and honestly it could have been any of them.  

That was one of my only issues with this book – the amount of characters.  Sometimes I had a hard time keeping track of who was who.  I think the author could have had a few key characters and not so many school moms, and the story still would have worked.  

One thing that impressed me, what that I didn’t figure out who the killer actually was.  I was surprised when it hit me at the same time it hit Jo.  The other most shocking part of the book is the last sentence, but I won’t get that away! 

Thank you NetGalley and Ballantine Books for and advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.
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There's been a lot of hype about this book. People have been all over the place in terms of their reviews for it. As for me? I'm stuck in the middle. It read much like a Desperate Housewives/Big Little Lies type story for me. I felt like it was a story that had already been done before. The writing isn't bad at all and it kept my attention the entire time, I just didn't really seem to care about what happened. It was a little too predictable for me. If you don't read thrillers often, you may enjoy this one!
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Wow talk about twists and turns! This book caught my attention from the very beginning. There were several times, while I was reading, where I thought I figured it out, yet when I got to the end I was shocked. I found the characters likable and loved that there were also short chapters. It was a pretty quick read that I would absolutely recommend to others.
When Jo, a single mom, hears a rumor while picking up her son from school she never intends to repeat it. However, once she does there’s no going back. Rumor has it that a woman, who committed murder as a child and was released years later, is now living in Jo’s town under a different name. Joanna finds herself obsessed and trying to figure out who it could be. What she doesn’t realize is the danger she is putting not only herself in but also her son, Alfie. Can one rumor really shatter your world? Will Jo regret her part in spreading this particular rumor?
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Thanks to Ballantine Books and NetGalley, I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of The Rumor.  It took me quite a while to get into this one, but I decided to hang on a little longer.  It just started off really slow for me, but once I got to the midway point, I couldn’t put it down.  

Joanna and her young son, Alfie, move to a small town and have trouble making friends.  Joanna is so desperate for her son to have friends, she decides to mention a rumor to other moms that she has heard floating around.   A child murderer may possibly be living in their town under a different identity.  The rumor spreads like wildfire, and Joanna begins receiving threatening messages.   

She becomes obsessed with researching the case of the child murderer and finds herself in impossible situations that she can’t work her way out of.  Joanna stops at nothing to protect those she loves and never thought one rumor could cause so much trouble.

I gave this one three stars because it took me so long to get into.  But it’s definitely worth the read. It was released yesterday, so get a copy and let me know your thoughts!
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