Who Did You Tell?

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 14 Dec 2019

Member Reviews

My thanks to Random House U.K. Transworld Publishers/Bantam House for an eARC via NetGalley of Lesley Kara’s ‘Who Did You Tell?’ in exchange for an honest review.

This is Kara’s second novel following on from ‘The Rumour’, which I read last December and enjoyed very much. I was very pleased to be approved to read her second novel.

Astrid is struggling with her sobriety. Even though she’s been sober for 192 days, seven hours and fifteen minutes each day is a challenge. After leaving rehab she has reluctantly moved back in with her mother in the tiny seaside town of Flinstead. She is going to meetings and working the AA program. Yet there is someone lurking in the shadows who appears to know about Astrid’s past and is determined to make her pay for her mistakes.

This novel started off quite slowly but its pace gathered momentum as it progressed. Having never had an issue with alcohol, I did find it difficult to relate to Astrid’s situation at first. Still, she grew on me and I felt by the conclusion that I emerged with more understanding of those who find themselves in the grip of alcohol addiction.

I felt overall that Kara had explored this difficult issue with sensitivity and compassion.
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Thank you to NetGalley, Lesley Kara and Random House UK for the free e-book in exchange for an honest review.

This is my first novel from Kara, but I am so excited to now have The Rumor in my hands as well! I really enjoyed this novel and how paranoid and troubled our main character was throughout this entire novel. I love a flawed character and this one is a doozy. I did find the middle part of this novel a bit long, but you do need the information for further into the novel and once you get past this, the novel flies! The little notes and other things to make Astrid feel crazy are done in a lot of novels, but it really never gets old and works amazingly for this novel especially. I loved the twist at the end and the nice tidy ending of the whole story!

Out January 9th!
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Astrid is a recovering alcoholic. She’s moved back in with her mother in a sleepy seaside town. A town where everyone knows your business and your secrets. She’s going to AA and confessing her mistakes but there’s something else Astrid is running from and someone knows what that is.

Gripping and compelling, I really enjoyed this book. Thank you to NetGalley, Random House and the author for the chance to review.
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Astrid is a newly recovering alcoholic. She's staying with her mother and this is her last chance at making a life for herself.... she has nowhere else to go.

Astrid finds strength in routine ... she regularly attends AA meetings, she works, she's making friends.

She has another routine ... finding out who is following her. She thinks it might be an ex-boyfriend ... but he's dead. Her memory is a bit shot ... too many blackouts when she was drinking.

She finds that trying to outrun the ghosts of her past is almost impossible. But someone knows exactly what she did. And that person is looking for some payback in the form of revenge.

This is an engrossing tale of a woman fighting addiction, guilt, penance and redemption. Her relationship with her mother, with new friends, with a man she could fall in love with are all highly suspect. Who is sending her threatening letters? How do they know what she's done ...or not done. The characters are finely drawn, and will remain in your head long after you've finished the book.

Many thanks to the author / Random House UK / Netgalley / THE Book Club Reviewer Group (FB) for the digital copy of this psychological drama. Read and reviewed voluntarily, opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
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Another good read by this author.  I enjoyed her first book The Rumour, and once I got into this one I couldn’t put it down.  
Hopefully there will be more to come.
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I was a huge fan of this author’s first book so I was very excited to read more from her. I was definitely not disappointed as I thought this was a gripping and emotional read which dealt with quite a difficult topic.

Astrid was a very interesting main character which took me a while to like as she seemed very angry and prickly at the start. As the story continues and we get to know her more I warmed to her, especially as she seemed genuinely remorseful for all her past mistakes I found I wanted to keep reading as I wanted her to succeed.

The topic of alcoholism is discussed in this book in a sensitive and informative way which I found very interesting. I didn’t know much about the AA and the effects that alcoholism can have on a person and their families. This helped me understand Astrid more and some of the reasons why she acts like she does.

I thought this was an absorbing read which gripped me from the first chapter. The reader is aware from the start that there is something shady lurking in Astrid’s past and I enjoyed following her throughout the book to try and discover what it was. There are lots of secrets revealed and lots of twists that kept me guessing who was behind the notes. The ending was brilliant and took me completely by surprise despite having lots of theories. I liked how things ended up for Astrid and was sad to leave her behind.

Huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Alison Barrow from Transworld for my copy of this book. If you’re a thriller fan I highly recommend this author!
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Having thoroughly enjoyed The Rumour, I was very much looking forward to Who Did You Tell? and it did not disappoint.  A well-written and engrossing psychological thriller it tells the story of Astrid, a recovering alcoholic who is fresh out of rehab and back home with her Mum.  Some of her past life is a blur  but unfortunately she is not allowed to escape from it.  The array of characters is impressive and the plot surprises on many occasions.  Excellent!
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Lesley Kara is fantastic at shock twists and surprising endings! I loved her first book.

I always find protagonists who have addictions or are alcoholic a little difficult to read, as you know that they could be unreliable narrators and it's hard to trust such a character. However, I think Kara does a great job at something that is really, really tough to write. There are a lot of storylines and threads that wind neatly together. I do agree with others that it can take a bit longer to get into, especially compared to The Rumour but I do think that this is a book worth reading on. I think these books would make for a great tv series.
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I enjoyed this book. Astrid is a recovering alcoholic attending AA and living back with her mum after many years of heavy drinking and a stint in rehab. Who is the mysterious Simon and what happened to him? Who keeps following her?  Are they even real? So many threads pull together very nicely at the end without suspending one's disbelief. Recommended.
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Prepared to be shocked. I did not see that coming!! Fantastic ending.

Who do you turn to when there are no friends to talk to? Just your mother who doesn't want you to return to the booze so you hide everything, including secrets.

Loved all the different paths the story sends you down only to be bamboozled by the ending.

Brilliant. I'd actually give this 4.5 stars
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This was a story of a recovering alcoholic who moves to seaside town, to live with her mother. A very slow start to the story and it was very emotional.
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This is the first book I've read by Lesley Kara and I will definitely read more after really enjoying Who Did You Tell. Due to the subject matter this is sometimes a difficult read but it has been handled very sensitively and I applaud the author for this. We get to see both sides of the story and the wide reaching impact alcoholism can have.

I was totally caught out with the numerous twists in the story and didn't see any of them coming.

Highly recommend.
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This book was a difficult read at times, our main character Astrid is a recovering alcoholic, she’s been sober for almost 200 days and has moved to a small town to be with her mum after successfully completing rehab. 
She’s still coming to terms with the death of her ex boyfriend Simon, we know there is a secret surrounding him, there are lots of Astrid hinting towards it and this is the main crux of the story as Astrid starts receiving little notes and photos saying that they know what she did. 
This book is mainly told from Astrids perspective, but we do get the odd paragraph from the person who is following and tormenting Astrid and those ones honestly gave me goosebumps and made me shiver, especially the opening paragraph.. WOW. 
Astrid is just starting to get her life together, she’s getting back into painting and has fallen in love, but can she stay on the straight and narrow long enough for her to enjoy the happiness she’s creating? 
This book had me hooked from the beginning and I honestly couldn’t put it down. 
Would definitely recommend to absolutely everyone.
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After enjoying The Rumour so much earlier this year, I had high hopes for Who Did You Tell? And boy, were those hopes satisfied and more!

Who Did You Tell? is the story of Astrid, a woman who is concerned that her past will catch up with her when she moves to Flinstead to live with her mother following a stint in rehab. As an alcoholic, Astrid's accounts are not always reliable, which definitely adds to the sense of tension in the novel; however there was something about her that drew me to her and made me wish that everything would work out for her. I was gripped to her story, and once I started reading, I couldn't tear myself away.

Alcoholism and addiction is obviously a central theme in Who Did You Tell? and Kara has researched it in great depth. The struggles of Astrid, and those she meets through her AA meetings, feel very raw and I could feel their need for something to take the pain away radiating through the pages. I learnt a lot about addiction through reading this novel and I was blown away by how real each story seemed.

Like The Rumour, Who Did You Tell? is set in Flinstead. It's a small town where everyone knows everyone and having grown up in a town like this myself, I could really feel Astrid's fear and frustration when she felt people were keeping tabs on her. I loved the nod to the events of The Rumour too.

As the novel progressed, it was very difficult to work out which characters I could trust and this brought with it many twists and turns. I was shocked by several of these and I was frantically turning pages to find the answers.

Who Did You Tell? will stay with me for a long time to come.
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I really enjoyed Lesley Kara's first book The Rumour so was very excited to read Who Did you Tell. Unfortunately I found it a bit of a slow burner, and it took me a really long time to get into it.
I liked the character of Astrid and I thought her battle with addiction was written very well. Once the story picked it more I enjoyed it and found myself more engaged. There were a couple of twists I didn't see coming! Overall it was a good read but personally I found it took a little too long to grab my attention.
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I really enjoyed Lesley's first book....The Rumour...unfortunately, this one not so much...the setting, and build up, was enthralling...and I read the book in two days, however, I don't feel the ending delivered at all, and I ended up ultimately disappointed. It all seemed a little too familiar, but hopefully it is just that The Rumour was very very good? As I've said  it was a gripping read, just I felt the ending let it down...in my opinion.
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Brilliant !
 I loved it ! I loved her first novel  ‘The rumour’ and was so looking forward to this one. I wasn’t disappointed. 10/10
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If like me, you loved and were completely gripped by Lesley Kara’s debut novel The Rumour, then boy are you going to love Who Did You Tell! It’s even more addictive, making it even harder to put down, and for me it has surpassed her debut.

32 year old Astrid is a recovering alcoholic. After an episode 5 months previously which left her hospitalised, she is now living back at home in the small, sleepy seaside town of Flinstead with her mother – since leaving rehab 2 weeks previously. She is attending AA meetings, more so to please her mum but trying to piece her life back together…

One of the ways in beginning to do that is when she forms a relationship with Josh – a man who has struck up little conversations on the beach since her return to Flinstead and which when we pick up the book is now slowly developing into something more. It’s not only adding a sense of normality and happiness into her life but also employment from his father that reignites a spark for what she loves: painting.

But her past won’t let her go. She hasn’t told Josh she’s an alcoholic, which day by day is adding more strain on their relationship. Simon, her alcoholic ex is haunting her – she keeps smelling his aftershave, seeing his clothes in charity shops, and feels like someone is constantly watching her. But Simon committed suicide. Is this just an alcoholics’ paranoia and fear from all she’s done from drink in the past – an unreliable narrator? Or is she in danger? Is someone out for revenge? Are her AA friends truly who they seem?

kara’s narrative, detail and research in Who Did You Tell really captures the life and daily strains of an alcoholic and how AA works – clarifying many misconceptions on the topic.  I felt I was in the head of Astrid throughout this novel; the constant day in day out of battling against demons, urges and temptations (that are at every turn with drink in pubs, shops, peoples’ homes!). It made the writing at times seem a little chaotic and slightly exhausting but all the more realistic.

Fans of The Rumour will be familiar with the setting of Flinstead (based around Frinton-on-Sea, if I’m correct) – a fantastic setting that has worked in creating a great atmosphere in both novels now – even a little nod towards the previous story-line thrown in for good measure. It’s a small, sleepy seaside town where pretty much everyone knows everyone, or knows someone who knows you – there’s no hiding anything which is not always great for Astrid especially with her mother’s trust issues, but for which actually ends up being a good thing in the end and the situation she finds herself in. The sea and beach itself plays a big role in this book which the author really used to it’s advantage – a case of where there’s beauty there’s also danger.

Who Did You Tell is a story of alcoholism and all that surrounds it; cravings, temptations, vulnerability, depression, guilt, self-woe and the lasting humiliation of being an addict even when in recovery. You can have the most loving family yet sometimes life just spirals out of control – which is what happened to Astrid, her mother is a very poignant portrayal of the pain and worry caused to loved ones and this almost suffocating need to protect them is shown. I’m not sure I should of rooted for Astrid as much as I did, but something about her and something inside me desperately wanted her to survive and to have a happy future – I truly felt she wanted to make amends for the wrongs caused. When those cravings and temptations came to her I was yelling inside “Don’t do it, Astrid!”.

There is a little romantic storyline in the novel; I know some people aren’t a fan of this in thrillers, but I think it depicts real life. I loved Astrid’s time with Josh. I was HUGELY smitten with Josh! He was kind, caring, funny, a stickler to the rules but he had that little cheeky/naughty spark about him. Whilst I got this massively good vibe about him, you never really know if an author is going to screw you over by making the character evil, do you?! I’ll let you find that out…

Who Did You Tell is full of secrets, suspicion and suspense from the very off and it’s twists and turns just keep coming at you, with it really upping it’s pace in the second half where one more chapter turns into consuming the lot! There are red herrings a plenty that will have you questioning everyone and everything at one time or another and whereas in The Rumour I worked it all out, this time I never fully joined ALL the dots!

It’s fair to say that Kara has established herself in really knowing how to write fast, fun, exciting, highly addictive thrillers that you really don’t want to put down, and I am desperate for more!

Thank you to the publishers and Netgalley for my ARC of Who Did You Tell, which I read in exchange for my honest thoughts.
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Brilliantly Written.

This can be a difficult read emotionally as it focuses on main character Astrid. She is an alcoholic who is trying to rebuild her life and stay sober. It is very well written and has some very good descriptions of the struggles of someone with Alcoholism getting through the day. It also has the twists and turns of what has happened in Astrid's past that is still haunting her.

As she tries to rebuild her life she also meets Josh and they soon become a couple but she hasn’t shared her past with him. I found this was a side note to fill the story up a bit but there wasn’t as much substance or realism for me. I just didn’t see the relationship develop the way I would have expected from the rest of the storyline.

I did enjoy the plot and history coming back to haunt us fits so well in with the character. Some of the twists where expected but it doesn’t change it from being a great read. I didn’t want to put it down.
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After reading and enjoying Lesley Kara’s first book, The Rumour, I had high hopes for this one. But unfortunately it just didn’t live up to expectation for me. I found it slow and sluggish and just couldn’t get into it the way I did with The Rumour. Some parts felt quite repetitive and similar to The Rumour so perhaps that’s why.

For me is was predictable and full of the usual thriller elements, however I think her portrayal of a main character who deals with alcohol problems was done well and sensitively and for that I praise the author. 

A good run of the mill thriller; easy to read but probably pretty unforgettable in that huge marketplace genre.
⭐️⭐️⭐️

Disclaimer: Thank you to Penguin Books and Netgalley for the complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review of this book.
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