Cover Image: Who Did You Tell?

Who Did You Tell?

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Member Reviews

Received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for a honest review. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own 

I didn’t have high hopes about this book, but the summary sounded a bit interesting. 

It’s very slow moving in the beginning, and it’s boring. The relationship between the Astrid and Josh is moving to fast for my liking, and there’s no chemistry. The MC and some of the support characters are annoying. Nothing is really happening in the story. It feels like the authors doesn’t know whether to focus on the romance, the sobriety or the drama in someone knowing what Astrid did and the book ends up being a mix of them and not really good. The story is short and that’s basically the only reason I kept reading. This isn’t a crime/thriller book, more like women’s contemporary lit. I had a feeling about who was doing the stalking but I didn’t know why. The story was a disappointment. I expected something better
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I loved The rumour and this was a very good follow up!
It has all the elements of a psychological drama..a protagonist who is a recovering alcoholic with shameful secrets in her past, a past that comes calling for revenge, threats, paranoia, suspicion of being stalked, seeing people who shouldn't be around etc.
Astrid is back with her mother who has given her an ultimatum that she has to quit drinking or forever lose contact. With a love/hate relationship with her own current sober state, she tries to move on by resurrecting her art career and beginning a new relationship and attending AA meetings.
But there are things she did when drunk that haunt her. She has at least one death on her conscience and is chilled to the bone when it is apparent that someone in that sleepy town knows too.
With a lot of is it this person and is it that person the story kept me hooked.
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WHO DID YOU TELL, a suspense thriller/psychological drama is the second novel to be published in January 2020 by Lesley Kara the author of the Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller, THE RUMOUR, a crime thriller debut published in December 2018. 

Every town has its secrets. Lesley Kara knows them all . . .

Astrid, an alcoholic is trying to turn her life around, focusing on her recovery. She has grudgingly moved back in with her mother, in a quiet seaside town away from the temptations and painful memories of her life before. She is going to meetings. And trying to get her life back in order.

But someone knows exactly what Astrid is running from. And they won't stop until she learns that some mistakes can't be corrected.

Astrid knows someone is following her. But her memories are pretty vague due to her past drinking and blackouts.

Some mistakes, you have to pay for . . .Someone is looking for revenge.

Who Did You Tell is a captivating story of a woman dealing with fighting addiction and the mistakes of the past. Who is sending her menacing letters and how do they know about her past? Well-developed characters, believable plot with lots of twists and red herrings, and one story that will appeal to a wide range of readers. You won’t forget this book. Highly recommended!

Many thanks to the author, Random House UK , Netgalley and THE Book Club Reviewer Group (FB) for my digital copy.
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The  set up for this was intriguing - recovering alcoholic Astrid leaves rehab and goes to live in a small seaside town with her mother. While there she starts to notice the smell of former boyfriend’s fragrance, and then notes start to arrive alluding to her past. Ultimately though, this one sadly wasn’t for me as the plot unrolled, which I found a bit stolid.
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Wow! I was extremely excited to get my hands on a copy of this book. I enjoyed Kara's debut novel and this one was equally as thought-provoking. I was totally invested in the whole book and read it in two sittings. Literally could not put it down. The story is about a woman who is a recovering alcoholic, trying to rebuild her life... but obviously there are twists and turns at every angle. Someone wants revenge!

I loved the character of Astrid and could really feel empathy for her character throughout. I felt myself willing her to get through her struggles and be able to overcome the demons that were haunting her. 

This is one of the best books that I have read and has definitely entered my top 5 books for 2019. 100% a 5 star read.
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would like to thank netgalley and the publisher for this book

a recovering alcoholic
seaside town
threatening letters


this book highlights the dangers for alcoholics and what they have to go through but this is more than that..its is about a young girl who has to go back and live with her mother and try and piece together her life after losing the love of her life,she has to attend aa meetings or else her mother will wash her hands of her...

but along the way she meets several people some at aa meetings and one special person at the beach, who she feels she can build a life with...

but then she starts to smell the aftershave her ex use to wear, and pretty soon threatening letters appear...

there are quite a few red herrings along the way before all is revealed but this i found to be a compelling story and one that i am beginning to recognise as the trademark with this author
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This is one of those books that it will surprise the reader, the mystery is not the only interesting part of the book but Astrid’s life and fight for her addiction.
I can’t say that I’ve read a lot of books talking about addiction and how an alcoholic tries to fight the addicion, minute by minute, day by day. It was not an easy read, sometimes I wanted to hug Astrid and give her some hope that everything will get better if she takes little steps!
This is a really emotional book, it has a mystery, yes, but you can’t stop wondering if Astrid was as bad as she thinks she was. I don’t doubt she did many wrongs, but killing? I couldn’t believe it! That’s why since the beginning I was suspecting from everyone who Astrid was meeting. Someone had a secret agenda but there were so many possible suspects that I couldn’t stop guessing on who could be the one trying to scare Astrid!
Even if Astrid’s mum seemed a harsh and difficult person, I could understand her fear and protectiveness, she loved her daughter but was terrified that she could turn to drink again. I felt her love for Astrid all the time, but I don’t think she knew how to help her daughter anymore! And let’s be honest, I don’t think anyone would know how to help their son/daughter on the same situation.
During the story we have a mysterious voice that has vengeance on their mind, ready to kill and with a lot of inventive and horrible ways to kill. The main question will be, will they succeed?
This is a mysterious read with a human side that will keep the reader glued on the story till the last page! Ready to discover “Who did you tell?”
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Who Did You Tell By Lesley Kara 
I enjoyed this book. It was a quick and easy read, although not an easy subject matter. I liked the characters and the plot, and felt the story progressed well.
Looking forward to reading more by this author,  and recommend this book.
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Astrid Phelps is a recovering alcoholic and has been sober for over six months. After ending up in hospital and spending time in rehab, she moves to the seaside town of Flinstead so that her mum, June, can look after Astrid and keep an eye on her. She attends the local Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings, where she meets an array of people, and tries to follow the 12 steps programme.

While walking on the beach one day, she strikes up a conversation with Josh Carter, who enjoys swimming in the sea, and they end up tentatively beginning a relationship but Astrid isn’t honest with him about her past and neglects to mention her problems. He helps her to get back into her painting and she ends up doing a commission for his father, Richard.

As the book progresses, someone from the past seems to be stalking Astrid and sabotaging her attempts to remain sober. Will she be able to resist the temptations or slip back into a downward spiral of despair, letting herself down again and devastating her poor, long-suffering mother who is desperate to help her.

As a result of her alcoholism, past events and the destructive path she was on with her ex-boyfriend, Simon, Astrid is paranoid and thinks people are talking about her and assumes everyone is out to get her. The story makes for uneasy reading as Astrid’s past life comes back to haunt her and strange things start happening: she smells Simon’s aftershave and receives strange letters and loses things that are significant to her. She’s an unreliable narrator though and I was often left wondering if she was telling the truth or had misinterpreted something or was even reliving false memories as a result of being drunk at the time.

Battling against alcohol addiction is a constant struggle and I spent the whole book on edge, waiting for Astrid to slip up as she was tormented by bad memories and someone from her past, who seemed intent on causing her to relapse. It was an intense, emotional read and made difficult reading as the voices in Astrid’s head kept telling to have a little drink to feel better. Her conflicted emotions and inner torment were well written and I really felt for her, despite all the hurt she’d caused others. She had a lot of guilt, self-loathing and unresolved emotions and kept punishing herself.

Like Astrid, I wasn’t sure who to trust either! Both Josh and Richard seemed to be hiding things and Astrid’s AA acquaintances were all rather complicated characters too and they were obviously all battling their own demons and weren’t very reliable. Even her mum’s and her mum’s friend, Pam, acted strangely at times.

The suspense built throughout the book and I wasn’t sure how everything was going to be resolved and whether Astrid was going to have a happy ending or not. I was hopeful, but not entirely convinced, that she would find the strength to survive.

Overall, I really enjoyed this well-written, tense, foreboding book and I whizzed through it in a couple of days. There were a few twists and turns and red herrings to catch me out! It was another great read from Lesley Kara. I really enjoyed her debut novel, The Rumour, which was also set in Flinstead, and I’m already looking forward to her next book.
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Lesley Kara's second novel Who Did You Tell? features Astrid, a recovering addict, who has been given a last chance at a fresh start by her mother. Astrid knows that she has put her family through hell over the years and following recent events, which are unknown to the reader at the start, she's finally at the stage where she wants to battle her demons once and for all and get totally sober. But it seems that someone else has other sinister plans in store for her and she feels like her life is unravelling once again but she's determined not to fall apart this time... only time will tell whether she can truly trust those around her.

It was clear from the start that Astrid was trying really hard at getting clean, she has moved away from London to cut herself off from temptation, but with no job to occupy her time and her mother watching her every move, it's hard to totally feel free and ignore the flashbacks that haunt her.  The more we learn of her past, the more we can see that she really is trying to follow the steps to recovery and make amends for her past mistakes but it's not easy when there are things that she'd rather forget.

Fortunately alcoholism, or even addiction for that matter, is not a topic that has affected me personally so I don't have any experience as to how it affects an individual and those closest to them, family, friends or colleagues, or how hard the recovery process is for all involved. But this topic was handled with sensitivity by the author to give the reader more of an informative understanding of how it affects behaviour etc. Grief is another subject that is tackled in this novel, in fact several characters are dealing with their own experiences of the death of a loved one, and the pain and guilt that they were feeling... you'll have to read the book to find out why the latter.

With its sensitive topics of addiction, grief, regret, obsession and revenge, Who Did You Tell? was the perfect read as it lulled me in slowly until I reached the stage where I simply couldn't put my Kindle down as I wanted to know more. I was wanting answers to the questions that kept popping up in my head, and constantly second guessing as to who the mystery person was that was taunting Astrid with reminders from the past and their reasoning for doing so, but at the same time I was wanting Astrid to stay strong and resist temptation and beat her addiction once for all.

A compelling read from start to finish so I really should go back and read Lesley's debut The Rumour that I bought last year but never got around to reading.
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It's such a treat and I feel incredibly proud when I am asked to take part on a blog tour for an author whose debut novel I loved.
Lesley made her mark in the book world with her debut The Rumour so her second novel had much to live up to didn't it.
Oh but she didn't disappoint with it......
A slow starter for me I will admit but then it suddenly took off an almighty pace.
We meet Astrid who is a recovering alcoholic. She is back home living with her mum having hit rock bottom.
We see snippets throughout of a love lost and Astrid laying the blame completely at her own door.
But she was in a drunken haze back then and her memory keeps letting her down.
She's trying so hard to piece it all together.
She wants her life back but there is so much temptation for her.
She has found a nice person in new boyfriend Josh but someone out there wants their revenge and she begins to suspect everyone in her life.
She wonders is Josh really as lovely as he comes across or is he hiding something from her.
I found this to be quite an emotional read about a person battling her demons.
Lesley gave us such an incredible insight into the life of a recovering alcoholic, the cravings, the demons, the self doubt.
Her characters are solid and interesting....
Her storyline superb.....
A brilliant and quite a gripping read, well worth taking the time for this one.
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This one will wring you out emotionally! Poor Astrid is an alcoholic who is trying to overcome her addiction and deal with the regrets of her previous life. Holed up in her mother’s house she tried hard going to AA meets and keeping a low profile - it wouldn’t be a story if that wasn’t good enough, suffice to say her past is not so easily put aside and a future happiness might not be easily won. 

A terrific description of alcohol addiction, the daily never ending fight to stay sober, and the impact on the lives of those around you. Compelling and heartbreaking- a worthwhile read .
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Astrid is back home living with her mother and she's an alcoholic. She has a secret. And it seems like someone knows...

I really struggled to get in to this despite loving Lesley's last book. Thank you for the advance copy.
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A great book showing the ups and downs of struggling with addiction, lies and secrets.

Astrid, a recovering alcoholic moves back to her home town to live with her mother. She attends AA meetings and soon realises that you can’t keep a secret in a small seaside town.  

Astrid is convinced someone is following her, her ex boyfriend Simon ? But then she remembers he’s dead, isn’t he ? We also know that something else is bothering Astrid, a secret she only shared with Simon but paranoia means that Astrid is convinced someone else knows what happened, do they ?

This is a great story of addiction, lies, secrets, guilt, relationships and so much more.  I really warmed to Astrid and really wanted her to succeed in finding the truth and staying sober. This book has plenty of twists that keep you guessing and hooked right to the very end.

Thank you to Random House UK and NetGalley for a digital copy of this book.
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Unfortunately I struggled with this one, the storyline just didn't hook me.
Some interesting ideas but they all felt a little bit contrived and didn't gel together.
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I absolutely loved The Rumor and I couldn’t wait to see what Lesley was going to come up with next for her second novel. Who Did You Tell is another brilliant read that had me immediately hooked right from the first page! Full of mystery, suspense and with great twists and turns, Who Did You Tell definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat, gripped until the thrilling conclusion.

Lesley has crafted a well thought out and researched story that is compelling and does not shy away from the horrible disease of alcoholism. I have read many books that have this topic as its basis, but it is always from a males perspective. In this case it is a refreshing change to see this from a woman’s perspective for once. At the risk of accidentally giving something away, I think the blurb gives just enough information on what the book is about so I will stop here on discussing the plot.

Lesley has done a great job with all the characterisation in this book. For me the standout is Astrid who is very believable, as she struggles on a daily basis to try and stay sober, but can also be seen as the unreliable narrator due to her disease. My heart just went out to her. Having watched someone very close to me struggle with addiction and unfortunately succumbing to it, this book is very personal to me and Lesley handles this topic with compassion and sensitivity.

I really enjoy the ease of Lesley’s writing. Everything just flows so seamlessly which makes for a quick and enjoyable read. Even though this is only Lesley’s second novel, she has definitely mastered leading the reader down one path only to do a complete 360 and change the direction entirely, which I really love in a book. I have learnt quickly that there is no becoming complacent when reading a book from Lesley and what may be the obvious path the story is heading down, is not so obvious at all!

Hats off to you Lesley for another stellar read. I will be waiting very impatiently and can’t wait to see what you come up with next. It was an absolute pleasure to read and review Who Did You Tell which I highly recommend.

Thank-you to NetGalley, Transworld Books and Lesley Kara for allowing me to read an advanced copy of Who Did You Tell which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
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Astrid is trying really hard to turn her life around,having recently come out of rehab,she has reluctantly moved back home to live with her mother in the quiet seaside town of Flinstead. Asked is focusing on her recovery,going to alcoholics anonymous meetings, confessing her misdeeds and trying to make amends for the mistakes she had made in the past.

But someone knows Astrid's secret,the tragic event that she is running from. Someone who will not stop until Astrid learns that some mistakes cannot be corrected.

Some mistakes,you have to pay for.

This is a story about the dangers of addiction,the realistic fact that temptation is always out there somewhere waiting for the perfect opportunity to put you back under your own personal addiction's spell. This is a story of paranoia, anxiety,guilt,self forgiveness and about learning that you are worthy of happiness despite the mistakes that you made in the past. And realising that very often events and people are not what or who they appear to be. Far too often in life who have to be really careful who you share your secrets with. Astrid was a complex,flawed character whose own personal addiction was alcohol and she spent every waking moment fighting not to be tempted by anything containing alcohol. She also had a rather acrimonious relationship with her mother. Feinsted was the sort of small town where you couldn't sneeze without the news getting around town faster than you can send a text. So she knew that if she did something that her mother disapproved of,it wouldn't be long before her mother found out what she had been up too even if she hadn't done anything wrong. And then,just when it appears that her life is finally improving and she might have a chance at happiness, she starts to feel like she is being followed,smells from her past linger in the air and then the letters start arriving. Who knows her secret? Who is terrorising her? Could it possibly be her new boyfriend Josh or his father Richard? One of the diverse individuals who attend the AA meetings with her? Over friendly Rosie? The mysterious girl in the puffer jacket that Astrid keeps seeing around town? Or could it even be her own mother?

Who Did You Tell is a well written mix of thriller and mystery with a added dash of romance that keeps the reader guessing. I personally would have preferred there to have been more thriller elements and a bit less romance but I'm sure other readers would probably feel the exact opposite. I loved the mystery,thriller elements of this story and would happily read more books written by this talented author.
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Well written, compelling and emotional at times, this is a vivid portrayal of self-deception and the lies we tell ourselves so we don't have to face the truth. This is my second book by the author and is very different to the first. Written in first person present, you spend the entire book in the head of an alcoholic and although this is incredibly well portrayed, it's not a pleasant experience and does get a bit repetitive!  I think it also got in the way of the story at times, slowing it down to a standstill in places until the plot resurfaced between the yearnings for drink. Personally, I would have liked more focus on the threat and feeling that build and less on the booze because the plot is great, and despite guessing a chunk of it, the red herrings work a treat and the final twist is a goodun!
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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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