Little Rumours

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Pub Date 31 Mar 2022 | Archive Date 01 Apr 2022

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Description

Three mothers. Three secrets. One missing child.

In a small town, three mothers wave goodbye to their children at the school gates.

Naomi has lived Exton Cross since she was born, and she knows everything there is to know about everyone.

Aleema hates it here. It’s been three years and she’s yet to make a single friend. And she’s sure the other mums whisper about her behind her back.

Kelly is an outsider. New to the town, she arrives with nothing but her son – and a dark secret.

By the end of the school day, one of their children will be missing. And rumours will swirl that one of them knows why…

Secrets and lies will come to light with devastating consequences in this dark and twisty psychological thriller, perfect for fans of Big Little Lies and Adele Parks.

Three mothers. Three secrets. One missing child.

In a small town, three mothers wave goodbye to their children at the school gates.

Naomi has lived Exton Cross since she was born, and she...


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ISBN 9780008441883
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Average rating from 113 members


Featured Reviews

I was really looking forward to this one after enjoying The Girl On The Platform. When I saw it was a 'missing child' plot I was a little hesitant, as there's been so many of them... A small Devonshire town, a close-knit community suspicious of outsiders. The main characters are connected through their children's friendships at the village primary school. Two of the main characters are outsiders, Aleema, the Muslim mother of Mia "the only brown-skinned child in fifty miles", and Kelly, mother of Joe, relocated due to a family involvement in a serious crime. The characterisation is simply superb, rich and full of depth and detail, not least in their relationships with family members, friends and with the community. The plot develops brilliantly, with growing suspicions, desperation and deterioration in various character's wellbeing and ability to think clearly. The tensions are very real and maintained and increased throughout the book. This is one of the very best 'missing child' books I've ever read, and as a deeply emotionally involving character-driven novel I would put this on a level with some of my favourite authors in this style including Gillian McAllister, Lesley Kara and Belinda Bauer, which is about the very highest praise I can give. Bryony Pearce is now firmly on my must read asap authors list. Thanks to Netgalley and Avon Books UK

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Avon Book I can't Thank You enough for this eARC Little Rumours by Bryony Pearce Mini Review: I truly enjoyed the heck outta this story! The writing and plotting was phenomenal in every way possible. A gripping, chilling, intense, thrilling and absorbing story that I didn’t want to put down! Finishing the novel was exciting and surprising. I was not expecting the contents of the Epilogue and this reflects the plot in its entirety. The twists and turns added to the mystery that we are all trying to find answers to. Enjoyable, twists filled story, amazing characters! What more can I ask for? Perfect! Finished in a matter of hours! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Thank You again Publisher, NetGalley and Author for this ebook copy!

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I received an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review I loved this one. Very fast paced, had me turning pages as I tore through it – I had to see how it would end. The characters were well rounded and the narrative felt believable. Gave me chills. Solid five

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𝓛𝓲𝓽𝓽𝓵𝓮 𝓡𝓾𝓶𝓸𝓾𝓻𝓼 by Bryony Pearce Release Date 03/18/2022 This book starts with young Joe at the age of 6 seeing his dad commit a murder. Cut to 6 years later, Kelly and Joe are now under new identities. She has no friends. And no interest in trying to. She monitors a hate site about her x husband's murder victims to make sure they can’t find her and at night she drinks herself to sleep. Aleema lives up the road with her daughter Mia who joe plays with sometimes, she’s drop-dead gorgeous, try’s to befriend Kelly and that girl ain’t having it. Aleema thinks she’s a bitch. She may be, but who would trust anyone after being married to a serial killer and hiding behind a new identity. Naomi is Leon’s mother and those 3 kids have formed a fast friendship, and one night one of them goes missing and the world goes sideways. The adults turn against one another, rumors fly, accusations are being tossed out like bad fruit. Meanwhile, Kelly on the inside is cracking, she thinks her son could be like his father and may have something to do with Mia’s disappearance. While fiercely defending him on the outside she’s questioning him on her insides. I pinky promise you’ve never read a kidnapping child book like this. Ev. Er It’s a fast-paced thriller, trapped with twists and turns. You will not guess it. I was shook. 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼 I wrote my guess down just to see if i had it. ❌❌❌NOPE 5 S҉҉T҉҉A҉҉R҉҉S҉҉ ҉ #booklover #bookworm #instabook #bibliophile #booknerd #bookstagrammer #bookaddict #booksofinstagram #readersofinstagram #bookblogger #booklovers #goodreads #bookrecommendations #bookblog #bookstagrammers #bookblogging #bryonypearce #netgalley #arcbooks #avonbooksuk

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I absolutely was enthralled with this book! What a breath of fresh dramatic angsty air and I sucked it all in! This book is about abuse and recovery and strength and bullying. It was told so perfectly and you get attached to these characters and their minds and you feel for some of them and hate others! This book was such a win and can be defined by one word- captivating! Kelly. Aleema. Naomi. Three absolutely different women living in a village and their children are all best friends. Three women who suffer completely differently but all under the same umbrella. It is told in each persons point of view and so fascinating seeing how different and wrong perceptions can be on the same situation. One of their children goes missing and the chaos begins. Fingers start being pointed and secrets start being spilled but who is guilty and what demons will pop up? Such a wonderfully written book and one I highly recommend! Worth the ride and so glad I got my hands on this one! Thank you Avon Books UK and Netgalley for the arc in exchange for my honest review.

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A gripping, chilling, intense, thrilling and absorbing story that I didn’t want to put down! Finishing the novel was exciting and surprising. I was not expecting the contents of the Epilogue and this reflects the plot in its entirety. The twists and turns added to the mystery that we are all trying to find answers to.

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The only thing that Aleema, Naomi and Kelly have in common is that their three children, Mia, Leon and Joe, are best friends. Aleema and her husband Noah have moved to Exton Cross to help his mother after a stroke. Aleema and Mia are the only Muslims in the village. Kelly is a single mother with a dark past that she protects by avoiding even the smallest attempts at friendship. Naomi has lived in Exton Cross her whole life and knows too well the rumour driven gossip that fuels small town life. When Mia doesn’t come home from the park one day and the townspeople frantically search for the missing eleven year old girl, all secrets will be revealed. And some people have been lying for so long that no one will believe the truth. In an author’s note, Bryony Pearce explains her characters. All the women are dealing with loss. Other themes in Little Rumours are bullying and abuse. Pearce deals with all of these in a small town setting. This psychological thriller is well written and fast paced with realistic characters and a plot that keeps you turning the pages until the surprising epilogue. 5 stars. Thank you to NetGalley, Avon Books UK and Bryony Pearce for this ARC.

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I actually enjoyed "Little Rumours" the twisting story focusing on 3 mothers. Whilst reading it in places it reminded me of Big Little Lies, but that maybe because I had been watching it recently. Bryony Pearce has impressed and this was my first one of her books, so I will definitely check out future titles. Thanks to Harper Collins, Bryony Pearce and the Team at #Netgalley for this ARC

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I liked this one! This story is set in a very small village where newcomers are not always welcome. The narrative is set by three different moms who each have there own struggles. Their children are the best of friends, though the mothers are not. When one of the children go missing, rumors start swirling around quickly about the newcomer family. I felt for the mother of this missing child as well as for the mother of the accused. The book does have a twist ending and I liked it.

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This is my first novel by author Bryony Pearce and I was really impressed. We meet the three characters Naomi, Aleema and Kelly - all very different women with their own secrets and darkness and all mothers. Unfortunately, one of their children goes missing and this is when the story telling really takes a new direction and kick starts the novel. I really enjoyed the characters, especially Naomi seemed to resonate with myself the most. The characters are brilliantly drawn out and the story is easy to understand and really thrilling. I did find it quite slow to begin with but it does soon quicken up the pace and I was hooked. I am not overly keen on reading about missing children, as a mother myself it is a hard topic to swallow but nevertheless I did enjoy this novel and the writing style was great. Thanks to NetGalley, Bryone Pearce and the publishers for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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Loved it! Rich, broken characters drive the tale of a young girl that goes missing after playing with friends at the park. The theme of loss; a child, a mother, an identity weave through the story. This would make a marvelous Netflix series! A quick read, perfect for fans of Tana French.

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This is one of the best books I’ve read this year and is such a brilliant and beautifully-written novel. I never repeat the story in a review, but as we know from the description it concerns a missing child. It’s about so much more though – intolerance, abuse, bullying, friendship, loss, controlling behaviour, gruesome murders, secrets, lies, being judgemental … the list goes on. I love the way each chapter represents the perspective of one of the three main characters, and the way they were portrayed so well that you felt you knew everything about them. I experienced so many deep emotions while reading this story, and by the end I was mentally drained. Breathtaking, absolutely breathtaking, and deserving of more than 5 stars. Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for allowing me to read this exceptional and gripping novel in return for an honest review.

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Thanks Netgalley for allowing me to read this book. When a child goes missing, everyone is a suspect. Someone has secrets that they are hiding. This book captured my attention from beginning.

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A small town, a close-knit community suspicious of outsiders. The main characters; Aleema, Naomi and Kelly are totally different and connected only through their children's friendships at the village primary school. Mia, Leon and Joe are best friends. One day Mia is missing and all hidden and dark secrets come to the surface. Desperate search for Mia begins. The parents may find someone or something that they didn’t even know that they had lost. This book is about intolerances in many forms, recrimination, bullying, convenient scapegoats, but above all about strength and power of friendship. The reader feels and understands the characters. The story is told in each persons point of view and is fascinating to see how different and wrong perceptions affect on the same situation. The tensions are very real and maintained and increased throughout the book. Deeply emotional and character-driven novel.

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“Little Rumors” written by Bryony Pearce is a fast paced and very engaging thriller surrounding three mothers. Due to the tragic event of a child going missing, these women are brought together. Secrets, lies and hidden agendas emerge. As a mother myself, this story does touch upon some of my greatest fears, and I found myself emotional and empathic to the mother searching for her child. There were so many twists and turns, I didn’t know who to suspect. This was a very well written suspense story! Thank you so much NetGalley and publisher for the ARC!

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I completely agree with the comparison to Big Little Lies - this novel has all of the makings of a runaround bestseller, what with the scheming school mothers and their shenanigans. Highly recommended!

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It was a good story with a twist at the end which I enjoyed. However I didn’t enjoy each chapter changing the story teller

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A totally different type of book to what I usually read and I wasn’t sure I’d like it but I did. The suspense and waiting to find out what happens was really good. Well done.

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This book was about Three women called Naomi, Aleema and Kelly They all have a secret But on the day that one-off the child went missing and no one says anything I had an ARC

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This story is about a group of school mums who live in a small village that do not welcome newcomers. There are two recent newcomers, there is Kelly who unbeknown to the locals moved down with her son as part of a witness protection scheme. Aleema who is Muslim moved there to help care for her mother-in-law. Aleema is quite lonely and begrudges having to leave her friends behind. One day Aleema’s daughter Mia goes missing whilst playing in the park with friends. The village comes together to try and find Mia refusing to believe that this could have been done by one of their own. This is a fast paced thriller told from multiple prospectives. We slowly learn the secrets being kept by the mum’s and there are several red herrings before we get to the end. I have to say that I wasn’t the biggest fan of the ending and I am convinced that there is a couple of plot holes but I still enjoyed the book overall

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“Little Rumours” by Bryony Pearce is a bone-chilling thriller that is highly emotional and full of anxiety-inducing tension. Full of unexpected twists and turns, gruesome murders, dark pasts, and shared experiences of loss create a gripping tale that readers won’t be able to put down. This story centers around three women who live in the same village and are unwillingly brought together in light of a tragic circumstance. As they try to restore peace to the village, dark secrets are uncovered and soon, it’s impossible to know who can be trusted and who is responsible for the horrors that descend on the tiny community. “Little Rumours” is frightening, emotional, and intense. Pearce doesn’t hold back from revealing the extent people will go to uncover what they’ve lost and to reveal the secrets of those who are believed to be suspects. Readers will be drawn in by the three main characters who struggle with the tragedy that takes place in their community and the effects it has on their personal lives. Pearce does a brilliant job creating believable characters while presenting a variety of characters to reflect a multicultural society. It’s clear a lot of research went into these characters to keep them as realistic as possible and to be honest in their depiction. Aleema’s voice radiates the strongest in this novel: her fear, her uncertainty, her grief, the guilt. She goes through a range of emotions that echoes across the pages and is felt deeply as a reader. The tragedy she experiences shakes up her faith and relationships, leaving her distraught and hollow. Still, her strength to carry on and not lose hope is admirable and reflects her character. Kelly is an intriguing character. She has a dark past she can’t run from because her mind won’t let her forget, nor the people who are aware of her history. Kelly’s perspective offers an insight into what families face when someone they know has committed unspeakable crimes. People don’t consider too often what a person must go through in those kinds of circumstances, so it was fascinating to see Kelly leave one kind of tragedy behind only to be thrown into another in which she’s at the center. Naomi’s the hardest character to connect with. She’s someone who experiences the effects of the tragedy that takes place in this story and isn't directly impacted by it. Though, arguably, she went through the biggest change as she no longer sees the town she grew up in (and the people within it) the same way. “Little Rumours” is a tough book that is emotionally heavy but worth the read. Those who love suspenseful, character-driven mysteries with lots of unexpected twists and turns will enjoy this novel. Look for Bryony Pearce’s book on its expected publication date of March 31st, 2022. Thank you to NetGalley and Avon Books UK (Avon) for inviting me to read another brilliant story by Bryony Pearce and giving me the opportunity to share my honest opinion in this review.

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Wow, what a ride! This book had be from the beginning and I couldn’t stop reading. Three children who are best friends with mothers who are deeply troubled and feel like nobody understands them. When Mia goes missing the hunt is on to find her but there are no clues, just two very upset boys. A roller coaster of emotions. A psychological thriller at its best. As the story unfolds we learn more and more about these women and what made them into who they are. They are flawed and emotionally a mess but they each live their child more than anything. The author developed a great story with a few twists to keep you on the edge of your seat and questioning things. Her characters are amazing and they come across as realistic. Even going g from woman to woman with each chapter it was easy to follow. Thank you to Avon Books UK for inviting me to read this ebook via NetGalley. Another winner by Bryony Pearce

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Loved this domestic thriller! Byrony Pearce does a fabulous job of creating three families for us to follow and root for. The story is told from the perspective of three mothers: Naomi, born and bred from the area, Kelly a mysterious single mother outsider and Aleema, a muslim woman who feels like an outcast after moving from a city to this small town. When one of their children disappears after school hours, all three women are impacted. As the story continues you learn more and more about their lives and their secrets. A great twisty tale with an ending that I did not guess! Additionally, I loved learning more about Aleema and reading some of her arabic in the story. Another added feature was the addition of "Devon Dictionary" to familiarize yourself with the small town phrases. If you like kidnapping thriller or thrillers about secrets among neighbors this is a great book for you! #NetGalley @LittleRumors

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It's probably a parent's worst nightmare - your child goes missing and suddenly everyone is a suspect. This story is about 3 mothers who live in the same town, but it seems that each has a secret. When one child goes missing some of those secrets are revealed. This book has a bit of everything and quite a good surprise ending. I thank the author, publisher and Netgalley for my ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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Three women. Three children who are friends. Secrets and loss abound. A child who goes missing. Bryony Pearce weaves other then the stories of Aleema, Naomi, and Kelly as the search for one of their children occupies their town and their minds. Kelly moved with her son Joe after tragedy struck their household six years prior. She builds a wall around herself to keep others from prying into their life. While her son has questions about his previous life and the person he is, Kelly finds herself sinking into a black hole of doubt and trauma. Aleema has moved with her husband, Noah, and daughter, Mia, to help her mother in law after suffering a stroke. While suspecting her mother in law has recovered enough to move back to Manchester, Noah is hesitant to return to the big city. Aleema also struggles to form friendships in a town not known for opening their arms to outsiders. Naomi is raising her son, Leon, while her husband works in another city half of the week. While wondering if her husband intends to uproot them from the only home they’ve known, she realizes she’ll do whatever it takes to protect her family, even if her husband doesn’t agree. After an accident at school sends one of the children home, Mia, Leon, and Joe are closed lipped about what really happened. Then one of the children goes missing, causing the town to be on edge about what happened. Will secrets be revealed? Will the root of the school accident come to light? Will the missing child be found? As I was reading this book, I was taking the pieces and putting them together to try to figure out what happened. Who took the child -I suspected about 2/3 of the way through the book. The reason why came to me at about the 90% mark. I read the book in a day and felt the pace of it was quick but still able to follow. Reading through the trauma and abuse that happened to different characters at different times in their life was a driving force in the story. To me, the character that was a hidden gem was Joe, Kelly’s son. As you read the story and his layers reveal themselves, you want to reach into the pages and give him a big hug for what he has dealt with in his short life. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ #netgalley #arc #littlerumours #avonbooksuk #bryonypearce

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I was swept right into this book,Strong characters that came alive tense kept me turning the pages not wanting to put it down Iread the last page.Will be recommending the book ad the author#netgalley #avonbooksuk

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I was completely gripped by this book right from the very start, from the writing, to the characters, to the storyline and setting everything just works. There was suspense, mystery and some levels of unpredictablility although some parts were easy to work out, when it was unpredictable it was really unpredictable. I loved the chracters and what they brought to the storyline. I really enjoyed it.

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#LittleRumours #NetGalley A good thrilling read. Kelly arrived at Exton Cross with her son, Joe and started living there. She wanted a fresh start. She wanted to forget all about William. It's been three years but Aleema Evans didn't make a single friend and is living with her husband, Noah and daughter, Mia. Naomi lived here all her life and knows everything about everyone. Soon these womens' life collides with each other and after that Mia went missing. What happened to her? Characters and narration of the story is good. I really enjoyed it until 89% of the book was over. After that I wasn't really interested to know what happened to Mia. I just wanted to complete this book. It became less intresting for me after that twist. Overall it's a good read and I think anyone can read it one time. Thanks to NetGalley and Avon for giving me an advanced copy of this psychological thriller.

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This book fits perfectly the description as a thriller. Three women whose children are best friends. When one of the children goes missing, the secrets start to come out . Great story and many thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read an ARC

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Wow! This book took me by surprise! I totally loved it. Such a great host of mostly lovable characters with a couple that actually made me mad to read about. I was super invested in this tale. Very well written with great POVs that let this story unfold beautifully. Highly recommend Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book

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4.5⭐️ Described as a dark twisty psychological thriller. Three mothers, three secrets one missing child in a small village Exton Cross Kelly has a son Joe, an incomer with a dark secret. Naomi is a local and knows everything there is to know about everyone. Aleema is an incomer who is married to a local, and desperately lonely. I love the easy going writing style, I enjoyed the Devon dialect. The characters are really well created, they feel ordinary, but fully fleshed so that you get to know them well. I engaged with the 3 main characters each having their own problems. The emotion and angst at the missing child is very palpable, and feels very real. The tension really ramps up as the book progresses. I was desperately trying to do my Miss Marple to see if I could find the culprit. I was right in my suspicion of who but not why. Fav quote ‘she’s the only brown-skinned child in 50 miles’ I like the inclusion of the Devon dictionary. I loved this book, and highly recommend it.

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An Abundance Of Rumour… Behind seemingly perfect facades, in this small town, secrets and rumours lie in abundance and perhaps the truth will out in this emotionally driven, character based suspense with a sharp edge. A cast of credible characters lead a twisting and turning plot with an underlying feeling of menace and tension. A solid and suspenseful read.

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Little Rumours is a can't-put-down thriller. I read it in one sitting. The story focuses on three main characters (the three POVs) and their families, particularly their children. Unlike other recent thrillers, the main characters don't get along and rarely socialize. However, their children are best friends, and one of these children goes missing. All three of the women have experienced recent loss and are struggling with coping with that loss. The characters are well-developed and by getting to know their pasts, the reader is better able to understand their actions throughout the book. There are quite a few graphic/violent parts that could be triggering for readers (references to rape, murder, and animal cruelty). Also, while there are plenty of unexpected twists and reveals, I did think the end was a bit predictable. Overall, I would recommend Little Rumours.

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This is an extremely fast paced thriller. I enjoyed the setting and characters. However the best part of this book is the compelling story. I highly recommend reading this one.

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This book was sent to me electronically by Netgalley for review. Quirky characters...mystery and intrigue...a quick read.

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Little Rumours by Bryony Pearce Three mothers. Three secrets. One missing child. In a small town, three mothers wave goodbye to their children at the school gates. Wow a great , read . Three women , two fairly new to the area , begin to get to know each other via the school gate , awaiting their children. Are we really like how we portray ourselves to the outer world ? What secrets lie beneath our facade ? These women are about to find out in the most terrifying way. I loved the storyline to this and the characters of Naomi ,Aleema , and Kelly , all complex in their own way. This book gives you twists and turns in every chapter and has a great ending.

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I couldn't stop reading this book, I found the small Devon village setting gripping as were the characters, despite me taking a strong dislike to a few of them. This story tackles some important social subjects.

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A wonderful thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat all night until you’re finished. The author creates suspense so flawless with characters you thought you could trust, it really takes you for a loop. Who can be trusted, who’s hiding something? Excellent read!

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This is definitely my type of book, damaged characters and family trauma! I felt so sorry for Kelly and poor wee Joe, the things that boy has been through in his short life! Naomi was one of these women trying to keep the facade of the perfect family and community alive, however, she really was a bit of a bitch and the way everyone called her Nomes really got on my nerves. The story had plenty of twists and the agony and terror of a missing child was very well written. I did feel there were a couple of loose ends that could have been tied up and I wasn't keen on the overuse of the local dialect but that is purely a personal thing. Very enjoyable and I would read more from this author.

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Kelly and her son Joe have been living under an assumed identify since Joe discovered his father was a psychopathic serial killer. Mia’s family are the only Muslim family in the area. Leon is Joe and Mia’s best friend. Together the friends try to navigate their somewhat difficult lives, until the day Moa goes missing. Now the whole town needs to pull together, but the devastating situation brings out the worst in too many people. Little Rumours was an addictive mystery thriller that packed a lot of themes and information into one book. Kelly and Joe’s struggles with hiding their identity, Joes post traumatic stress from what he witnessed his father doing, abusive relationships, social media mob mentality, difficulties fitting in due to religious beliefs, parent heartbreak when a child goes missing and more. The sheer terror felt my Mia’s parents could be felt coming off the page and I was absolutely riveted for most of the story.  Watching the secrets and gossip unravel was incredibly interesting and although I guessed the ‘who’ part way through (but not the motive), it was still very enjoyable getting there! If you love dark twisty thrillers, I’d recommend checking this one out!

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What an absolute belter of a story, I was hooked from the start. Bryony has absolutely knocked it out of the park with this one, I was invited to read Little Rumours after reviewing Raising Hell (an also amazing YA Comedy Horror) earlier this year, and I am not at all disappointed. Suspense, Mystery, Intrigue and also plenty of red herrings. Little Rumours revolves around the lives of three women, Aleema, Naomi and Kelly. Three parents living in a small Devon Village, everyone knows everyone, and outsiders (Grockles) are not welcome, they are seen as invaders. Naomi has lived there her entire life and never left, she is the queen bee of the PTA and she decides who stays and who goes. We do not like Naomi much, think mean girls, but the adult version. Aleema moved to the Village to help care for her husbands mother following a stroke, she is a practicing Muslim and feels extremely isolated as a person of colour. Kelly is a newcomer and no one really knows anything about her or Joe her son, they are very mysterious. The thing that ties these women together are their families, their Children Mia, Joe and Leon are all best friends at school. That is until Mia goes missing and Joe becomes prime suspect number one, due to his past history and the fact he was the last person to see Mia alive. Cue the PTA brigade casting aspersions and pointing the finger, without a shred of evidence. This is a story of unfair assumptions, unconscious and conscious bias and also abuse, emotional and physical abuse, racial abuse and isolation. I read this book cover to cover in 24 hours.

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Gripping from the very start I couldn’t read this book fast enough. Fast paced and with no idea where it was going it kept me reading. A great unexpected twist. Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the ARC in return for an honest and unbiased opinion.

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I absolutely loved this! What a fantastic plot, beautifully written, intertwining the relationships between the characters in such an ingenious and realistic way. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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The story of three moms and three POVs in a small town — one with a deep dark secret (and worried about a “limb of Satan”), one a deeply entrenched local (you’re still an “incomer” after 30 odd years here), and one a religious outsider (with a mother-in-law from hell treating her like a servant). We meet all three and then realize that one of their children, who are eleven year old best friends, is missing. I really enjoyed how this twisty, fast-paced tale unfolded — totally unlike most missing child plots, which are usually told from the perspective of the police. The mothers of the children slowly reveal their own faults (drinking, pettiness, unfounded suspicion), but there’s no obvious suspect, no obvious reason why the child is missing initially, and there’s ensuing the frustration that would be expected from a real missing children’s case. I was enthralled until the end. Much appreciation for the inclusion of the Devon slang — crowfart? 4 stars. Thanks to AvonBooks and NetGalley for the ARC. Literary Pet Peeve Checklist: Green Eyes (only 2% of the real world, yet it seems like 90% of all fictional females): YES Nathan and Noah, brothers, have the green eyes in this book. Horticultural Faux Pas (plants out of season or growing zones, like daffodils in autumn or bougainvillea in Alaska): NO it’s spring and spring things (Christmas roses, snowdrops, crocus) are blooming; the author did actually know that the pollen from lilies stains. But a garden/“mysterious wood” in this narrative was once filled with dead bodies.

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Little Rumours by Bryony Pearce Description Three mothers. Three secrets. One missing child. In a small town, three mothers wave goodbye to their children at the school gates. Naomi has lived Exton Cross since she was born, and she knows everything there is to know about everyone. Aleema hates it here. It’s been three years and she’s yet to make a single friend. And she’s sure the other mums whisper about her behind her back. Kelly is an outsider. New to the town, she arrives with nothing but her son – and a dark secret. By the end of the school day, one of their children will be missing. And rumours will swirl that one of them knows why… This book was amazing in suspense. I just could not in a year figure out who did this. Rumors can cause insanity.I read this book without a stop.GREAT writing. The ending just made me feel it all. Shocking.

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Little Rumours by Bryony Pearce is a thriller set in a small town. Kelly and her son move to town to escape their past, her husband being the infamous serial killer. Trying to lay low and keep their distance in town, they are shot into the spotlight when a local girl goes missing and Kelly's past is revealed. But what really happened? I really enjoyed this book, the small town prejudices and racism and the willingness to believe the worst of everyone. I enjoyed the insight into Aleema's life and how her religion was difficult in this town and also how people in the village are so quick to blame, ostracize and judge those different from them. Recommended for anyone who loves thrillers.

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OMG how great. This Author can do no wrong. This book is beyond incredible and totally unputdownable! Just go in blind and you will read for hours. It's that great. Thanks to Netgalley.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an advance copy of this book for my honest review and opinions. I found this to be a quick enjoyable read. It was full of lots of twists and turns that kept me guessing until the end. I will for sure be adding Bryony Pearce to my list of must read authors going forward.

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A fresh take on the missing child genre of book. Well written with some good twists and turns. Kept me reading until the end.

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I really enjoyed this book. It was really fast paced. You're dealing with three mothers each dealing with their own conflict. Their children attend the say school. I wouldn't say that the mothers get along with one another, that is until one of the school kids goes missing. One of the mother's secrets comes to light and that's how the rumors start. The village of people start to blame her and her child for the other child going missing. I also like how the story touches on the bullying kids face, parents not believing them. It also touches on racism and we view others that are different than us. Like I said, this is a really good, fast paced story. I would recommend this to anyone who loves a page turner.

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Would really recommend this book , a very unstoppable read, could not leave this book down, it was so will written that you connected with each and every character and really felt you were living with them in there life’s. This was such an intriguing story with lots of twists and turns not knowing the truth while the story unfolds.

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I really enjoyed this book and it kept me hooked till the end. The characters were well developed and relatable. I'd be interested in reading more from this author.

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I really enjoyed this book of every parents worse nightmare - a missing child. The characters are well developed if not likeable (some of them) some of them I warmed to as the story went in and the reasoning behind why some of them were the way they were ie Kelly. Solid plot though, fast pace with a gripping ending, full of suspense and with a bleak setting makes for a tense read, highly recommended.

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When I finished “Girl on the Platform”, I was ready for the next novel by author, Bryony Pearce. Story is told from the POV of three mothers who live in the same Exton Cross community which is a small Devonshire town. Naomi Bennett has always lived in this community Kelly Marshall is new as well as Aleema Evans Their children Joe Marshall, Leon Bennett and Mia Evan are all eleven years old, go to the same school and are best friends. Story starts when Mia wants to go her grandmother’s after school. Aleema states she cannot stay for eat. That evening Mia vanishes from the park where she, Leon, and Joe gathered after school. Leon left first and then Joe. There is no doubt you will feel the tension and emotions. Ms. Pearce draws us in; the experience feels very real! Many readers gave this story a low rated; which I understand as it was not a fun read. I am a psychological thriller fan so was very curious, yet I feared the worst and really did not want to read anything disturbing. I could have finished last night but didn’t and of course was awake half the night thinking about it!! As a psychological thriller fan, I love trying to figure it out whodunit (as a Guidance Counselor, I took a lot of psychological courses, so this should be natural and easy for me ~ ha-ha.) However, in this case, my suspicion was correct ~ I just didn’t have the motive. I love reading the Author’s Acknowledgements and or/ Author Notes. In this case Ms. Pearce] explains this story covers many sad social issues ~ Abuse ~ physical and mental, Bullying, Kidnapping, Racism, and Loss ~ which is touched on in many ways. BTW: I liked the Devon Dictionary with the Devon dialect at the beginning of the book. It was mentioned that it was a bit unusual but I thought it was fun. Personal Note: Story reminded me a lot of [author: Rachel Caine]’s “Stillhouse Lake”. In this case Kelly and Joe are assumed of wrong doing once the villagers find out that they are related to William Addison a serial killer. Kelly changed her name as she was Kayley Addison. Want to thank NetGalley and Avon Books UK - Avon for this eGalley. This file has been made available to me before publication in an early form for an honest professional review. Publishing Release Date scheduled for March 15, 2022.

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Omg. What just happened? After trying to figure out the answers to the mysteries and questions, when the inevitable was revealed, I couldn’t keep my mouth closed! Damn, that was so good! The doubts in my head, the cloistered truth dangling on the edges of my decorum finally made sense after the big twist! So so good. I am still overwhelmed. Kathy’s character was so relatable, any mother who would lose their child in unusual circumstances would normally react that way. The author was really able to bring out the human emotions in this kind of tragedy. Brilliant! Thank you Netgalley and Bookouture for the ARC!

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My first read of 2022, and starting the year off with a bang! “Little Rumours” by Bryony Pearce knocked my socks off! This is the story of a small Devon village, close knit and insular, where everyone knows everyone and “incomers” are decidedly unwelcome. Told through the eyes of three women who see each other daily at the gate of the village school and have little in common, but whose children are the best of friends. Naomi is the PTA president, Aleema is a Muslim mom whose daughter is the only child of color in the village, and Kelly is an incomer with a dark secret to hide. When Aleema’s daughter Mia goes missing, the villagers band together to search for her but also turn against each other as “little rumours” start flying and the secrets and agendas that were once hidden start coming to light. This novel is a tightly-woven, tautly-paced thriller that also delivers some meaningful lessons about bullying, intolerance, abuse, and inclusivity. The characterization is on point, nuanced and sympathetic, with even unlikeable characters being relatable. This novel grabbed me from the very first chapter and didn’t let go until the satisfying epilogue. It may be cliché to say I couldn’t put it down, but I tore through this book in about a day, it’s just that good! If you liked “Big Little Lies”, then you will LOVE “Little Rumours.” Many thanks to NetGalley and Avon Books UK for providing me the opportunity to read an advance copy of this fantastic book.

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Mia, Joe, and Liam are three young friends-until one of them go missing. Their mothers are total opposites of each other, each facing their own problems, leading to them handling the situation differently. Kelly is the ex-wife of a serial killer who haunted the UK, and is now in identity protection, hiding in Exton Cross. She is Joe’s mom, and only knows one thing-her son did not take Mia, regardless of what the people in her town say. She is a newcomer to Exton Cross and has not made any efforts to fit into the town atmosphere or make friends, which helps add fuel to the angry PTA mom’s fires. Aleema is Mia’s mom, who is also a newcomer to Exton Cross, tries to make friends. But there is one barrier in the way-she is a Pakistani and almost everyone keeps a distance from her in the town. As she grapples with the disappearance of her daughter, she does things she never would expect her to do. Naomi is an Exton Cross native, she leads the PTA mom’s and the crusade against Kelly. Naomi is Liam’s mom and will do anything to “protect” her son. As these different people converge, who took Mia?

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Exton Cross is the perfect small town to go unnoticed. At least that was what Kelly hoped for when she and her son Joe moved there. But when little Mia, a friend of Joe, vanishes from the playground, her past is threatened to be revealed. While Kelly is still worried about what might have happened, Aleema, Mia’s mother, fears for the worst. She never wanted to leave Manchester in the first place, but with her mother-in-law ill, they thought it was the best. And now her daughter is missing. Naomi on the contrast, has always lived there, she knows everything about everybody – at least she thinks so. Even though she is worried about the girl, she is also eager to protect her neighbourhood from foreigners and her lifelong friend who recently moved back will help her. Bryony Pearce’s psychological thriller incorporates everything I hate about rural or small town life: your neighbours not only eye every step you take and nothing remains private. Gossip is part of everyday life and everybody knows everything about each other. As a newcomer, you will never fit in, the ranks are closed and the locals will speculate and spread rumours without hesitation, especially if you differ. The story is told alternatingly from the three women’s point of view thus illustrating how their “Little Rumours” come to life, are spread and what they do to those they affect. I totally adored the thriller. First of all, the mystery about the vanished girl is not easy to solve, even though at some point, characters tend to become suspicious, there are several leads all likewise probable. Second, I love to hate those small town characters like Naomi, limited in their world-view they spring at anything unknown and believe themselves right in any respect not perceiving what harm they cause. Third, the female characters could hardly differ more. They are well portrayed, each unique in their struggles and fears and thus, it is easy to follow their line of thoughts. You quickly come to form an opinion about the characters and then, while reading, you have to modify your views since they are more complex than you gave them credit for in the first place. A suspenseful thriller with some unexpected twists and a modern day witch hunt of the evilest type.

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Oh my goodness, I don't know where to start... This book really resonated with me: seeing things as a child which were horrific, trying to live a normal life when everyone around me knows nothing of my terror and being thought of as being like him; I'm not. I cried, I laughed out loud and I was genuinely worried for the families involved in the horror that they were living through. The author made the characters very real and believable throughout the book. I simply couldn't put it down. and really want to read the next book...hoping there is one...

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An angst ridden plot that has undertones of loss, loneliness and grief interspersed with secrets and intrigue. Naomi, Kelly and Aleema reside in the same community where Naomi is a local and, Kelly and Aleema are incomers. While their 11-year old kids, Leon, Joey and Mia are thick friends, the three women have next to nothing in common amongst themselves. But when one of their kids go missing, they have to come together to help protect their children from an unknown danger that hides amidst them. The book is off to a slow start, introducing each protagonist and their backstory, while deftly threading in strands of suspense, enough to keep one hooked. Each character - be it self-righteous Naomi, guarded Kelly or agonised Aleema - has been so well-crafted, that even when their words and actions seem rash and selfish, they tend to be justified. Having said that, Naomi was my least favourite character. The author has thrown in a melange of tropes to churn out this fine thriller - missing child, coercive control, racism, homophobia, etc. Despite all this, the identity and motive of the kidnapper is obvious quite early on. The plot hurtles to an adrenaline packed climax after about 60%. The denouement seemed fitting - not a clean ending, but rather a hope for a better future for each of them. Overall, an engrossing read. Thanks to Netaglley and Avon Books for providing a digital copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

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A great domestic thriller set in the suffocating surrounds of a small town. Pacey and gripping with twists to keep you engaged this is a very enjoyable read.

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This is the first book I have read by this author and I was hooked! I loved the storyline although getting to know the characters always takes time so was a little slow to start off with. By the end of the book I was racing to find out what had happened and to discover the truth. Well written and addresses lots of social issues. Recommended reading

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The drama starts in a small town in Devon and involves four very different women who all have baggage which is very different to one another. They all have school age children. Naomi is into everything including the PTA, any other organisation she can be useful (or bullish) but her prime concern is to make sure her son, Leon, is safe in his environment to great extremes. Abi has been away from the town for several years but was a great friend of Naomi and Naomi is so pleased she is back with her son Seth who is 15. Leon’s friends are Joe and Mia. Mia is mixed race and a very happy child and is delighted with her friendship with Leon and Joe. Mia’s mom, Aleema is not happy in Exton. Noah, her husband, made them move back from Manchester as his mom had a stroke but Aleema just cannot settle and feels that her mother in law is not as ill as she maintains which stops Noah, Aleema and Mia returning to Manchester. Aleema is ignored at the school gates and is desperate for friendships but this does seem to happen and feels the moms are always talking about her. The last is Kelly. Kelly is Joe’s mom and has been in Exton for a couple of years or so but is very lonely mainly because she keeps herself to herself. She does not make eye contact at the school and worries about her life and whether her deep secret will come out. Mia leaves school one day to go and help her grandmother do the flowers in the Church. She asks whether she can go to the park to play afterwards with her friends and Aleema agrees as they are in the last year of junior school and she feels she needs to let go a little although it is against her nature. Then the drama really begins. Mia does not come home on time and panic sets in. The community rally round to search for Mia but she is not found. As the story progresses the secrets spill out and the community becomes toxic. Kelly is the one most vulnerable as her secret causes her and Joe the worst of problems. Naomi is the catalyst to causing the trouble for Kelly but all the community do not help the situation. Enough of the story, you need to read it. I really enjoyed the book and can see how things can get out of hand in a small place. I liked the women for different reasons and felt if allowed they would be friends in another story. I could picture the children together and being happy as their story was well written as was the rest of the book. A lovely read

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I found at the beginning I couldn't get in to the book with characters but after a few chapters I found that the book picked up pace and I really enjoyed it can't wait to read more by this author.

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A dark gritty read in a small town setting. Everyone knows everyone… but do they really. You can’t see where the next secret will be coming from. This book keeps you on your toes and gives you chills. The atmosphere was so well done. The characters were well developed and relates me a great read

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Well written, it is a bit of a slow burner as I initially struggled to get into the book. However, in the latter stages it becomes much more fast paced and gripping, as you get closer to unveiling the culprit. There’s a few twists and turns along the way, some I predicted, some that were unexpected. The characters were well developed and their motives / involvement believable. Overall, it was an enjoyable read. Thanks to Netgalley and Avon Books UK for an advanced copy.

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I received this arc through net galley in exchange for an honest review. I found the start of the story very slow and I struggled to get into it. I’m glad I kept going as it was a really good story once it picked up a faster pace.

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Firstly, thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and the author for an advanced reader copy of this book. Three mothers, each with their own struggles and secrets. One of their children go missing and the whole town bands together to find the missing child. Can these ladies be friends and get to the bottom of where this child is? A great storyline, with plenty of depth for each character. With trusts and turns there are mostly unexpected, the ending wasn’t overly surprising. A good end to the book still. I look forward to reading more from this author.

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This book was better than I expected. The plot seemed like it was going to be somewhat similar to many others I read but I was wrong, A small town with lots of prejudices, four mothers with secrets, and a missing 11 yr old girl. There was character growth and development and people I ended up caring about.

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I really liked the premise of this book and jumped in as soon as I received it. I found it to be a quick read and kept me interested. I had trouble connecting with any of the characters though which left me not as invested as I’d hoped. I predicted the “bad guy” fairly early on and just had to wait to reveal if I was correct. This book takes on the feel of a witch hunt in searching for the missing child.

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This was a slow burner yet deep and riveting book with an original and topical theme running through it. Below the surface of a sleepy and safe Devon town we are met with racism, details about an infamous serial killer and an insight into the lives of those who have lived there all their lives alongside incomers and those returning. Each and every excellent character has a story to tell and as a crisis occurs we, the reader, are ableto delve into the lives of not only the adults but their offspring too who carry a huge amount of input too. Bryon has written a cracking novel with scenes that may make you cringe, or shake your head in disbelief at the same time as being scared of the final outcome. Excellent from beginning to end.

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I loved this book. Possibly one of the best if not the best I’ve read this year. Warning: Do not start reading this if you have things to do or need an early night. It’s a page turner. A book that you can’t stop thinking about and can’t wait to get back to reading it. I want to thank the author & Netgalley for giving me an advanced copy. Believe me that I never give high ratings if they don’t deserve it!

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Loved this domestic thriller! Byrony Pearce does a fabulous job of creating three families for us to follow and root for.

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Loved this book. I was gripped from the very start. A real page turner. All the main characters have been emotionally scarred by different losses and are all doing what they 'think is right. But little rumours have big consequences....... Really good, I finished it in 3 days! Definitely one for reading on a cold rainy day, snuggled up with hot chocolate.

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This story is told from the POV's of three women, Naomi, Aleema and Kelly. The connection between them is that their children are friends, however by the end of the school day, one of their children will be missing with rumours that one of them knows why. I enjoy a multiple person POV read and I read this in only a few sittings, I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I have some of my 5 star reads and therefore I have rated it 4 stars. Thank you to Netgalley and Avon Books for the opportunity to read this in exchange for my review.

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An excellent fast paced thriller read, well written about three mothers that kept me involved in the story line from the beginning until the end with a twist to finish it off. I can recommend this book and thank you to Netgalley and Avon Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book.

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Little Rumours is a thrilling story that will keep you guessing. It’s an easy fun read for anyone who enjoys the genre.

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