The Call of Cassandra Rose
by Sophia Spiers
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Pub Date 13 Oct 2022 | Archive Date 09 Jan 2023
Annabelle seems to have it all. The perfect house, a successful husband, a darling son. But Annabelle is troubled.
Trapped in an unhappy marriage, failing at motherhood, and at odds with her new privileged lifestyle, Annabelle begins to self-harm, a habit resurrected from her traumatic past.
When she meets the alluring and charismatic hypnotherapist Cassandra Rose, she is offered a way out.
Through hypnosis, Annabelle is encouraged to unearth her painful repressed memories and face her childhood demons. But as the boundaries between her hypnotic trance and reality begin to dissolve, Annabelle becomes increasingly vulnerable to much darker forces.
Filled with twists and suspense, The Call of Cassandra Rose is a chilling thriller that examines how trauma shapes our lives and asks whether we can ever really escape our pasts.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 71 members
Holy crap! I devoured this! Couldn't put it down! I was riveted by Cassandra and then her relationship with her therapist. Chilling and full of twists. This book is so good and I don't want to give any of it away.
What an ending 😫
Really enjoyed this book from start to finish!
Had me on the edge of my seat and I could not put it down!
I received an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review
Different and weird- but in a very enjoyable way! I personally found the main character to be reluctantly likable and rooted for her throughout. The twists were well crafted. Very intrigued to see what the au5hor does next- I see a long career ahead
This book reads like a Hitchcockian thriller. I was immediately drawn in from the first paragraph and couldn’t wait to find out what happened. Definitely one of the best thrillers I have read all year.
Brilliant psychological thriller with so many twists and turns. Cassandra was a horrendous character who I loved to hate and the final twist was very clever. Bravo.
What an absolute chilling read! This book is perfect for thriller fans. Annabelle on the surface seems to have the picture perfect life. A beautiful home, a rich husband, and a cute kid. She has all of this before the age of 30. But she is miserable and stuck in an unhappy marriage. She just seems to be failing at everything and she turns to a habit of her dark past. Self harm is her escape and way of coping with the unhappiness she is surrounded by. Annabelle soon finds a way out of the self harm when she meets Cassandra Rose. Will Cassandra really help Annabelle escape from her unhappiness? Will Annabelle be able to escape her past? The pages will be flying while you read this dark, and chilling thriller.
What I enjoyed:
- right away we are brought into the mystery if Annabelle's past. We aren’t quite sure what happened. Or what has caused her to be so cage-y. This definitely helps entice the reader to keep reading!
- I honestly couldn't figure this one out. The thrill is very well done.
- The twist. And a few other unexpected things!
There is more I enjoyed but I don't want to spoil the story. The writing was excellent, and helps draw you in. The pacing was perfect for a thriller as well. I really enjoyed this book! 4 stars out of 5! Thank you Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for a honest review!
HOLY HELL WHAT A BOOK. I was completely captivated all the way through and couldn't put it doqwn I read it in one sitting. It is gripping from start to finish and full of twists, unpredictablity and is so chilling the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. A great read.
Can we ever really escape our pasts……,
Through hypnosis, Annabelle is encouraged to unearth her painful repressed memories and face her childhood demons. But as the boundaries between her hypnotic trance and reality begin to dissolve, Annabelle becomes increasingly vulnerable to much darker forces. The character depth was amazing! Just how far will you go to do the wrong things for the right reasons!
Oh Sophia Spears, how do you do it? The pace and suspense of The Call of Cassandra Rose is amazing and it barely lets up. This is the definition of a page-turner. Or page-tapper, to be more accurate, on the Kindle. Emotions are accurately drawn: Annabelle's deep love for her son and her conflicted emotions for her mother, Mary, who didn't give her the best start in life. When she starts to suspect her husband Matt is having an affair, her feelings for him are more conflicted. And then Cassandra Rose steps into her life and Annabelle's fragile mental state begins to crack. I particularly loved the descriptions of Cassandra's house: I could almost feel the grime under my fingernails and smell the cigarette smoke. Spiers keeps up the pressure until the very end and didn't disappoint.
Addictive. Bold and savage.
A gripping thriller with an unforgettable character in Cassandra and a hero to root for in naive Annabelle.
Teeming with suspense and foreboding the atmosphere drew me in deeper and deeper. I raced through the pages until the early hours of the morning needing to know how it ended.
Loved the working class setting and the taut fast paced prose. And although I loved the ending I would really adore a sequel as I'm not ready to let go of this yet.
A gripping tense psychological thriller that gets better and better. I loved the strong female characters and the hypo therapist was written so well - the dialogue, the description everything about her felt so real. Sophia is a brilliant writer and I'm really looking forward to her next book!
This book was full of twists and turns. It kept me wanting more. I hope there is a sequel, to find out what happened to Matt and Annabelle.
Very well written and would definitely recommend to my peers.
Thank you very much @netgalley for this amazing ARC.
Read this book in one day, from the first page I was drawn, this book keeps you on your foots with suspicious.
I really think this would be a beat seller and one I will be getting a hard copy of.
Annabelle has had a tough life, but now feels safe and secure, with her own family. However, she's quite certain her husband is having an affair. She's drinking a lot more lately, and there's a memory she can't quite reach, which is making sure she has nightmares every night. Then, like fate, a leaflet falls through the door for a hypnotherapist, Cassandra Rose. Glamorous and confident, she's everything Annabelle needs and wants to become. But does Cassandra really have Annabelle's best interests at heart?
This is a new author to me, and I liked how the story flowed. The story developed gradually, but kept me interested with tiny twists and information that gave more insight to Annabelle.
The only slight downside was the ending. I get it, but it felt like something was missing. The story felt so built up, that it felt it should have ended with something a lot bigger and more shocking.
But that's my personal thought, and it was a good story so I would definitely recommend.
Very fast paced story. My feelings for Annabelle kept jumping from love to hate with her actions. How could she let herself be treated in such ways?! And Cassandra? Oof, what a character! I could not put it down.
The story was thrilling and suspenseful. I found it hard to put it down and kept turning page after page to know what would happen to the main character in the end. The world-building was well written.
The characters are relatable. Each character's background stories are realistic and convincing.
The story follows Anabelle Clarke, a 29-year-old full-time mother with a dark past. Married to a wealthy husband, Anabelle lives a privileged life vastly superior to the one she had when she was young. All was perfect until she received unrelenting calls from her mother. Armed with insecurity and low self-esteem, Anabelle finds it difficult to socialize with other parents. Doubts start to surface about her husband's fidelity driving her to self-harm. To stop herself from causing more harm and become a fitter mother, Anabelle decided to visit a hypnotherapist.
A story full of plot twists and surprising revelations will take you to the edge of your seat. Although the main antagonist was predictable for me, this story was superb for a debut novel. I highly recommend it!
I'm thankful to the author, the publisher, and Netgalley for allowing me to read and review a copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
This was everything you need for a thriller and crime story. It is not as black and white as you first think and like most typical thrillers, is full of twists. This is a first for me by the author and one I enjoyed and would read more of their work. The book cover is eye-catching and appealing and would spark my interest if in a bookshop. Thank you very much to the author, publisher and Netgalley for this ARC.
Wow, what a deft look at how a seemingly wonderful, understanding, caring person can enter your life and wreak absolute havoc on it. Spiers has found a way to slowly sink us into the mind of a trusting woman in a hard time in her life who is only trying to gather her life together and how that trust can lead to being manipulated without her even realizing it, until she is at a point where she can't even make any actionable thoughts of her own anymore and relies fully on another person to think for her. Well done!
First, thank you NetGalley for providing me with a copy for an honest review.
Secondly, it must be pointed out that The Call of Cassandra Rose has some heavy topics within the book. I will be listing the trigger warnings to help my fellow readers out.
1 Sex Scene
Abuse (physical, mental, emotional, verbal)
Suggested Hints of past child abuse
Self-injurious behavior (Self-harm: Suicide Ideation | Self-Harm | Cutting | Scars)
Drug Use: (Drug Addiction | Alcoholism | Alcohol/Drug Withdrawal/Drugging Someone Against Their Will)
Eating Disorder (forced upon by someone else)
Escalating Violence: ( Described Blood | Graphic Violence)
Kidnapping/Hostage Situation/Stockholm Syndrome
Confrontation of Abuser | Nightmares about Traumatic Events
I might be missing some but this is what I can remember.
Now, there was a stereotype within the book that should also be mentioned:
There is a house cleaner/nanny that is Hispanic/Latino. Often when this character was mentioned, she was used as a filler character. Which she also filled many typical stereotypes. I have mixed feelings about this area.
This story is a mental thriller that is rather suspenseful in many areas. For me, it was rather hard to put down because I wanted to know what would happen to Mrs. Clarke as she battles the demons of her past and present. I do not remember much of the world-building but what I imagined throughout the story was the rich/fancy side of New York, City. Now, that I reflect upon the world-building or scene-building, there was not much there. Which is fine. I am always thrilled when I can imagine the place instead of having the author describe it for us.
The Main Character is named Anabelle, we follow her around as she tries to understand and heal from her past. She has a son named Joshua and is married to a rich man. Her past is rather dark and she was doing good until she started getting calls from her mother. Those calls made her spiral into bad habits. She also started to become paranoid about her husband. Is he cheating and if so with who?...
He is rich. Has a great job and loves his child. Without giving away too much. He was predictable and typical.
Mrs. Anabelle Clarke is full of fear, self-doubt, and low self-esteem. She has no friends, she ran away from home at a young age. Anabelle loves her son and would do anything for him. So, she enlisted her trust in a hypnotherapist named Cassandra Rose. Will Cassandra Rose help Anabelle?
Without spoiling the book, she is a hypnotherapist that is willing to help.
Overall, the book was good but also predictable. I knew that (insert character here) was involved as so as I saw those text messages she sent during the weekend. The characters are somewhat relatable in different aspects. Some aspects were unrelatable and cheesy. The background stories follow the same relatable and unrelatable areas.
The story has twists and turns but for me, it was not because of (insert name here). It was because of some of the scene descriptions, depicting the events as they are unfolding.
I say this is a good debut novel.
I have read thrillers and mystery books quite a bit, however, I must say that this was an entirely different category, not only was it a different take but it involved a lot of psychological aspects with regards to Annabelle and her hypnotherapy journey.
The twists here were unpredictable I had suspicions on certain characters however the author manages to divert your mind from it by casting it aside with a form of reassurance in a different aspect, she has me questioning my own conclusions and reasoning on each suspicion and feeling I had and that takes a lot of skill to make me feel like that while reading a book.
This book is like a reminder to you that you cant always escape your past and sometimes the journey through it is more healing. I was surprised to see aspects of how well the topic of self-harm was handled here and how the feeling is.
The book starts with mystery and has a dark and gloomy vibe to it from the first page right up until the very end., the twists were unpredictable and there were many small things that have been put in front of our eyes but so easily overlooked, I would call them clues. I want to add more however I do not want to spoil the book.
The book was well written, and the story had a good development to it and had me hooked on the plot, the only fault I had reading this was the ending, there was so much build throughout the book that I was expecting more to the ending.
Wow what a great page turner full of twists and turns. The author keeps you guessing to the end.
Annabelle has a traumatic past, that she wants to unlock in order to live her future and have the perfect family life. By using hypnotherapy with Cassandra Rose. As each session continues A nacelle begins to question things like her parenting skills, her widely skills and more.. But, Is everything what it seems?
Firstly a big thank you to the publishers for my copy to review on netgalley.
Wow what a book and even more wow what a debut …. this blew me away!!
Captivating ,tense and claustrophobic.
This is perfectly written to ensure you feel just aa tense and on edge as she is.
Fantastic thriller that will have you hooked from start to finish. Thought provoking and unpredictable.
A fantastic new voice in psychological thrillers and I wish her every success with this and look forward to reading more .
Published 13th October
So this story was right up my street it explores the fragile mind/state of Annabelle and her journey to seek contentment in her troubled world though the use of a hypnotherapist who just happens to be in the right place at the right time.
Annabelle is quite a naive character which at times could be frustrating but it adds to her vulnerability and gives depth to the plot, I was just happy that the ending was written as it was which showed her personal growth.
A twisty tale of suspense and suspicions that developed into a satisfying conclusion.
I really enjoyed this novel.
I found Annabelle the protagonist extraordinarily complex and a difficult character to accept at times but the plot, pace and characters made this a joy to read. I enjoyed disliking the main character from time to time as it made it such a unique read.
Wow, what a debut. This book was stunning. I thought in some areas it dragged but I really loved the way it was written and how unique it was.
Thanks to NetGalley and Lume books for the opportunity to read this Arc.
I'm a big fan of thriller and mystery books - I loved the psychological aspects of this book with regards to Annabelle and her hypnotherapy treatment.
The book begins with mystery and has a dark and gloomy atmosphere throughout it. Lots of unpredictable twists in this book. Sophia Spiers is a skilled author who had me questioning my own conclusions, diverting and changing my theories and kept me in suspense!
This story is a brilliant example of how you can't always escape your past and facing it is more therapetic in order to move forward in life. I commend Sophia on how well she handled the sensitive topic of self-harm.
The book was well written, had good story development and kept me reading to the end. My only criticism is the ending - there was so much build up throughout the book that I was expecting more from the ending.
A brilliant, dark, atmospheric read which handles sensitive topics well. Thanks once again.
Thank you for NetGalley for providing me with this book for review. Wow what a read, totally gripped from the start to end, read in one day. Hoping for more from this author.
Thank you so much to NetGalley, LumeBooks and Sophia Spiers for the advanced copy!
Let me tell you, this book has all of the elements you want from a psychological thriller; unreliable narratives, an eerie atmosphere, a claustrophobic feel, a past shrouded in mystery, an unstable MC at her wits end, a creepy therapist and questionable hypnosis.
This was such a fast read for me, I think I devoured it in about a day. Through a combination of good storytelling and duel timelines, Spiers creates this weaving narrative that leaves the reader compelled to find out what's around the next corner, it's so hard to put it down! The second half of this novel is explosive. So much goes on and the revelations that come to light are just jaw dropping. I had my suspicions but nothing near the truth of what was coming!
An addictive psychological thriller you won't want to put down, don't miss The Call of Cassandra Rose.
* Please research any trigger warnings before reading *
Annabelle the main character in this twisty debut novel seems to have the perfect life. She has a beautiful home successful husband and is mother to her treasured son.
Behind the facade lies a woman who is troubled resorting to self harming as a means of escape. With her husband despairing of her behaviour and her own doubt and worry about her mental state she tries to self heal . When she receives a flyer from therapist Cassandra Rose she feels that this may offer her the answer to she has been searching for.
Casandra offers hypnosis which makes Annabelle re-examined her past. The repressed memories of her childhood are laid bare and she finds herself struggling with panic and fear. I was on the edge of my seat ( sometimes with a feeling of dread ) when I read the hypothesis sessions. It is something I am intrigued and frightened by, the ability to access the subconscious.
This book was a slow burner for me but I soon became a invested in Annabelle's story and willed her to have a happy ending. I really enjoyed how her character grew and the personal courage she displayed in trying to face and fix her demons.
Childhood trauma can affect your whole life and this was brilliantly portrayed. This book was full of suspense with an ending which I didn’t see coming . Gripping and shocking in equal measures it was one I really enjoyed.
The Call of Cassandra Rose is an unforgettable tale, that sits somewhere in the blurry area between life and fiction. At points it reads like a cinematic thriller, but is painfully grounded in the harsh truths of reality and the way people suffer. As we explore our MC and their relationship with their therapist, it's impossible not to develop a relationship full of understanding and empathy.
** Angel Street **
Needy, clingy, emotionally immature, and trophy wife to Matt and mum to Joshy, Annabella resides in the posh and affluent NW3 postal area of London, which is far removed from the deprived housing estate she grew up in.
Coming from a dysfunctional family, - emotionally neglected by an incompetent mother - , she ran away from home at seventeen, straight in the arms of Matt.
Matt is rich, charming, concerned, a very involved husband and a wonderful father to their young son Joshy.
Annabelle is bored out of her mind, and despite the fact she is financially well-to-do, she drinks too much, doesn’t know how to behave, and seems to be lacking parental skills, just like her mum.
Hubby Matt is close to despair after yet another embarrassing display at a party, he is fed up with her erratic behaviour and urges her to seek treatment to cope with her issues.
With her marriage on the brink of collapsing, and troubled with blackouts, self-harm and too much drinking, Annabelle finally decides to go into counselling at Cassandra’s clinic.
Via flashbacks, we learn how Annabelle grew up, although it doesn't really reveal what exactly happened. Annabelle's mother is terminally ill and still wants contact with her daughter. However, the mere thought of going back to her mother’s house fills her with panic and fear.The story switches between her past and what could possibly have happened, and the therapy sessions with Cassandra.
I wanted to read the book because of the title, but soon became disappointed. The first part is slow, and there is a lot of emphasis on the socal high-class which she is in, and on Annabelle’s idiotic behaviour.
The tension builds up agonisingly slowly, and as a reader you really get to dislike the particularly unsympathetic Annabelle.
I regularly felt the need to yell at my Kindle, and to give her the proverbial kick in the ass.
When halfway through, little had actually happened except describing the life of a woman who considers herself 'a waste of space', I was almost tempted to give up.
I don't want to give away too much, for fear of predicting too much, - but this noir/psychological Hitchcockian thriller will leave you bewildered and in doubt. And I should know, for my name is Sandra.
Shocking, and gripping, this noir/ psychological thriller will haunt you in your sleep. A highly recommended read!
Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for this arc. I leave this review voluntarily.