If Only

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Pub Date Jul 28 2023 | Archive Date Nov 03 2023

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Angela has always been the unwanted one, the odd one out, and the one who doesn’t fit in.

She dreams of making her family pay for how they treat her but is held back by hoping that things will change. Instead, it was she who changed. Hated by her mother, disliked by her father, and ignored by her siblings, when Angela discovers that none of her family are who she believes them to be, her thoughts return to wanting vengeance.

Secrets and lies have always been the mainstay holding her family together. But when the boundaries of love and hate they have for each other become blurred, long-held resentments and jealousies spill over and threaten the safety of each one of them.

Exposing the truth will rock the foundation of what they all believe their family to be, ultimately leading to its destruction. But Angela is not alone in her need for justice. Others would also like to see her family suffer and pay for the hurt they have caused.

Who is the killer? And who will be killed?

Angela has always been the unwanted one, the odd one out, and the one who doesn’t fit in.

She dreams of making her family pay for how they treat her but is held back by hoping that things will...

A Note From the Publisher

Susan Pennock has a great love of books and, when retired, her attention turned to writing a novel of her own. Finding the process a joy and a puzzle, especially when her characters often seemed to take charge and lead her where they will.

Susan Pennock has a great love of books and, when retired, her attention turned to writing a novel of her own. Finding the process a joy and a puzzle, especially when her characters often seemed to...

Available Editions

ISBN 9781805145882
PRICE £3.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 11 members

Featured Reviews

This is a remarkable debut. Its plot is devilishly dark and disturbing. It's clever and captivating with a cunningly wrought series of secrets waiting to be discovered.
Meet Angela, Judy and Mark: are they the children from hell or just grossly misjudged? Then there's Wendy and Lennie: they might just be the parents from hell? Perhaps Betty and Peter truly are the neighbours from hell?
The author has a remarkable ability to bring her characters to life. There's lots of tension and a good sprinkling of black humour.
No-one is quite who they seem to be and the solution is really fiendishly clever; written with dexterity and exuberance.

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An intense family based drama which has dark themes, characters, plot and humour
Revolving around 3 siblings and their Mum and Dad and focusing on Angela at first who seems to be thoroughly hated by everyone else….I liked her and her ways of oneupmanship in what seemed a terrible life
Of course there are reasons,that we find out,as to why she is so intently disliked and the story progresses revenge, it’s
proven, is most certainly a dish served cold
Clever narrative, it could have been so easy to make this a hard dialoguead read with no cracks of light shining through but for me they shone brightly and it added to this more than dysfunctional families story
Have to add this is not a story of physical nor sexual abuse but harsh psychological abuse and cruelty and indifference
It sounds a hard read and it is but is lifted by the authors ability to write it all so well
Challengingly good

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Thoroughly enjoyed this book. For me it was different to the usual psychological thrillers I've read. . Angela is certainly the odd one out in the family , she is excluded from many things by her parents and siblings. Angela is a great character. As the family secrets are discovered, where does that leave Angela.. an ending I did not see coming!

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Thank you NetGalley for giving me the chance to read this book ahead of time in exchange for a review. It didn't disappoint! Must read!!

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A dysfunctional family like no other.
So many secrets,so much jealousy surrounding one family but most of all the need for revenge plays out excellently in this dark psychological read in this debut novel by Susan Pennock.
This was a very good read with an original storyline and a very apt conclusion.
For lovers of dark psychological thrillers with just a touch of humour.
Looking forward to reading more from this author.
Thanks to Netgalley and Troubador Books for the ARC.

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A good thriller read, well written with a lot of mysteries around the characters which kept me interested in the storyline from the beginning which I found it to be a bit dark in some parts and even a bit funny in others.

Thank you to Netgalley and Troubador for this ARC which I would recommend.

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This is more than a family drama - it is a deep and dark exploration of psychological abuse and its impacts. I found it fascinating, even as I was horrified by how the various characters responded to one another. There are odd sparks of humour in the way the author writes, which somehow make the expression of the core topics all the more stark.

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Wow –families are complex, never a truer word spoken, throw a narcissistic, alcoholic mother into the mix, who’s number one priority is herself, followed by Judy, then Mark, lastly Angela who doesn’t factor into the equation at all, and the not so honest Lennie, Wendy’s husband.

The story centres around three siblings, who just tolerate each other, neither of them like each other very much, add in Paul, Judy’s fiancée, soon to be husband, Cassie, Mark’s meddling girlfriend, Gary, Angela’s boyfriend, and nosey neighbours Betty and Peter and you have a powder keg on the edge of exploding.

Angela is not a particularly nice person, she is mean and nasty and sarcastic, dishing out plenty of her acerbic criticism to anyone and everyone in her immediate vicinity, Angela is methodically working towards her master plan, all the cards have to fall in a certain way, unbeknown to her nearest and dearest, all her pawns have a role to play, and everything is falling into place, until it isn’t……………………………

Thank you, NetGalley for the opportunity to review this book, it’s an action-packed ride, for a debut novel, there is plenty to look forward to from this emerging author, plenty of plot twists along the way, and an ending I did not see coming.

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In the emotionally charged thriller, Angela's tumultuous journey unfolds against the backdrop of a family haunted by lies and fractured relationships. From the outset, Angela is portrayed as the perennial outsider in her own family, a character shaped by years of neglect and mistreatment. The author skillfully crafts Angela's evolution from a passive victim to a determined force seeking retribution.

The story is propelled by Angela's burning desire for justice and revenge, fueled by the discovery that her family harbors dark secrets. The tension builds as the intricate web of lies binding the family begins to unravel. Angela's internal conflict, torn between seeking vengeance and holding onto hope, adds depth to the character, making her journey one of self-discovery and empowerment. Her character is one that many can find some relation to.

As family dynamics disintegrate, the story delves into the murky waters of love, hate, resentment, and jealousy. The author expertly navigates the blurred lines between these emotions, creating an atmosphere of suspense and unpredictability. The revelation of long-buried truths threatens to demolish the foundation of the family, leaving us questioning who is truly trustworthy. I couldn't put this book down.

The looming question of "Who is the killer?" injects a chilling element into the narrative, heightening the suspense. The intricate dance between the characters, each harboring their own motives, keeps readers guessing until the final, shocking revelation. The author weaves a complex tapestry of intrigue, leaving no character untouched by the consequences of their actions.

This is a gripping exploration of the destructive power of hidden truths and the lengths one will go to seek justice. The novel offers a compelling blend of psychological suspense and familial drama, leaving readers on the edge of their seats until the last page.

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Really enjoyed this book. Twists and turns all the way and the plot was excellent.
Iread it in 1 day - probably less.
Edge of the seat thriller with unique characters.
Highly recommended.

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