FICTION//The Rumour- Lesley Kara*

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Rumours have a habit of spreading like wildfire- at least, that’s the premise behind this novel. This is what happens when Jo hears the rumour that a well-known child killer, who murdered when she herself was a child (with more than a striking resemblance to Mary Bell), is living in her sleepy seaside town. Before she knows it, she’s accidentally spread the gossip herself and the whispers have spread quickly, sweeping up everyone within their path – with potentially dangerous results as Jo and her family come under threat. As it becomes clear that someone knows Jo’s behind the spreading of the secret and targets those she loves, she must begin to solve the riddle: is there truth in what she’s said? Is there a killer in her town? And is she within the sight of a murderer?

This is a pacy and well-written thriller that reminded me more than once of the Point Horror novels I devoured as a teenager (and this is a Good Thing!) I actually mooted on Twitter whether the popularity of this type of novel is spurred by those who grew up on those books- it’d make sense, right?

I’ve read loads of thrillers lately and this is one of my favourites. I was genuinely shocked by the outcome, which also felt tangible and I was unable to properly pin down what was truth and what was gossip, which made the whole thing feel satisfying once I’d finished reading. It’s a story with a strong cast- and some weird characters, too- and is a must read for anyone who’s ever accidentally repeated something they shouldn’t.

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