Bantam Press | December 2018 | 320 pgs
Source: Library

"Rumours are like seeds, scattered on the wind. There's no telling where they'll land, but land they will. Settling in cracks and crevices, the roots take hold. The seeds sprout. It doesn't matter if they're true or false. The more times they're spoken, the faster and stronger they grow. Like beanstalks, waving in the air." ~ Pg 74

Single mum Joanna Critchley and her six-year-old son, Alfie, live in a small town in Flinstead. Joanna works as an estate agent and although she and Alfie's father are cities apart, she sometimes wonders if things would be different if they are married. Joanna rarely mix around with other mothers when bringing Alfie to school, partly because she has no time to gossip around but most of all, she doesn't want people to be curious of her status.

Then on one occasion she happens to hear a casual comment from one mother. There is a rumour about a notorious child killer is living in their small town under a new identity. Forty-eight years ago, ten-year-old Sally McGowan stabbed a five-year-old boy. The news shocked the nation and though she was believed to come from a shattered family with an abusive father, not all are willing to forgive and forget the crime she committed.

With the years passed and no photos of her exist since her release as a young woman, no one really knows about her whereabouts until this rumour arises. Now Joanna doesn't want to be sucked into this gossipy circle, but Alfie is having trouble socialising in school and Joanna knows one way is to mingle with the mothers' group so hopefully this will help Alfie to be closer with their children. Joanna intends to forget about that rumour, but a conversation at a little book club she's in had made her brought up the issue and soon Joanna finds it has got out of hand as the thought began to take root in everyone's mind. Did Sally McGowan really exist among them under a new identity? If the rumour is true, then who is she and how far will Joanna go to protect her family when she realises what it is she's unleashed? 

The Rumour was one addictive and an unputdownable book which had my attention from the beginning till the end (also a reminder how scary a rumour can be and how it'd hurt people, no matter the purpose is intentional or not). Throughout the book, the reader get to see through things from Joanna's perspective, but I felt there are also many points are seen through a mother's perspective generally. The fear and worry, as well as the care and concern a mother has for a child are all well depicted not only between Joanna and Alfie but Joanna and her mother as well. Onto the plot, there are enough red herrings that will make you suspect anyone; and as if that's not enough the author throw in not one but two twists which had me shaking my head in wonder at the outcome. A great read for a debut novel and I'll be looking forward to the author's next release.

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10 Responses
  1. Lark Says:

    Such a great quote! And what a plot. I'll be on the lookout for this one. :)

  2. Trupti Says:

    This does sound like an interesting book but being a new mother I kind dont want to read about child killers if that makes any sense :)

  3. Melody Says:

    Lark - That quote is so true, isn't it? Hope you'll enjoy this one if you get to it, Lark. :)

  4. Melody Says:

    Trupti - Totally understand your concerns, Trupti. I'm not a big fan of books which feature child abuse or murder but sometimes a good plot comes along and I know I've to read it.

  5. jenclair Says:

    I have a love/hate for books like this. The effects of a rumor (or accusation) can be devastating, impossible to fight, and can provide some of the most intense plots. Now, I'll have to read it and be sick with worry throughout! :0

  6. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - I share the same sentiments, Jenclair. I'll be curious of your thoughts if you do read it.

  7. The Bookworm Says:

    The Rumour sounds intense. It is true, rumors can be very hurtful.
    Great review!

  8. Melody Says:

    Naida - Thanks, Naida! I really enjoyed this book despite the topics.

  9. This sounds so good. Rumors have a life of their own, don't they? I am adding this to my wish list.

  10. Melody Says:

    Wendy - Indeed, Wendy. I hope you'll enjoy this one as much as I did.

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