If you’re a fan of Lesley Kara’s debut novel The Rumour, then I think you’ll enjoy Who Did You Tell? just as much. For me, it wasn’t as predictable this time and there were some surprising twists. I also really liked the main character Astrid.
The story is set in a small seaside town, Flinstead. 32-year-old Astrid is a recovering alcoholic who has moved back in with her mother. There are a lot of issues facing Astrid. She’s grieving for her ex, Simon. She sometimes clashes with her mother. She’s struggled with alcohol since her teens and has messed up her career as a set designer. She’s fallen in love but is afraid to tell the truth about herself. And – here’s the ‘psychological thriller’ bit – she has some terrible secrets but now someone has followed her to Flinstead and is going to make her pay for what she did.
There were many elements I admired about this book. The setting was so well-realised that I could smell the sea. The characters were all interesting and potentially untrustworthy. The plot was easy to follow and took place over several weeks. There are some heavy themes – depression, suicide, grief, belief, addiction – and I like that these are explored. The narrative voice of Astrid is easy to follow and very intimate. She’s closer to my age than some other protagonists of books I’ve read in this genre, which could have been a factor.
A very good read which in my opinion improves upon the author’s debut. Recommended!
Thank you to the publisher Transworld (part of PenguinRandomHouse UK) for the review copy via NetGalley.
Publication date: 9th January 2020.