Author: Lesley Kara
Publisher: Bantam Press
Publishing Date: 27 December 2018
We’ve all heard rumours about other people several times. Sometimes we believe them, sometimes we don’t. Usually the rumour dies down and we eventually forget about it. But what happens when a rumour gets out of hand? What are its consequences? The Rumour by Lesley Kara portrays the effects of gossip and rumour on the lives of people in a small seaside town.
Single mother Joanna Critchley has recently moved to Flintstead from London. Her son, Alfie, was a victim of bullying and she hopes he might settle well in this small seaside town. Her mother lives across the street and Joanna is working as an estate agent. In her efforts to mix with the other mums, Joanna does what we’ve all done at some point or the other- she engages in gossip. Joanna has heard a rumour that a notorious child-killer, Sally McGowan, with a new identity has moved to Flintstead. Joanna, unaware of what the consequences of her actions will be, breathes life into this rumour and it spreads like fire, affecting the lives of Joanna and her family.
The Rumour is Lesley Kara’s debut novel. It is beautifully plotted with short, sharp chapters. There are quite a few twists and red herrings in this novel. The Rumour also talks about a lot of issues like punishment and the meaning of justice. It also touches on issues like child abuse and how its effects last a lifetime. The Rumour is a dark and intriguing novel. The author has structured the plot well. A few chapters are from Sally’s POV and we get a glimpse of her troubled life. What I liked best about The Rumour is how well Lesley Kara has captured the life of a small town.
The Rumour is not like your usual thrillers where a detective is searching for clues and pieces them all together to reveal the criminal in the end. You already know who the real killer is, there is no ‘crime’ in the plot. The plot of The Rumour is how gossip can exacerbate the rumour by adding more oil in the fire. This novel would make a good TV series or even a movie.
The Rumour is a thrilling debut and Lesley Kara is an author to look out for. This novel is a good beach read and I would recommend it to readers who are looking for an absorbing, interesting and a unique read.