When single mum Joanna hears a rumour at the school gates, she never intends to pass it on. But one casual comment leads to another and now there’s no going back . . .Rumour has it that a notorious child killer is living under a new identity, in their sleepy little town of Flinstead-on-Sea.Sally McGowan was just ten years old when she stabbed little Robbie Harris to death forty-eight years ago – no photos of her exist since her release as a young woman. So who is the supposedly reformed killer who now lives among them? How dangerous can one rumour become? And how far will Joanna go to protect her loved ones from harm, when she realizes what it is she’s unleashed?
I actually read The Rumour because I wanted to read something I didn’t have to review afterwards. And then of course I go and write a review *sighs* But you guys, I couldn’t NOT write a review, this one is just so flipping good! So good even, that I had to add it to my Best of 2018 list, even though I’d already put that blog post up.
It makes you think, you know, about rumours and gossip. I actively try not to gossip, but sometimes I catch myself gossiping anyway. It happens so quickly. Someone tells you a rumour and before you know it other people join in and you catch yourself saying something you probably shouldn’t have and afterwards you think why the hell did I say that?! Though most rumours probably don’t kill, I am convinced that rumours can ruin lives and have done so many times, and I’m equally convinced that most, if not all, gossip-mongers know it too. So why do we do it? I’m sure most people mean no harm and use gossip as a way in, like our protagonist, Joanne, here. She wants to form a bond with the other mums because she wants her son to fit in and to have friends. All the time she’s spreading the rumour she does realise it’s not a good idea, but she is completely oblivious to the aftermath her gossiping will have… *insert dramatic dum-dum-DUMMM here* But of course, this isn’t your garden variety rumour. This isn’t about which of your neighbours can’t keep it in his trousers or who might be secretly gay. This is a rumour about a child killer living in your small seaside town. Doesn’t it count that the child killer in question was only ten herself when she killed a five-year-old boy? Well apparently not. Half the town goes on a witch hunt. Everyone is suspect, everyone is suspicious and paranoid, townsfolk and reader alike. Who is Sally now? Is she that friend from book club, or maybe the unfriendly woman with the right initials, or might she be that lovely and lonely neighbour, or perhaps that woman Joanne bought incense from the other day? Ah yes, the suspect list is long and yes, my guess turned out to be wrong, I do need to hone those sleuthing skills, although I’m convinced your everyday run-of-the-mill DS wouldn’t figure this one out so easily either. Anyway, finally the truth comes out and once the shock has worn off and you’re able to think again, you’re sure the cat is out of the bag but NO! There’s another cat in there!! Man oh man, my heart is racing just thinking about it! And just when you think Lesley can’t possibly surprise you again, she does, proving that the venom really is in the tail…
Highly recommended to all you thrill seekers out there! Get your heart pumping and your blood flowing without lifting a finger! Well, you know, except for when you’re using it to turn the page, obviously ?