Tattletale by Sarah J Naughton #BookReview

About this book…

One day changes Jody’s life forever.
She has shut herself down, haunted by her memories and unable to trust anyone. But then she meets Abe, the perfect stranger next door and suddenly life seems full of possibility and hope.

One day changes Mags’s life forever.
After years of estrangement from her family, Mags receives a shocking phone call. Her brother Abe is in hospital and no-one knows what happened to him. She meets his fiancé Jody, and gradually pieces together the ruins of the life she left behind. But the pieces don’t quite seem to fit…

My review…

Having met the author Sarah J Naughton at Harrogate last year I was intrigued when I found out that she was going to publish her first adult psychological suspense after her previous success as a children’s author. And as psychological suspense is my “thing” I was looking forward to discovering more. But one thing I did discover was never judge a book by its cover – Sarah J Naughton looks like the most sweet natured “butter wouldn’t melt” type (although with rather a wicked sense of humour I have to say!) but OMG she must have some very warped and deliciously disturbed thoughts in that darkly devious imagination of hers!

It has to be said that such a disturbing and intense storyline is quite obviously going to be very graphically described in places but please don’t let that put you off. The horrors experienced by one of our main protagonists have to be explored in all their hellish entirety so we can understand the actions she feels compelled to take. I won’t pretend to have taken to either Mags or Jody, neither of them seemed to have many redeeming qualities and I found it hard to trust either of their narratives. Mags doesn’t make a good impression on anyone she meets, she is closed off and she knows she’s being a total bitch but gradually we come to understand that there’s more to it than a tunnel visioned concern for her brother Abe, laying in a coma after a fall. By the time we meet Abe he is already in a coma but we get to know him through flashbacks via both Jody and Mags and I think he was my favourite character, the one I felt the most connected to, the one I was rooting for, who deserved their happy ending. But this was no fairy tale and those distressing circumstances lead to an incredibly dramatic last few chapters that culminated in an unexpected twisty denouement. It was also one that was expertly constructed, bringing everything together with a poignancy I hadn’t encountered during the previous pages.

This is a very powerful and skin-crawling novel that disturbed me in such a way that I felt I wanted to go and have a scrub clean in the shower as soon as I had finished it. I can’t say it was an enjoyable read due to the subject matter but it certainly kept me engrossed with an unputdownable tale that left me pondering the moral dilemmas raised within it. It would certainly provoke a healthy debate within book club discussions!

Many thanks to the publisher Trapeze for my review copy of Tattletale that I have chosen to read and review.

Tattletale is published by Trapeze on 23rd March 2017 and you can click Tattletale to purchase this book from Amazon UK.

Meet the author…

Sarah J Naughton grew up in Dorset, on a diet of tales of imperiled heroines and wolves in disguise. As an adult her reading matter changed but those dark fairytales had deep roots. Her debut children’s thriller, THE HANGED MAN RISES, featured a fiend from beyond the grave menacing the streets of Victorian London, and was shortlisted for the 2013 Costa award. TATTLETALE is her first adult novel, and has a monster of a different kind. Sarah lives in Central London with her husband and two sons.


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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.

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