ARC Review: Who Did You Tell? by Lesley Kara

Title: Who Did You Tell?

Author: Lesley Kara

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Publication Date: June 16th, 2020

Source: e-ARC (Netgalley)

Content/Trigger warnings: Suicide, suicidal ideation, alcoholism

Rating: ★★★★

Book Links: Bookshop::Indiebound::TBD::B&N::Amazon::Goodreads

One Sentence Synopsis:

Astrid, a recovering alcoholic who is living with her mom in a small, coastal town, starts to fear for her life when she receives threatening messages linked to her past.

Favorite Quote:

This quote is from an uncorrected copy and may change in the final version

“Sometimes I think it’s like The Truman Show and all I’ve got to do is find the perimeter of the set and break out through the papery screen to the real world on the other side. The messy, chaotic world of noise and pain and sharp-faced strangers who look straight through you.”

Before we go on, I want to say thank you to Netgalley, Ballantine Books, and the author for sending me a free e-ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Last year, I had the privilege of reading Lesley Kara’s novel, The Rumor, before it was released in the United States. I requested it on Netgalley while I was on a thriller kick because it sounded like it would give me some proper goosebumps. I ended up completely engrossed in the story! So, when Who Did You Tell? appeared on Netgalley, I jumped at the chance to dive into another Lesley Kara thriller!

In her new thriller, Kara weaves the story of Astrid Phelps, a recovering alcoholic who finds herself living with her mother in the sleepy town of Flintstead. Astrid has hit rock bottom and, after exiting rehab, is determined to get her life back on track. But there are things, and people, from her past that are refusing to stay buried. When she starts getting threatening letters, Astrid not only has to struggle with the fear of this unknown stalker but the ever increasing urge to drink.

What can I say, this author knows how to write a compelling thriller! I was completely wrapped up in Astrid’s fears, her struggles, and I couldn’t tear myself away. I think my favorite part of this book was how well the feelings of hopelessness and raw need were weaved throughout. I could feel Astrid’s frustration with herself and her addiction. Reading about her cravings was so visceral and heartbreaking. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to give something up when you’re body and brain keep trying to tell you that you need it. Lesley Kara does a masterful job of conveying those feelings so that you empathize with Astrid throughout, even when she’s making… questionable decisions.

Also, I will freely admit that the ending surprised me! Thrillers are probably my third favorite genre after fantasy and sci-fi. Though I can’t claim to be an expert, I’ve read quite a few twisty-turny books where someone is in mortal danger. I also watch an unreasonable amount of true crime shows. What I’m trying to say other than I know how to hide a body is that I usually tend to guess how thrillers are going to end about halfway through. This one, however, kept me on my toes! I would think I had it all figured out and *BAM* some new twist would have me rethinking everything! I, for one, appreciate the effort.

The one thing I could have done without is the slap-dash romance with some beach rando. Though I can see why that element was added, it just didn’t seem believable to me. Perhaps I’m just getting cynical in my old age… I say as a thirty-seven year old woman 🙃🙃🙃 Still, reading about Astrid and Josh did remind me of that feeling of giddiness when starting a new relationship. The emotions in this book are just so well conveyed in this book!

Final thoughts: This is a twisty and emotional thriller that will keep you on your toes! The emotions are written so viscerally that you can’t help but put yourself in Astrid’s shoes. And that can be a truly terrifying experience!


5 thoughts on “ARC Review: Who Did You Tell? by Lesley Kara

  1. That ending really was unexpected! My favorite part was just not knowing who to trust. The romance was kind of an interesting thing to find in this book, though it is also listed as women’s fiction. Definitely a twisty thriller!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Didn’t realize it was listed as women’s fiction, as well! Either way, I agree, it was interesting trying to figure out who was trustworthy. I think I was suspicious of every single character at some point or another in the story 😂

      Liked by 1 person

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