81. What You Did by Claire McGowan

I picked this up on ‘Amazon Firsts’ where you get Early Access. Editors’ Picks. Exclusive Prices. I was allowed to pick two books for Kindle for free. This was one of them. Tagged as ‘Psychological Suspense’.

Synopsis (as taken from Amazon) is as follows:

A vicious assault. A devastating accusation. Who should she trust, her husband or her best friend?

It was supposed to be the perfect reunion: six university friends together again after twenty years. Host Ali finally has the life she always wanted, a career she can be proud of and a wonderful family with her college boyfriend, now husband. But that night her best friend makes an accusation so shocking that nothing will ever be the same again.

When Karen staggers in from the garden, bleeding and traumatised, she claims that she has been assaulted – by Ali’s husband Mike. Ali must make a split-second decision: who should she believe? Her horrified husband, or her best friend? With Mike offering a very different version of events, Ali knows one of them is lying – but which? And why?

When the ensuring chaos forces her to re-examine the golden era the group shared at university, Ali realises there are darker memories too. Memories that have lain dormant for decades. Memories someone who kill to protect.

Ability to read – I could tell that this was going to be a good book. From the first page I felt myself sucked into the story and eager to discover all its secrets. I had no issue when it came to reading this book. I understood everything that was happening and though the different POV changes were a little jarring, I could follow along reasonably well and understand what was happening.

Characterisation – It is hard to explain without giving too much of the book away. The characters were fully formed with backstories that made sense. The different POVs gave in depth views of the characters involved and how each of them were handling the situation that had happened. The character actions make you think. I had many theories and thoughts about the characters as I read and these thoughts changed as more of the story unfolded. The book deals with difficult subjects and I felt that these were realistically represented with the characters, their actions weren’t forced on unrealistic but raw and vulnerable.

Visualisation – I found it very easy to visualise this. The backgrounds were perhaps, a little blurred in my minds eye, but I saw the characters clearly and was able to anticipate what they would do and how they would act. I found I could clearly see the dynamic of the group and how they had evolved over time and grown into adults.

Uniqueness – I haven’t read a book with assault as a prominent theme before, so that was something new to digest. This book did make me think a lot, not just about the characters in the book but about the people in my life and what, if any, secrets they kept. It was definitely a book that made me think a lot and a book that made me think about the truth and the lies we keep. There were parts of it that filled me with uncertain anxiety and other parts that filled me with dreadful adrenaline but for the most part I found this to be a compelling and complex read that will get under your skin and challenge your views.

Star rating – ★★★★

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Blair Leftly says:

    I’m so glad you enjoyed this! It’s my stop tomorrow, so excited to review it 🙂


    1. hshattock29 says:

      Did you end up enjoying it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Blair Leftly says:

        Yeah The relationships were really complex and I didn’t see the ending coming!


      2. hshattock29 says:

        I thought the same, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the story and by how much it fooled me

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Blair Leftly says:

        Exactly, I’m really glad that it didn’t take the obvious route.


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