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The Unravelling

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  121 ratings  ·  23 reviews
From the Top Ten Bestselling Author of A Time for Silence

When they were ten everybody wanted to be Serena’s friend, to find themselves one of the inner circle. But doing so meant proving your worth, and doing that often had consequences it’s not nice to think about – not even thirty-five years later.

Karen Rothwell is randomly reminded of an incident in her childhood which
Mass Market Paperback, 303 pages
Published July 21st 2016 by Honno Press
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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Jul 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent psychological thriller. This story portrays how cruel children can be and how many of us have been affected by these cruelties bestowed upon us, even as long as 35 years later.
Karen Rothwell is reminded of an incident that happened when she was young, she becomes totally obsessed by this and as the book moves on we find out what happened. Great characters, well written, fast paced and several OMG moments, all in all a very good and enjoyable read.
Jul 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
I guess this book can be described as "domestic noir" - or grip-lit (don't you hate that term?) or a psychological thriller - but it's also something totally fresh and new, and very, very different. The narrator is Karen, and I loved her clear and distinctive voice from the very first page. We very quickly realise that she's a little unusual - she treads a very fine line between functioning quite normally, and "unravelling" when something disturbs her fragile equilibrium.

A random incident - an
Jul 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: july-2016
Insidiously chilling, The Unravelling is a disturbing tale about what can happen when you try to fit in with a person who is not what they appear to be.

Narrated by the main character, Karen, who has struggled with her mental health for a number of years we follow her after the spark of a memory is triggered off by the simplest of incidents. The narration is concentrated within the present day, with snippets of the past when Karen remembers parts of her childhood in 1966. The way Thorne has writ
Sep 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The suspense of this thriller had me hooked to every word. Thirty five years. That was what had passed since Karen Rothwell had seen her old school friend Serena Whinn. Karen has an obsession and sees regularly visions of Serena Whinn that talk to her. Things that happened in the past Karen can't remember due to an accident that she had. Janice Dexter was Karen's best friend, but she was murdered. Did Karen have a reaction of a traumatised child that made her not remember what happened to Janice ...more
Laura Wilkinson
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was sent a copy of the novel by the publisher, Honno, in return for an honest review. 4.5 stars

Thorne Moore’s first novel A Time for Silence established her as a psychological thriller writer to watch, both inside her adopted homeland, Wales, and beyond. A Welsh Books Council book of the month, her latest, The Unravelling, will cement her reputation further. It is an accomplished piece. Tense, taut and scarily plausible, it is a why dunnit – or a what really happened – rather than a who dunnit
Christoph Fischer
Jul 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The novel starts with an ominous and symbolic instant that triggers the unravelling of the past and - eventually also – the present for our heroine Karen. A brief mental flash sends her back twelve years, into the world of her childhood with female rivalries, pecking order and admiration for the powerful Serena.
A strong disturbance from this memory leads Karen to go on the hunt for a memory that seems suppressed – but it is a tough undertaking.
The story moves at a fast pace with excellently exe
B.E. Jones
May 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Unnerving, uncomfortable, unpredictable- The Unravelling is all of these and so much more, as we follow narrator Karen, as she tries to uncover what happened in her childhood leaving her so emotionally and psychologically damaged.
Edgy and unsettling, this kept me guessing as Karen unearths memories that may or may not be reliable. A beautifully written, disturbing story about the confusions and manipulations of childhood that kept me uneasily gripped until the shocking final act.
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review was written for

Thorne Moore delves deep into the dark corners of a mind disturbed by the wicked acts of childhood that refuse to stay hidden in this edgy psychological thriller.

A simple, innocent moment unlocks memories that have long been buried and the more they begin to surface the further Karen's mental health begins to deteriorate. This novel had me holding my breath in places as the darkness and shear desperation that Karen feels come leaping from the pages. T
jaine justice
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

One of the best books I have read. Interesting believable characters, excellent detailing of how it was in 1966, and scarily plausible. I can remember being in the 'cool gang's at around the same age, and the same timeframe, and the peer pressure was intense (as I'm sure it is today) . At times reading this story made me uncomfortable, but well worth the perseverance.
J.B (Debbie)
Jul 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
review to follow
Nov 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this book. The journey Karen makes to find the truth was scary and sad. The descriptions of her childhood friendships ring very true.
Alex Craigie
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books I’ve read – and I read a lot of books. It tells the story of Karen Rothwell who revisits old memories of her childhood in order to make sense of her muddled present. Something has happened to her, we don’t know what at first, and her unravelling emotionally mirrors the unravelling of the story of her past.
There’s a marvellous undercurrent of the sinister underlying the suspense which had me turning the pages late into the night. I read it in one sitting, finishing i
Sal Noel
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 This was a treat. I may have grown up 10 years after but there were so many fabulous details of girls' friendships and complex relationships that it took me back. A good descriptive style. Puts a fair few of the recent big sellers to shame.
Jackie White
Jun 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Karen has serious psychological issues because of something that happened 30 odd years ago. But she can't remember what it was - what happened to her friend?

I found this book quite long winded in getting to the point - once it did I, the ending was good but overall too slow & waffly for me.
Aug 23, 2017 rated it liked it
I really struggled to get into this book but once I hit about 2/3 of the way in I wanted to work out what had happened. Why now was Karen remembering what had happened over 30 years ago? What had actually happened?
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very well written with incredible insight. And yes, children can be very, very cruel and they turn into cruel adults.
Rosie Amber
Jul 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four point five stars.

The Unravelling is a dark mystery/ thriller set in England. It opens with a churchyard scene, and then drops back to two different periods of time for Karen Rothwell, one when Karen is an adult and the other set in 1966 when she was a ten year old schoolchild.

Adult Karen is a mess, on medication and regularly under a psychologist. She is assigned a health worker monitor her bouts of depression, her eating habits and her distractions which cause trouble at work. Karen suffer
Michelle Ryles
Jul 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: galleys-read
We all know how cruel children can be and since time began there's always been a circle of friends envied by those who are not part of the group. Karen Rothwell can't believe her luck when she's invited to join the inner circle of Serena Whinn, but something happened at junior school in 1966, something so terrible that Karen has removed it from her memory. When Karen's memory is suddenly jogged, she tries to trace her old schoolfriends to find out what really happened; but how honest are her old ...more
Jul 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Now at first I'll admit I struggled a little with the beginning of this book, however the more I read the more intrigued I became.

Karen has issues, serious issues, that impact on her day to day life. And an innocent trigger changes everything that she thought she knew about her past. Something tragic happened and she can't remember a thing.

Through a series of clever flashbacks, the author plants those inquisitive seeds that make you question everything and everyone. Karen begins to piece miss
Trudi Boyce
Dec 02, 2016 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this novel, the structure of the story and the pace the mystery "unravelled". I felt the characters were well rounded and it was easy to be drawn into the tale as it evolved. Whilst Serena clearly isn't all she initially seems, the turn of events in 1966 clearly follow a pattern of a child not considering consequences and testing boundaries. I wondered if Karen would really have been treated as harshly as suggested by the police at that time and events do resolve themselves very tidily ...more
Pauline Barclay
Jul 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant! I devoured this book. Beautifully written, frighteningly real, Ms Moore expertly takes the reader through the devastating labyrinth of a complete breakdown, a breakdown that started thirty five years ago. As Karen Rothwell slowly begins to try and unravel what had happened on that bleak January day in 1966 you find yourself caught up in a griping and chilling story of how young children can be swept into deceit and have no idea of the long term consequences of their actions.

A psycho-
Sep 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
A good book all round.
Sometimes I felt it bordered a little bit on becoming a bit stereotypical or cliched in places, but only a touch really.
Good to keep you reading, difficult to stop and put the light out!
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