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What Alice Knew
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What Alice Knew

3.28  ·  Rating details ·  1,464 ratings  ·  151 reviews
Alice has a perfect life – a great job, happy kids, a wonderful husband. Until he goes missing one night; she receives a suspicious phone call; things don’t quite add up.

Alice needs to know what’s going on. But when she uncovers the truth she faces a brutal choice. And how can she be sure it is the truth?

Sometimes it’s better not to know.
Paperback, 384 pages
Published May 4th 2017 by Black Swan (first published December 1st 2016)
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Demelza Unfortunately, yes, there are; quite a lot. Seems to be the norm these days. I would like to see a 'warning' that a book contains language some…moreUnfortunately, yes, there are; quite a lot. Seems to be the norm these days. I would like to see a 'warning' that a book contains language some readers might find offensive.(less)

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Deanna
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

How far would you go to keep a secret?

The description for "What Alice Knew" is fairly short, and I think that made it all more intriguing for me. So I'm going to try to keep my review fairly short as well. I think that the less you know going in to this novel then the more you'll enjoy it. But that's just my opinion.

Alice Sheahan is perfectly happy with her life. Happy marriage, happy kids and a job that she really enjoys. B
...more
BookwormDH
Nov 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alice has a perfect life – a great job, happy kids, a wonderful husband. Until he goes missing one night; she receives a suspicious phone call; things don’t quite add up.

Alice needs to know what’s going on. But when she uncovers the truth she faces a brutal choice. And how can she be sure it is the truth?

Sometimes it’s better not to know.


This book is quite hard to review without revealing any spoilers. You find out quite early in the story 'What Alice Knew' and then the story progresses with ho
...more
Irena
Nov 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Right after finishing the last sentence of What Alice Knew, I knew reviewing this engaging debut won’t be an easy task to do.
This psychlogical thriller is full of discussion worthy situations.
There’s so many things that happened and I am not sure where’s the thin line that separates what can be mentioned in review, and what is considered as spoiler.

The story follows Alice, an artist married to Ed, who is an Obstetrician. Alice’s life was perfect until one night when her husband didn’t come home
...more
Joanne Harris
This novel (an ARC of which was kindly provided by the publisher) is a fine example of the current trend in crime writing that I'm starting to think of as "My Man's a Wrong 'Un". In this case, we learn pretty quickly whodunnit, and why: the main burden of the story is about dealing with the aftermath. In this, it is not unlike Donna Tartt's THE SECRET HISTORY, where the suspense, beautifully sustained, concentrates on what happens to the perpetrators *after* the murder, rather than assuming (as ...more
Kate~Bibliophile Book Club
Oct 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
I had seen What Alice Knew pop up on social media a couple of times so naturally I had to find out what it was about and once I read a synopsis I knew I’d have to read it!

What Alice Knew is a thriller, by all accounts. But what kind of thriller? Crime? Mystery? Psychological? It’s hard to choose just one. There are so many subtle nuances within the pages of this book that the reader essentially interprets it their own way by the end.

Following the lives of Alice Sheahan, her husband Ed and their
...more
Aditi
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

----Leo Tolstoy


T.A. Cotterell, the British author, pens a mind blowing and extremely gripping psychological debut thriller, What Alice Knew that revolves around a portrait artist whose husband goes missing one night out of the blue, but when he comes back, their perfectly happy family life threatens to come apart and the portrait artist is left with no other choice but to protect her family at any cost.

PS: This is n
...more
Rachel Hall
Jun 30, 2017 rated it liked it
The sketchy premise for What Alice Knew bills it as “a domestic thriller with a heart-stopping twist”, which by and large usually translates to a husband or wife taking advantage of a partner’s trust, either by straying or effectively controlling the marriage. Refreshingly, What Alice Knew, takes a rather different approach and although the issue of trust and the balance of power in a relationship does come into question, the initial and fatal incident happens before the relationship is even beg ...more
Amy
Nov 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All of my reviews can be found on www.novelgossip.com

Many of you have probably seen tons of posts about this book all over social media, I know I did before reading it and my interest was piqued the first time as I wondered what, exactly, does Alice know? You have to read it yourself to find out, but suffice it to say, it’s troubling and really makes you think.

Every once and awhile I strongly encourage you to go into a book as blind as possible and that’s what I’m suggesting here. I promise the
...more
Katherine Sunderland
I think all I can say is 'Wow'.

This has given me the biggest book hangover in a while. I was literally stunned when I finished reading the last page and in some sort of trance for the following hours. Don't you just love it when a book like that falls into your life?! Bibliomaniac heaven.

In some ways it's not like a conventional best-selling, page-turning psychological thriller yet it is page turning and it so deserves to be a best seller!

I'd say "What Alice Knew" is more character driven than p
...more
Anna
Good start, ridiculous end.
Joanne Robertson
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
I think I’m going to struggle reviewing this book as I don’t want to give too much away! I went into it with an open mind, not having read any reviews, and I’m glad as I think I didn’t have any preconceived ideas about the plot which is always a refreshing change for me!

And where do I start?! Probably by saying I loved how this author was able to make me feel such a deep dislike for this couple! I will talk a little about them separately but as a couple I found them to be the worst kind of prete
...more
Amy
Nov 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: physical-arcs
All of my reviews can be found on www.novelgossip.com

Many of you have probably seen tons of posts about this book all over social media, I know I did before reading it and my interest was piqued the first time as I wondered what, exactly, does Alice know? You have to read it yourself to find out, but suffice it to say, it’s troubling and really makes you think.

Every once and awhile I strongly encourage you to go into a book as blind as possible and that’s what I’m suggesting here. I promise the
...more
Mairead Hearne (swirlandthread.com)
WTF.....Just finished. Fastest book I've read in awhile. I was glued to it. A proper page turner.....full review will follow. I need to process that ending!!!!!
5* for having me so engaged!!!

Ok..here's my full review :

‘Sometimes it’s better not to know’

What Alice Knew is unbelievably a debut novel by T.A Cotterell.

Published by Black Swan, a Transworld/Penguin Random House imprint, What Alice Knew is available in ebook format from Dec 1st 2016 and will be available in paperback next Spring (20th
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Bookread2day
Jul 03, 2017 rated it liked it
I bought my paperback copy of What Alice Knew from sainsbuy's
Don't go into this book thinking that it will grip you from the first page until the last because it won't. All this book is, nothing more than a light suspence. Sorry I have to be truthful. I have read better books filled with gripping suspence. Alice's husband Ed hasn't come home and he is not answering his phone. Flowers turn up simply signed ML . A friend told Alice that she had seen her husband Ed on Stokes Croft. That was the sec
...more
The Book Review Café
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
I have seen What Alice Knew all over social media, so being the curious person that I am I just had to read it for myself. I have read some of the reviews for this book and they are glowing to say the least but I’m going to be brutally honest and admit shock! horror! Although I enjoyed this novel it didn’t set my heart on fire. Don’t get me wrong it’s a very accomplished debut from new author on the block T.A. Cotterell, and he certainly knows how to produce a suspense fuelled read, but I did ha ...more
ReaderSP
Jan 08, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book came to my attention through a Bookbub email and once I read some of the excellent reviews, I purchased it.

The main character in the story is Alice. Alice has a perfect life, a job she enjoys, happy kids and a loving husband, Ed. One night, Alice receives a suspicious phone call and, after Ed doesn’t come home, she starts to investigate what might have happened to him.

Alice paints portraits for a living and looks into people very deeply, which makes her very confusing to follow as a c
...more
Bill Kupersmith
Jan 27, 2018 rated it did not like it
If you want to make an artist a main character in fiction, don’t pick a writer. Choose a composer or a painter - that way the author doesn’t have to provide samples of the character’s work. (Sometimes, as in Anthony Quinn’s Freya, the author does and they’re perfect!) Unfortunately, Mr. Cotterell wastes this advantage by making Alice not only a portrait painter, but the narrator. Which means she has to talk about her work - and is she a bore! Having spent most of my professional life at the firs ...more
Shari Lapena
Dec 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a really intriguing, layered psychological thriller, the kind I love to read.
It will hold you fast till its startling conclusion—and then you’ll want to talk about it to anyone who will listen. An impressive debut.

Karen Mace
Nov 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was one of those who had seen this title appear on various social media pages and, as i'm nosey, I needed to know more as it sounded like a rather intriguing tale - and it has proved to be just that!!

How far would you go to protect your family?! This is the tale of Alice and Ed. They have the perfect life - she's an artist and he's an Obstetrician - and they have 2 children, Nell and Arthur, and all is going swimmingly...... until Ed goes missing one night and seems to have trouble remembering
...more
Sam
Jul 22, 2017 rated it liked it
This book really wasn't what I expected. It is a bit of a mystery and a good look at secrets and morals. Alice as the main character maintained my interest in the story, the author has created a character with a detailed personality: annoying at times, likeable at times. It does jump around a bit and the detail at times is a bit distracting, but as a debut novel it was enjoyable. It is definitely a good book for a book club the range of issues covered are ripe for debate.
Lucy Hay
Nov 26, 2016 rated it liked it
An exceptionally well-written book, WHAT ALICE KNEW shines a light on a compelling scenario that all of us have wondered about at some point: why DO women stay with men whom they know have done terrible things? Alice's justifications and disbelief, plus Ed's insistence on how he will 'pay his debt' via serving the community instead is especially well done and believable. The prose itself was crisp and visual, plus I liked Alice's lofty ideals; she was an unusual female character and that always ...more
Margaret Madden
I had to give up. The rambling art scenes were too much, the lack of parenting was unreal and the sense of entitlement from both Alice and her husband annoyed me. Him declaring that he has chosen his family over prison and then asking his wife to choose? Seriously? I would have grabbed the nearest blunt instrument and kicked his stupid ass out the door. Plus, one very annoying line that galled me. There's only one thing worse than a man who drinks alone; it's a woman who drinks alone.
The author
...more
Janel
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
I love when you go to read a book and it turns out to be a completely different story to the one you expected – not only is What Alice Knew a different story to what I thought, but it gripped me in a way I wasn’t expecting and really got me thinking about how far I would go to keep a secret?

This book got off to a great start, the mystery began to build and my interest was piqued, by page 86 (to be exact) I was hooked and I knew this was going to be a fantastic read.

From the synopsis, you may for
...more
Joanna Park
Nov 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Alice thinks she has a great life. She loves working as a portrait artist, has two wonderful children and a loving, successful husband. All this changes when her husband doesn't come home one night and in the morning claims not to remember anything that happened the night before. Flowers start arriving, there are strange phone calls and her normally technophobic husband has suddenly changed the password on his phone. Determined to get to the bottom of things, Alice tries to find out for herself ...more
Linda Burns
Not very believable

Why would a doctor who doesn't drink go to a party instead of going home to his children who are alone in the house?
The plot hinges on Ed doing something out of character but the problem is it is so WAY out of character.
And the way Alice and Ed kept calling each other darling and 'my darling' was irritating
Susan Atkin
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
If I could just write "absolute twaddle" I would. But I need to say more. How this had so many high scores I do not know. So unbelievably far fetched and if I had to read Darling once more I would have given up. I gave it 2 stars purely cos I stuck with it and it was readable but was so disappointed in it. The art stuff was unnecessary too and ending was just ridiculous.
Lynsey Summers
Nov 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
The opening line of this book is brilliant.  It wasn't until the end that I realised it's significance to the novel as a whole.  It is a perfect and clever summarisation.

What Alice Knew is a thriller of unusual proportions.  Stepping away from the 'who done it' chase, it instead looks at the grimy aftermath and the damaging and lasting effects on a couple when one has committed a crime.

Thrust into the world of Alice and Ed, one a creative portrait artist with an almost compulsive obsession with
...more
Kaisha (The Writing Garnet)
Dec 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
All reviews can be found on my blog at https://thewritinggarnet.wordpress.com

Why was it a big mistake to read the first page, even though I knew I couldn’t read the book until I could wangle it on my list? Because, all I did after reading that very first page was think about the book, despite being occupied with others! It was a big mistake of mine because I wanted to keep on reading but I had to put it down! That’s all it took to hold my attention; one little page..
This review will probably be
...more
Tracy Shephard
Nov 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read the last page, closed the book and just sat opened mouthed in disbelief.

This debut by T.A.Cotterell is and unexpected wonder. What starts as a wife's attempt to save her marriage, her husbands reputation and her family unit finishes into something quite different.

Alice is a painter, and Ed, an Obstetrician. Both have a life that is comfortable and enviable. But one night Ed does something out of character and a roller coaster of a tale uncovers lies, secrets and hidden motives.

Almost imme
...more
Claire Meadows
Jul 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Intense and compelling. But I'm not sure I understand the ending. Felt strangely anti-climatic.
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T.A.Cotterell read History of Art at Cambridge University. He worked in the City before resigning to become a freelance writer. He is now a writer and editor at the research house Redburn.
“single X. It wasn’t a kiss but a cross to bear. When, as someone who has always obeyed the law – the odd university joint or no bike lights aside – you step outside it, you enter the unknown, a place with thinner air, taller shadows, weaker sun. Life” 0 likes
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