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All the Hidden Truths

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  363 Ratings  ·  179 Reviews
All the Hidden Truths is the story of a tragic shooting at an Edinburgh college and its aftermath. It is narrated by three women at the heart of the story - the mother of a victim and the mother of the shooter, and DI Helen Birch who is tasked in solving the case. The book is both a "knotty crime novel" and a story of grief "trying to make sense of something that defies re ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published August 14th 2018 by Hodder & Stoughton UK (first published August 2018)
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Amanda
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Wow this book was intense from the first page, it was emotional and shocking to read. We have all seen stories in the press about shootings in American schools, but this brings it home of how you would feel if you’re family was involved In the shooting or was a victim of the shooting!!

The story is told from 3 people’s perspectives. D.I Helen Birch whose job is to find out why Ryan went on a shooting rampage at the college.

Ishbel summers whose daughter Abigail is killed in the shooting and is fin
...more
Pauline
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
All the Hidden Truths by Claire Askew was a very disturbing and emotional story of a shooting at a college in Scotland. Twenty year old Ryan walked into his college and shot dead thirteen female students and then himself. The community are devastated and angry and the anger turns on Ryan's mother whom the police say is innocent. This is a heartbreaking story that will stay with me for a long time.
I would like to thank NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for my e-copy in exchange for an honest r
...more
Lou
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'All the Hidden Truths' is Claire Askew's debut novel, inspired by real-life events happening throughout America, and is both highly compelling and utterly heartbreaking. It was the winner of the 2016 Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize, and longlisted for the 2014 Peggy Chapman-Andrews (Bridport) Novel Award under the working title, 'Three Rivers'.

The book opens the day before a mass shooting takes place at an Edinburgh, UK, college campus in which thirteen women are killed before shooter Ryan Summers
...more
Liz Barnsley
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my word this book. Such beautifully poetic writing, such a topical and emotive subject, ripped straight from the headlines and given a human, heartfelt and authentic voice.

A genuinely absorbing and incredibly emotional character drama centering around the aftermath of a college shooting and really getting down to the realities of those left behind, those pulled into it and takes a harsh and edifying look at our press, our social media and our attitude to traumatic events.

I can see why it was
...more
Susan
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of a tragedy, seen through the eyes of three women. One day, a young man walks into a college in Edinburgh and kills several people, before killing himself. We see events from the points of view of D.I. Helen Birch, in charge of the case on the first day of her promotion, Moira Summers, the mother of the shooter and Ishbel Hodgekiss, the mother of Abigail, the first victim.

Author, Claire Askew, skilfully weaves these points of view, as the story unfolds. This is not only about
...more
Paul Bryant
Aug 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: novels
The utter worthiness of this school shooting novel is very tiring, as are the constant gushings, squalls, fountains, nay, veritable typhoons of human tears on every page. Well, it's a sad subject. I suppose it’s the Scottish equivalent of We Need to Talk About That Psycho Kevin but written as a sort of crime novel. Given the proliferation of mass shootings I haven’t come across that many novels about them, maybe it’s too grisly a subject. But there are so many crucial aspects to these crimes. Th ...more
Laura
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Book reviews on www.snazzybooks.com

All The Hidden Truths is a stunning, emotional read which addresses some very difficult themes with sensitivity and realism. Although classed as a crime novel, this novel feels more like a portrait of the feelings and effects of such a horrible crime - a college shooting - on a community, and the way it's dealt with by police, families of the victim and, most powerfully for me anyway, the family of the killer. There are still elements of your 'typical' crime n
...more
The Hopeless Romantics Book Blog
Claire Askew's "All the Hidden Truths" is one of those books that I could see being turned into a BBC drama. It has that feel to it. The story line is very topical and the way it is told (from three points of view) makes it very emotive for a number of reasons. This isn't a story about "what happened" or "when it happened" or even "who done it." "All the Hidden Truths" is about "why" and that is what each of the main characters strives to discover but equally struggles with when certain truths c ...more
michelle
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All the Hidden Truths by Claire Askew is a gripping psychological thriller about a college student walking into Three Rivers college and shooting and killing thirteen women and then himself.
The story starts with Moira Summers witnessing the aftermath of an accident with a young guy gets impaled on a construction site. Her mind then wonders to her son Ryan. She wonders what would she do, if something ever happened to him.
DI Birch is on her way to work, when she hears on the radio of a dispatcher
...more
Paula Sealey
This is a heartbreaking story following the aftermath of a school shooting in Scotland. Moira, the killers mother, not only has to contend with the death of her only child, but the wrath of a grief stricken community. Ashbel is the mother of Abigail whose daughter was killed and is desperately trying to come to terms with her loss and Helen is the Detective Inspector leading the investigation into the tragedy.

The journey is a very emotional one as a picture of events leading up to the murders i
...more
Mandy White
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audible
For such a dark subject this was a great book told from 3 very different points of view. Very confronting and sad.
Zoe Mann
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's been nearly a month since I finished 'All the hidden truths' by Claire Askew and I still can't get it out of my head. Is it because it was set in Edinburgh which is just across the water from my little home town in Fife? Is it because all the characters are so fully developed and REAL that you feel every single ounce of their pain? Is it because the story line of a school shooting is one of the most horrendous acts imaginable? I think it is a mixture of all of the above plus Askew's incredi ...more
The Hopeless Romantics Book Blog
Claire Askew's "All the Hidden Truths" is one of those books that I could see being turned into a BBC drama. It has that feel to it. The story line is very topical and the way it is told (from three points of view) makes it very emotive for a number of reasons. This isn't a story about "what happened" or "when it happened" or even "who done it." "All the Hidden Truths" is about "why" and that is what each of the main characters strives to discover but equally struggles with when certain truths c ...more
Kate Southey
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Oh dear. This is, I think the second time that I’ve poorly rated a book that I’ve read because of Netgalley. I did read the book to the end, and I did want to find out the ending but there were so many continuity errors that I just couldn’t quite suspend disbelief. I am sure that many readers less pendantic than I will enjoy this book and I did enjoy parts of it.
The book opens with Moira and there follows a miserable chapter about a miserable woman failing to enjoy a nice sunny day.
Chapter two
...more
Jacob Collins
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All the Hidden Truths by Claire Askew is a powerful psychological drama and it focuses on a very topical subject which has sadly been in the news very recently. We meet three characters in this book: Moira Summers, Ishbel Hodgekiss and DI Helen Birch and the novel is told from their perspectives. The three women whose voices we hear from are very different and until the events that take place at the start of this novel occur, they have never come across each other. But beyond the pages, the live ...more
Joanne Robertson
All The Hidden Truths is a beautifully written and thought provoking novel that delivered a punch to my emotions. It felt so relevant to the problems we face in our society nowadays plus the current feel to the narrative felt shockingly realistic from the very beginning.

The novel is told from the viewpoints of three different women. There is Moira who’s son Ryan goes to college one morning and shoots dead thirteen women before killing himself. Then we meet Ishbel who’s daughter Abigail is the fi
...more
Cathy Ryan
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5*
The three main characters are introduced individually, and the story is told from the perspective of each of them. Moira Summers is wandering aimlessly around Edinburgh until, filled with a new purpose she decides it’s time to speak to her son. Little did she know she wouldn’t be speaking to him again, and her life was about to come crashing down around her.

Ishbel Hodgekiss was waiting for her nineteen year old daughter Abigail after football practice. Only Abigail hadn’t been to football pr
...more
Alexis
This book follows the story of a school shooting. It focuses on three female protagonists: the mother of a victim, the mother of the shooter and the police officer in charge of the investigation.

To begin with the pace is quite racy, and it's exciting. Tensions are very high, as they obviously would be during a catastrophic event like this. However, this doesn't last and mostly it is very slow and drawn out.

Basically the book follows the journeys of the three women from the time of the shooting o
...more
Christina McDonald
This captivating crime novel deftly balances that perfect line between moving and gripping, tackling a topical and emotive issue that has been in the headlines a lot lately. A why-dunnit rather than a who-dunnit crime novel, you see the crime and how it happened early on, then the novel explores the reason behind it.

All the Hidden Truths centers on the aftermath of a school shooting in Edinburgh, in which a teenage boy shoots and kills a number of other teenagers. There are three POVs: the mothe
...more
Jane Hunt
A behind the headlines story that explores what happens after the tragic mass shooting until all 'The Hidden Truths' are revealed. Told from an exclusively female point of view, the stories of the teenage killer's mother, the first victim's mother and the newly promoted detective inspector tell a harrowing tale, that is unerringly authentic and disturbing.

The story highlights the police and the press roles and relationship; the ruthless journalist is contemptible, furthering his career through
...more
Kate
An immensely powerful and harrowing about the impact of a mass shooting at a college in Edinburgh on three women - the mother of one of the victims; the mother of the shooter; the police detective investigating the reasons behind this terrible act. Beautifully written and, for me, a little overwhelming at times. It all feels very realistic and upsetting. I read it in three chunks, with another book in between each chunk to provide the breather that I needed to finish it and give it the time it d ...more
Kath
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book follows the story of a college shooting in Edinburgh and what happens afterwards. Told by three main characters at the centre of the tale: DI Helen Birch, the detective trying to make sense of what happened; Moira Summers, the mother of Ryan, the shooter and Ishbel Hodgekiss, the mother of Abigail, Ryan's first victim. It's a harrowing case which affects all three women in very different ways.
Obviously from the start we know what happened, who did it, and what happened to him. but this
...more
Lucille
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All The Hidden Truths is a beautifully written drama about a very topical subject.

No-one knows why Ryan Summers decides one morning to go and kill and maim his fellow students, all of whom are young women. The massacre takes place at a college in Edinburgh and in its aftermath we hear the voices of three characters: Moira the mother of the killer, who not only mourns the catastrophe but also the death of her own son; Ishbel, mother of Abilgayle, the first girl killed; and Helen. the DI in charg
...more
Jay Dwight
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Although labelled as crime fiction, I'd call this one more of a human drama. The centre of the story is a mass shooting at an Edinburgh university, but we're dealing predominantly in the aftermath of the tragedy - the impacts on the families of both the shooter and the victims, the police investigation, and the intrusion of the press and social media - in search of the reasons "why" and what drove the shooter to embark on this rampage.
This one felt sadly real, particularly the thoughts and feel
...more
Melanie Garrett
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's a heart-stopping scenario we are all too familiar with hearing about from America. Twitter and the airwaves suddenly all talking about a shooting in progress at a college near you. But this time, it's not America, but Edinburgh, and for three women who had no idea they were in the early moments of a day that would unite them all in bloodshed. Two of them have teenagers at the college. One is a shooter, the other one of thirteen kids shot dead. The third woman is DI Helen Birch, on her way t ...more
Clare

With thanks to Netgalley and Hodder and Stoughton for this ARC in exchange for an open and honest review.

All the Hidden Truths is Claire Askew`s debut novel.

Engineering student Ryan Summers went into Three Rivers college armed with a starting pistol which he had modified into a gun. He went to the canteen and his first victim was Abigail an old school friend, he then went on to kill a further 12 girls before shooting himself.

The story Is told from the POV of three separate women. Ryan`s mum Moi
...more
Wendy
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All the Hidden Truths may be a work of fiction. Yet with its realistic ‘live’ commentary, unnervingly it could be breaking news on our very own media feeds.

The magnitude of this tragic event is delivered with confidence, authenticity, and from the heart. In just a few pages I was transformed from reader to helpless bystander, powerless to affect the outcome. But while I remained safely cocooned the characters were exposed to all manner of trials, as the press and social scrutiny steals precio
...more
Amanda Westland


All the Hidden Truths by Claire Askew

This is a book about a school shooting, a teenage boy walks into Three Rivers College and shoots 13 young women, dead. He then turns the gun on himself.

This shocking event happens at the start of All the Hidden Truths, and the remainder of the book tries to sort out the emotions and anguish surrounding the shooting as well as try to figure out why Ryan Summers was driven to do such a thing.

There are several female lead characters that play the key roles in t
...more
Christina McDonald
This captivating crime novel deftly balances that perfect line between moving and gripping, tackling a topical and emotive issue that has been in the headlines a lot lately. A why-dunnit rather than a who-dunnit crime novel, you see the crime and how it happened early on, then the novel explores the reason behind it.

All the Hidden Truths centers on the aftermath of a school shooting in Edinburgh, in which a teenage boy shoots and kills a number of other teenagers. There are three POVs: the mothe
...more
peggy
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Three Rivers College is the scene of a mass shooting. Thirteen women have been killed and the shooter Ryan Summers has killed himself. DIHelen Birch is the first on the scene, this is her first case since being promoted .The aftermath will reveal hidden secrets of those involved in this tragedy. So many questions and human nature always has an answer even it is wrong.
This storyline deals with the mother of the shooter Ryan Summers who has to not only deal with the death of her son but the perce
...more
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Claire^^Askew

Claire Askew was born in 1986 and grew up in the rural Scottish borders. She has lived in Edinburgh since 2004, and holds a PhD in Creative Writing & Contemporary Women's Poetry from the University of Edinburgh. Her poems have appeared in numerous publications, including The Guardian, Poetry Scotland, PANK, The Edinburgh Review and Be The First To Like This: New Scottish Poetry (V
...more