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The Rumour

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  16,483 ratings  ·  2,040 reviews
A casual comment.

There's a killer among us.

That's all it takes.

She stabbed little Robbie Harris.

To change a life -

She's living under a new name.

For ever.

She's reformed. So they say . . .

Joanna is going to regret the day she ever said a word.
Audiobook, 8 pages
Published January 2019 by Transworld
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Kim I was going to ask the same question! I really enjoyed the book, but it read like a British novel and I feel they should have kept it as originally wr…moreI was going to ask the same question! I really enjoyed the book, but it read like a British novel and I feel they should have kept it as originally written.(less)
Helen The Rumour is set in a sleepy seaside town. The story focuses on Joey, a single mum and her son, Alfie who have moved from London to be closer to her …moreThe Rumour is set in a sleepy seaside town. The story focuses on Joey, a single mum and her son, Alfie who have moved from London to be closer to her Mum. Joey's partner (and father of Alfie) is an investigative journalist digging into the whereabouts of a renowned child killer who has been given a new identity and is thought to be living in the town. Joey is the new girl, trying to fit in and mentions this at her book club, starting a rumour which places a series of people under the spot light. This is an excellent observation of community "small town" life. The characters are likeable, relatable and well considered. As the story progresses, the plot twists and turns so the reader constantly changes their mind about who the child killer is. I cannot believe that this is a debut novel. Fabulous writing. The conversations are believable, the crime writing is graphic but not gratuitous and the psychological elements really test the reader's opinion on murderers. It's never black and white but this book shows many delicate shades of grey which educate the reader generating empathy for the perpetrator. Running alongside are stories about the characters' ongoing relationships: mother and daughter; "new girl and town residents"; the changing parameters of a romantic relationship and retrospective considerations of past relationships.

Impossible to put down, my house suffered last week. Surely the mark of a good book is that even though I finished it a few days ago I keep mulling things over. I hope Lesley's working on another, and I hope she's not going to make us wait too long.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.80  · 
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 ·  16,483 ratings  ·  2,040 reviews

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Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book exhausted me.

It took me six days to finish this book.

This is the longest 263 pages I have ever read in my life. You would think that with all of the skimming I did that it would have lessened the load but inexplicably it did not.

The first 70% is excruciatingly tedious with painfully unnecessary fillers, so many characters with no development (thankfully) that I challenge anyone to keep them straight.

The MC is so tiresome and never missed an opportunity to let you know
Kylie D
An engaging thriller, I found The Rumour to be unputdownable. It sees single mum Jo trying to fit in with the women in her new town, where she has moved to be closer to her mum after her son was being bullied at his school in London. In trying to be liked, more for her sons sake than her own, she passes on a rumour she has heard, that a famous child killer has been living in the area, and unwittingly releases a chain of events that sees Jo eventually fighting for everything she holds dear.
Holly  B
Gossipy school moms in a small seaside setting, YES PLEASE!

I have wanted to read this debut for awhile now. I read several blog reviews that piqued my interest and I just LOVE the cover! That counts, right?

I was able to fall into the writing and story right away and immediately had to find out if the rumor was true! I don't like gossiping, BUT if it involves a murderer living in my neighborhood, then I think I'd be all ears . This one made me think further about consequences of gossip lat
Dec 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lesley Kara's debut novel is an intense, well written and beautifully plotted psychological thriller, set in the small seaside town of Flinstead. Single mother, Joanna Critchley has recently located here with her son, Alfie, the victim of bullying in London. Her mother lives in town, and Joanna is working as an estate agent, hoping the Alfie will settle here without problems. In her efforts to integrate in the community, Joanna does what anyone might do to become accepted in a group, engage in g ...more
I am much earlier reading this book than intended before it’s release date.
But I’ve been anxious to read it. I love debut novels and discovering new authors I can follow.

I can honestly say I’ll be following Lesley Kara for her next book as this book was so good.
I became very invested with each character and without giving much away, I was so intensely motivated with questions of my own.

For example, how would I feel if I was the rumour?
I have and still am part of a rumour that was being spread. I
Jun 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
A little harmless gossip among the moms waiting at the school drop-off.
Did you hear? Rumor is, there’s a child killer now released from prison living in their seaside town. Could that be true? If so, the obvious next question is, are their children safe from this predator?

This particular feed of gossip peaks the interest of one of the mom in particular, Joanna.
Curious, later that night she googles the story. Gripped with fear, she realizes she may have just met this person! Maybe she need
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full of twists and unexpected turns. I zoomed through this one because I was dying to get to the end, even as I hated to finish it.

This book was SO good!
Susanne  Strong
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
2.5 Stars* (rounded down)

Joanna and her son Alfie move into the quite community of Flinstead where her mother lives in hopes that both Jo and Alfie will fit in. Fitting in has never been either’s strong suit. It is then that Jo does it. Starts the rumor! Of a notorious murderer living in Flinstead. It takes off like wildfire. And just like that, Jo is a part of the “in crowd” and everyone wants to know more about Sally McGown.

I’ve never personally thought much about rumors. But then I’ve never s
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
It all started as gossip at the school gates and spread like wild fire!! Is there a child killer living amongst them?

I could have bet money on who I thought was the culprit, but I was constantly changing my mind. I couldn’t rest until I knew the truth!!

A very thrilling book that spellbound me with its many twists, full of tension and suspense. The house could have been on fire but I was so engrossed I wouldn’t have noticed!!

A must read debut book, definitely an author to look out for.

Thank you t
So much harm can be done by rumors, as we learn when Joanna moves back to her hometown so she and her six year old son can have a new start. Little Alfie had been bullied at his old school in the city and now Joanna and Alfie are living near her mom, where Joanna can work fewer hours and devote more time to helping Alfie adjust to his new school life. Joanna needs to adjust to, realizing she won't fit in the the mothers of Alfie's schoolmates unless she spends more time socializing with them but ...more
Jun 18, 2020 rated it really liked it

I listened to this audiobook about nine months ago. I was recovering from surgery so I didn't take many notes. However, I thought I should update it before too much time goes by. If I leave it too long then I might end up buying it again thinking I haven't read it yet.

While I don't remember every detail, I do remember that I listened to it rather quickly and enjoyed it. It was a little over the top at times, but it had me gripped and I remember I was very surprised by the ending.

This story got
Miriam Smith
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: twitter
"The Rumour" is Lesley Kara's debut novel and it is a thoroughly enjoyable, twisty and compelling thriller that held my attention from the very first page. If I could have read this in one sitting I would have, I enjoyed it that much and highly recommend to thriller readers who love uncomplicated but clever, exciting and gripping stories.
When single mum Joanna hears a rumour at the school gates, she never intends to pass it on. But one casual comment leads to another and now there’s no going bac
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
" Rumours are carried by haters
Spread by Fools
and accepted by idiots

The interesting title for a book and it certainly caught my attention. When single mum Joanna shares a rumour at the school gates desperate to ingratiate herself with the clique of mothers at her son’s new school – there is no going back . . .

This one started out quite intriguing and entertaining however it did become a little predictable and far fetched and had me rolling the eyes on more than one occas
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Loved the sound of this book!!

This definitely caught my attention by the cover and the title!

Single mother Joanna shares a rumour at her child's school...desperate to fit in with the other moms. I don't think she knew what she was getting herself into... let's just say you can never go back.

This initially started out with a bang but I caught myself rolling my eyes and it just sort of became painful to read after awhile. I was skimming and it just became so repetitive after awhile my goodness.
Ivana - Diary of Difference
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The Rumour is Lesley Kara’s debut novel, a gripping book about what people are capable of doing when they feel threatened and exposed. A thriller about paranoia, fear and suspense unlike anything you have read before.

When Joanna moved into a small town, all she wants to do is be happy, with her son Alfie and her mother being beside her. Her son Alfie had troubles with bullies in the big city, and all his mum wants for him right now is for h
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: It's happening again. Don't ask me how I know, I just do. I see it in the roll of the waves, the way they're bearing in at a slant. Fast. Restless. I feel it in the nip of the air on my skin, smell it in the rotting leaves and damp earth, hear it in the silence of the watching crows. You're coming for me again and there's nothing I can do to stop you.

This is how it happens. One night I go to bed and everything's fine. Everything's under control. The story has ceased to be a story. It's
'Rumors are like seeds, scattered on the wind. There's no telling where they'll land, but land they will. Setting in cracks, and crevices, the roots take hold. The seed sprout. It doesn't matter if they're true or false. The more times they're spoken, the faster and stronger they grow. Like weeds, waving in the air."

Joanna is just trying to fit in with the other Moms at her son's new school, when she repeats a rumor that she has heard....that a notorious killer, is living under a new identity, i
Julie (JuJu)
Kudos to anyone who was able to figure out the final twists!

Lesley Kara’s writing was entertaining...especially for a debut. It was fairly fast-paced and I look forward to reading her next book.

What causes people to spread gossip? Do they believe what they’re saying...or are they simply trying to fit in? Do they consider the harm they might cause? Or is it just too tempting to gather like piranhas at feeding time?

”A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on
Louise Wilson
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Joanna finds herself struggling to fit into her new life since moving to the small town of Flinstead with her son. They are both struggling to make new friends. When she hears a rumour at the school gates she casually mentions it to one of the mums and it quickly spreads. A child killer is amongst them and they have a new identity. Who is this person?

This story shows us how quickly a rumour starts and how fast it can spread. It also shows the damage that can happen to innocent people. Also the d
Jill McGill
The Rumor was such a twisted and addictive read, I couldn't believe that this was Lesley Kara's debut novel. I was hooked right from the start as the characters and plot took me on a rollercoaster ride full of twists and turns.

I think we all know the power of a rumor and how they can spread like crazy in a matter of minutes. Well, Joanna, a single mother, discovers just how deadly and powerful a rumor can be. So desperate to fit in with the popular school moms, Joanna repeats a rumor she overhea
Umut Rados
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. OMG that twist in the end! This book is a debut, and I thought it was a very solid debut. I'd definitely read from this author again.
I think the idea behind was very good. A small and secure town. A rumour starts that a woman who killed a child when she was 10, is living there. And things keep rolling.
Kara is very good at keeping you on your toes until the last reveal. It was a slow start I think, but it keeps getting more interesting. I thought the end was glorious. It was surprising
Nilufer Ozmekik
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well plotted, perfectly written, gripping, captivating, amazing debut book with unforeseeable end.
I enjoyed it and can’t wait to read the upcoming thrillers of this writer.
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A cautionary tale that delves into the perils of idle chit chat and gossip which can soon snowball into something much more malicious.

This enjoyable thriller explores the impact of single mum Joanne trying to impress her new friends in the seaside town of Flinstead, having recently moved to the area with her son Alfie.
Joanne hears that the notorious child killer Sally McGowan (aged 10) had been assigned a new identity and is living in the area, nearly 50 years on an people are still fascinated b
 Li'l Owl
A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes— Mark Twain.

It’s happening again. Don’t ask me how I know. I just do. I see it in the roll of the waves, the way they’re bearing in at a slant. Fast. Relentless. I feel it in the nip of the air on my skin, smell it in the rotting leaves and damp earth, hear it in the silence of the watching crows. You’re coming for me again and there’s nothing I can do to stop you. This is how it happens. One night I go to bed and
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

2.5 Stars

I read this about 15,000 weeks ago and never wrote a review because my momma always taught me . . . . .

Seriously, though, if I actually had something bad to say y’all know I’d be barfing out all over the place. This just didn’t cause much of a reaction. It takes a brave soul to roll the dice and name drop “if you like Liane Moriarty” and it doesn’t always work out. The story here was about a rumor of a potential child ki
Aga Durka
“The Rumor” ended up being just an average read for me. I have to admit that I was struggling to get into the story, and I was just unable to focus on the plot. It is really hard for me to pin point why this book did not keep my interest as much as I thought it would based on the synopsis. Maybe because I just didn’t care for any of the characters, or maybe there was just too many of them, and only just few were important to the story. While reading this book I read two other novels in between, ...more
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Rumour, Lesley Kara's debut thriller, is, for all intents and purposes, a very enjoyable read. It was actually rather thought-provoking which is something I didn't expect to say and that appealed to me immediately. However, it started a bit too pedestrian for my liking and there were a plethora of characters introduced that were completely irrelevant to the story and indistinguishable from one another. The pace soon picked up though, and Kara did a fantastic job of ratcheting up the tension ...more
Monika Sadowski
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rumor is so easy to start by some innocent comment or accusation and then it is very hard to stop it to spread out like a landslide. Joanna didn’t even suspect what could happen by just saying out loud her thoughts. I really enjoyed this psychological thriller about rumor and its consequences. I couldn’t put the book down until I figured out who is the killer. Good writing and great developed characters.

Thank you to NetGalley and publisher for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Lisa-Books Smiles
“A single mom discovers just how deadly gossip can be in this irresistible debut thriller inspired by a sensational true crime story”

The Rumor by Lesley Kara is a debut thriller that has just made it to the top of my best reads of 2019 list. This story is written with such intensity and passion that I found it impossible to stop reading! I can’t wait to start recommending The Rumor to other thriller lovers – now GO pick yourself up a copy because you won’t regret it.

I’m grateful to have receive
Feb 16, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-books
This book was to slow for me I'm into fast paced book,starts of Joanne starts a rumour years back a youngster killed a 5 year old and now the rumour is she now hiding in the there small town.for me it dragged on it was an okay read.
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Lesley Kara is the author of the Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller, THE RUMOUR, published in December 2018. Her second novel, WHO DID YOU TELL, is out now.

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“All the significant moments in our life hinge on choices made in the blink of an eye.” 8 likes
“Rumours are like seeds, scattered on the wind. There’s no telling where they’ll land, but land they will. Settling in cracks and crevices, the roots take hold. The seeds sprout. It doesn’t matter if they’re true or false. The more times they’re spoken, the faster and stronger they grow. Like beanstalks, waving in the air.” 6 likes
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