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The Rumour

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  1,788 ratings  ·  385 reviews

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 back . . .

Rumour has it that a notorious child killer is living under a new identity, in their sleepy little town of Flinstead-on-Sea.

Sally McGowan was just ten years old when she stabbed little Robbie Harris to death
Paperback, 320 pages
Published December 27th 2018 by Bantam Press
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  • The Rumor by Lesley Kara
    The Rumor
    Release date: Jul 09, 2019
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    “Keeps you guessing until the final page.”—Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train

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    Availability: 75 copies available, 1656 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Feb 15 - Mar 01, 2019

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    Community Reviews

    Showing 1-30
    4.09  · 
    Rating details
     ·  1,788 ratings  ·  385 reviews

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    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.
    Dec 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    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
    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
    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
    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 him t
    Louise Wilson
    Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    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
    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
    Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  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!
    Umut Reviews
    Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
    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
    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
    Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    4.5* (rounded up to 5)

    I was really looking forward to reading this and I’m very pleased to say I wasn’t disappointed.

    When single mother Joanna returns to the seaside town of Flinstead with her young son Alfie, she’s looking forward to a new start, with the bonus of being near her mother. With both Alfie and her finding it hard to fit in, she innocently repeats some gossip that a historic child killer is living amongst them under a new identity, thinking it will give her some kudos with the scho
    Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    It’s rare that I review a book when it is a few months away from being published, but for this book I was happy to do so. I imagine that this book will be very popular. It was just what I needed to read after having a slight book slump, it was a book that I needed to carry on reading.
    Joanna is struggling to fit into her new life after living in London and in a bid to make life easier for her son she engages in gossip at the school gate. It does get them accepted by the ‘in crowd’ but it places t
    Mandy White
    Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: net-galley
    The Rumour by Lesley Kara is released after Christmas this year but I couldn't wait any longer to read it after seeing such fantastic reviews for it from my book friends. Happy to report that I could not agree with them more.. this book is fantastic! It had me dying to know how it was going to end... and oh my goodness the ending had me completely shocked!! No spoilers but what the!!!

    Joanna has moved back to small beach town Flinstead with her son Alfie to be closer to her mother. They are bothe
    Adele Shea
    Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    When Joanna, heard that a woman (who as been given a new identity) murdered a five year old boy when she was ten, was apparently residing close to her home she can not hold her tongue and tells a group of "friends".
    The rumour flies around town and Joanna starts to feel watched and threatened. She fears for herself and her six year old son. Maybe she needs to look at people more closer to home?
    Absolute brilliant read by Lesley Kara.
    Liz Barnsley
    Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    The Rumour is a brilliantly addictive novel that I read in one breathless sitting yesterday – a cautionary tale of gossip and consequences.
    When Joanna seeks to ingratiate herself into the school gates clique she mentions something she heard in passing. Next thing she knows the rumour mill is twisting and soon there will be very real consequences.
    Lesley Kara writes small town nuance extraordinarily well, whilst giving us a beautifully eclectic group dynamic and keeping us guessing as to who may b
    Joanne Robertson
    The Rumour is a book that hooks you in from page one with the sheer normality of the conversation that takes place. I mean, haven’t we all at one time or another mentioned something we probably shouldn’t have in conversations with our peers? And the playground “mafia mums” always seem to make us want that little bit of extra attention don’t they? But Jo soon finds out that one little pebble dropped in the pond of gossip sends out more ripples than she could ever have expected. And some are going ...more
    Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
    A disturbing backstory and the controversial topic of convicted child killers living a normal life set the scene for this chilling psychological thriller. Who are these people, hiding behind new identities? They walk amongst us at the shops, frequent the same restaurants or even babysit our children. Is there any thought more frightening than that?

    Rumour has it convicted child killer Sally McGowan has been living in the small town of Flinstead-on-Sea. Sally was just ten years old when she stabbe
    Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

    Be careful what you gossip about and who the immediate lesson learnt from this very clever and unique book!
    Joanna returns to her sleepyish seaside childhood town with her son, sick of London she wants more time spent with her family etc, she finds it hard to adjust and fit in with all the ‘schoolground mum’s’ and when she hears ( via the gossiping Mum’s) that a notorious child killer ( a child herself when killed ) COULD be living under a new identity in the town she researches and goo
    Julie Parks
    Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: thriller
    This is a jewel for those who love both thrillers and women's fiction. It's so full of gossip and female inner thoughts it'll make your head spin.

    I guess that makes this book less appealing for those who love a good action to go along with the thrilling parts. I'm not saying THE RUMOUR doesn't have action, it's just not exactly your typical detective-chase is all.

    But if you're like me - a fan of thrills but with less blood on one's hands etc. - then this is the perfect Christmas holiday read.

    Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: fiction
    Oh my! I can't believe this is the authors debut. Such a great read.

    This story just ticked so many boxes for me. There's plenty to entice the reader. I mean who wouldn't be fascinated of a story line to do with a child killer? The fact that there is one amongst the residents made it even more exciting as well as disturbing. 

    Like Joanna and the rest of her newly acquainted friends, I was desperate to know who it was. It does go to show sadly though how rumours can get out of hand. How things can
    Rachel Hall
    The Rumour employs such a simple premise as a vehicle for creating suspicion, paranoia and fear amidst a small town community that the surprise is it hasn’t already been used as the basis for a psychological thriller. The story might be low on substance and rather overcooked, but for readers looking for an undemanding psychological thriller that it quick to engage with a dynamic spotlight of suspicion, Lesley Kara’s debut undoubtedly hits the mark.

    Fiercely independent thirty-four-year-old Joann
    Wow this was a real page turner that hooked me! I really liked Joanna, the main character and could totally understand how she ended up in this situation. We all do it don’t we, share gossip and rumours with friends, family and people we want to get on with?

    Poor Joanna doesn’t realise how far the rumour will go and rues the day she shared it. She becomes obsessed with the identity of Sally McGowan suspecting everyone woman of a certain age of being her. I did too and was particularly convinced a
    Tracy Fenton
    Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    The Rumour by Lesley Kara is an enjoyable psychological thriller with a thought-provoking theme.

    When single mum Joanna, who has recently moved to a new town, hears a rumour at the school gate about a notorious child killer living nearby, she innocently passes it on to her new book club friends to try and fit it. However, the rumour snowballs and becomes the only talking point in Flinstead-on-Sea dragging innocent victims and causing suspicion amongst everyone.

    This book is a gripping easy read wi
    The Book Review Café
    4.5 ⭐ OMG what a twisted and devious read The Rumour by Lesley Kara turned out to be, this maybe the author’s debut novel but it’s written like a pro. There are so many novels that are written in the psychological thriller genre that I sometimes find they lack that element of surprise. If I read a psychological thriller I need to read one that stands out, a novel that leaves me thinking “what the frigging hell did I just read?” One I want everyone to read so I can discuss the devious plot, the c ...more
    Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    I love a good thriller, and there’s no better time to pick one up than when the winds are howling and it gets dark early…
    And this is one book you’ll want to read with the doors firmly closed… you’ll probably never look at your neighbours again, because this is a story about what happens when rumours turn nasty, and people start getting scared and angry. What happens when somebody from your community is whispered to be a murderer?
    That’s what happens to Flinstead, the seaside town that single moth
    Dec 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: 2018-challenge
    I think that everyone knows and recognises the power of a rumour. We may claim to be immune, to not want to engage in tittle-tattle and hearsay, but there is nothing that we as a species seem to enjoy more than a bit of gossip. When Joanna hears some gossip at a school gate, and casually drops it into conversation at her new book club one evening, she has no idea how far that rumour will spread or the impact that it will have upon the lives of her family and those around her in the seemingly sle ...more
    Dec 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    The book is a perfect example of how a tiny spark soon can flare up into a rampant fire. Joanna hears one rumor at the school gates that Sally McGowan, who killed a 5 year old boy when she was a kid of 10, has come to stay in her small town. To make friends with the other mums, Jo spreads this rumor without confirming the story. It takes a life if its own and innocent people are cast under suspicion and their livelihood wrecked. Till Jo comes to know the shuddering truth. How will she protect he ...more
    Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    I’d put this up there with one of the best thriller/ suspense fiction books that I’ve ever read. I’d heard good things about this but I didn’t build my hopes up too much as a lot of thrillers seem to struggle with being unique and standing out but this book had everything. I was hooked throughout, everyone seemed guilty and the shocks kept comping right up until the very last line. A definite recommendation and a debut author to look out for in the future.
    Laura Rash
    Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Dang, this one had me stumped! Every few chapters I was like oh, she’s the one. Then I was like nope, she’s not it. Then it would happen again. A real page turner for sure!
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    Lesley Kara is the author of THE RUMOUR, due to be published in December 2018.
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    “All the significant moments in our life hinge on choices made in the blink of an eye.” 1 likes
    “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes – Mark Twain.” 0 likes
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