Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Accusation” as Want to Read:
The Accusation
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Accusation

by
3.89  ·  Rating details ·  402 ratings  ·  75 reviews
A bizarre abduction. A body of damning evidence. A world of betrayal.


Eighteen-year-old Ellie Canning is found shivering and barely conscious on a country road, clad only in ill-fitting pyjamas. Her story of kidnap and escape quickly enthrals the nation: a middle-aged woman with a crazy old mother has held Ellie in a basement, chained her to a bed and given her drinks from
...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 20th 2019 by HarperCollins - AU (first published May 2019)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Accusation, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Accusation

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  402 ratings  ·  75 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of The Accusation
Deanna
Mar 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-releases

My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

A complex and tension-filled story that kept me guessing!

This was my second audiobook by Wendy James. I started it right after I finished listening to one of her other books, “The Golden Child”. I enjoyed that novel and thought this one sounded interesting too.

An eighteen-year-old girl accuses a local teacher and her mother of keeping her confined in their basement. Apparently, she was kept restrained and medicated. Eventua
...more
Carolyn
When a young girl is found in a shepherd's hut having claimed to have escaped from the basement of a farmhouse where she was held captive for a month, she becomes a media sensation. Especially as her kidnapers were female with an unsavoury reason for kidnapping her. Soon a local school teacher, Susannah Wells and her elderly mother, Mary Squires in the town of Enfield Wash are identified by the girl, Ellie Canning, as being her abductors. She has a lot of evidence to back up her claims but is sh ...more
Brenda
Suzannah Wells had not long moved from Sydney to the small town of Enfield Wash with her mother Mary. She was a drama school teacher at the local high school as well as her mother’s carer. When she heard in the news of a young woman, Ellie Canning, who’d been found, barely clad and semi conscious on a nearby country road, she was suitably shocked and saddened about the story of Ellie’s abduction. Who would do such a thing – and why?

As Suzannah’s friendship with the nearby farmer, and original ow
...more
Sharon
Another fast paced compelling and thrilling read by Aussie author, Wendy James. Wendy really knows how to draw her readers in and hold their attention all the way to the very last page. I have enjoyed all of Wendy’s books including this one.

Highly recommended.
Brooke - One Woman's Brief Book Reviews
*www.onewomansbbr.wordpress.com
*www.facebook.com/onewomansbbr

The Accusation by Wendy James. (2019).

After 18 year old Ellie is found shivering and barely conscious on a country road, her bizarre story of kidnap and escape enthrals the nation. Local drama teacher Suzannah, once a minor celebrity, is new to the town and suddenly in the spotlight when she's accused of being the perpetrator. As stories about Suzannah's past emerge, even those close to her doubt her innocence. Meanwhile the media can'
...more
Michael
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ozzie-gems
Based on the 18th-century case of an English maid who claimed to have been held captive by two older women, the latest novel by award-winning Australian novelist Wendy James is a taught domestic noir tale that will keep you reading till the very end.

When eighteen-year-old Ellie Canning is discovered shivering and barely conscious on the side of a country road the story she tells will have the entire nation and the worlds attention. This is one of being held against her will by two older ladies w
...more
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
*https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.com
Wendy James, the 2017 Ned Kelly Best Crime Fiction shortlist author, returns with her latest novel, The Accusation. This new novel from Wendy James is a velvet rich domestic noir novel that buries itself in themes of kidnapping, truth, lies, sensationalism and cult status. Absorbing, addictive and seducing, I read this novel in two short sittings.

The Accusation is the story of a baffling crime, an off kilter abduction and an act of betrayal. At the centre of
...more
Marianne
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“It was all so utterly strange, so far beyond my experience, that there was no possible way to orient myself. I felt as if I had fallen into some crazy experimental film, where I was the only actor without a script, the only player who had no idea what was going to happen next.”

The Accusation is the eighth novel by award-winning Australian author, Wendy James. High school drama teacher Suzannah Wells is as surprised as anyone in Enfield Wash when eighteen-year-old Ellie Canning turns up in a far
...more
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
The Accusation is author Wendy James’ contemporary take on the Canning Affair, an eighteenth-century criminal case that titillated the Victorian public, a compelling story of trust and betrayal, guilt and innocence.

Susannah Wells, a high school drama teacher, has been living with her mother in the small rural community of Enfield Wash for a just a few months. It’s a quiet life, her mothers dementia driven outbursts aside, in contrast with the years she spent as a young starlet on a popular TV s
...more
Mandy White
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Accusation by Wendy James iis a book that I read in 2 sittings, struggling to put it down. Once you start it you really want to know what is going to happen next and how it will all unfold. Another great Australian author that I have discovered this year. I loved his this was written, in 3 parts, from multiple points of view and featuring interviews and newspaper articles. Set in a small Australian town where everyone knows everyone and their business, the story gets more twisted as it goes ...more
Heidi
It’s been a while since a book has kept me up late into the night, but I was so entranced with this one that I read it in one day and couldn’t tear myself away until all was revealed. Anyone who knows my obsession with getting enough sleep will know that it takes a special kind of story to have that sort of power over me!

Darn, this book was good! From the very first page, I was totally and utterly hooked. I’m not sure if it was the premise of the story, or the characters, or a combination of bot
...more
Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, aww
Exciting, fast paced, twisted PERFECT

My View:
Credible! Readable! Powerful!
What a fantastic read!!!

This is a fabulous read that kept me up till the early hours trying to work out the knots and twists in this plot. Like a skilful magician, Wendy James directs our attention to view the scenarios in a particular way, provides glimpses, hints, clues then redirects our attention to other possibilities.

I do love an unreliable narrator. A fast paced read with some surprising reveals, I predict an awar
...more
Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I can't believe this is the first time I've read any Wendy James. The Accusation by popular Australian author Wendy James was domestic noir meets psychological thriller and I really enjoyed it.

Suzannah Wells is an ex soapie star and now the local drama teacher at Enfield Wash, NSW. Ellie Canning is an 18 year old kidnapping survivor who is in the media spotlight after escaping her female captors. Suzannah is accused of the crime and the book drives the reader towards the truth. Is Suzannah guilt
...more
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘Everything added up – but not to the truth.’

Near the town of Enfield Wash in New South Wales, eighteen-year-old Ellie Canning is found unconscious by a local farmer in a disused shepherd’s hut on his property. After she regained consciousness, she told the police that she had sought shelter in the hut after escaping from a nearby farmhouse. Ellie Canning claimed that she’d been abducted by a middle-aged woman and chained to a bed in a basement for a month. The woman, Ellie said, had a crazy old
...more
Paula  Phillips
Jun 09, 2019 rated it liked it
I was in the mood for a mystery novel and came across The Accusation by Wendy James. This book I learned after reading the author's note was based on a case that took place in the 18th Century in the UK called The Canning Affair, which later was developed into a novel set in the post-war by Josephine Tey called The Franchise Affair. Wendy James took both accounts and then added her twist to create The Accusation set in modern times in a small Australian town. The book starts with a young teacher ...more
Susan Francis
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved, loved, loved this book! So much so, I read it in one siting on a Sunday afternoon- hunched down in my corner chair, coffee forgotten and cooling beside me.
Set in a small country town in NSW, initially, the familiar rural setting provided a sense of false easiness. Lulled me indeed into comfort. Having spent years teaching in such a place, both the negative and positive aspects of rural life were instantly familiar. But the layers are soon uncovered and the town is proved to be both a w
...more
Deborah
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'd seen reviews of this book popping up in a few places and was surprised it hadn't been on my radar. Fortunately I was able to access an online review copy and meet established Australian author Wendy James - for the first time - in my case.

Read my review here: https://www.debbish.com/books-literat...
...more
Amanda
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I spent the first 3 quarters of this book swearing I’d read it before. Impossible considering it is only just being released. Even still I thoroughly enjoyed the twists and turns of these complex characters.
Rania T
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
A well-paced thriller set in country New South Wales. Is there more to the new teacher in town Suzannah Wells than she lets on? How does Ellie Canning know her? And can Holly be a trusted companion? Read and find out, and you will definitely not be disappointed...
Monique Mulligan
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love a good domestic thriller and The Accusation by Wendy James is very good. The media loves the young girl who's accused a middle-aged woman of kidnapping, and with all the evidence pointing to the accused, it seems watertight. Of course, it's not, but the getting to that point is a chair-gripping, tissue-shredding journey that pits one word against another, with the ever-so-helpful media stirring things up. If you like suspense, and you're fascinated by the way a story can be spun by differ ...more
Scatterbooker
“Somebody is lying”

Thrilling Aussie noir. The Accusation by Wendy James will keep you guessing until the very end!

When Ellie Canning is found on the side of the road in a small country town her story explodes on the news and social media. Ellie is a young attractive blonde, and her story about being kidnapped and held hostage by two crazy women is fascinating.

At first it seems ridiculous when the local teacher, newcomer Suzannah Wells, is accused of kidnapping Ellie, but as the evidence begins t
...more
Julie Garner
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-thriller, arc
I received an ARC of this book.
Although I picked what happened within the first 100 pages this book was so good that as I progressed further in my mind kept changing.
This was such a good headspin that you find yourself questioning your own abilities to read people. Those who you think are real have little things happen that make you realise there is more to their story. Those that you think are the monsters have their reasons.
All the characters, except one, seem to be deceptive and full of secre
...more
Ashlee Green
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I had a theory around page 77 that I very excitedly texted my friend about. This theory changed slightly as I read further but overall my idea was right 💁🏼‍♀️
Janine
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
After reading The Golden Child last year I was keen to read Wendy's latest offering. This story is quite bizarre - a young girl is found in a disheveled state, wearing only pj's and claiming that she has just escaped from being kept captive in a basement.

Susannah Wells is a drama teacher at the local school and lives with her mother who is in early stages of dementia. Its hard work but they cope, until the world falls apart around them.

This girl Ellie, claims that Susannah and her mother are th
...more
Nicole
The Accusation is the latest release from Australian author, Wendy James. I was a fan of The Golden Child so I was eagerly anticipating the chance to read this. While The Accusation is very different to The Golden Child, it too is a relevant, contemporary novel that will leave readers contemplating the many issues brought forward. From media to manipulation to the innocent versus guilty, there is something here for everyone.

The Accusation is the story of three women whose lives are intertwined i
...more
Laura
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book.
I may be biased, but I love how much I understand and relate to Australian authors, I just love how I can engage with environment and writing style, even the characters personalities.
I found the story line so intricate and well done as it went forward and backward in time, giving you enough information to keep you hanging on, not wanting to put the book down.
I was hooked and couldn’t put it down. Definitely a must-read. Thank you Wendy James.
Gloria Arthur
May 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Accusation

The Accusation is a contemporary take on the ‘Canning Affair’, one of the most famous English criminal mysteries of the 18th century and is by Australian author Wendy James.

The story is of a bizarre abduction with no credible motives for the accused. Significant evidence is found in the house basement for a guilty verdict but who is lying!

Pretty 18 year old Ellie Canning is found on a country road in a shepherds hut, barely conscious and clad in ill fitting pink pyjamas. She claim
...more
Justine
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I borrowed an ARC from the bookstore I work in and I'm so glad I did.

I've read several psychological thrillers lately where the reader doesn't know who to trust, but this one is the best by far.

I felt strongly about a particular character from the get-go and kept reading so that I could find out what happened the them. I enjoyed the format of the book with multiple points of view from different time periods contrasted with transcripts from a documentary. This kept me engaged the whole time and
...more
Rachael Morland
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Just finished reading the proof and in only 4 days which is unusual for me!

The themes are probably aimed at a more female demographic although that's not to say some male crime readers wouldn't enjoy it. It was an extremely easy read but kept my interest picqued throughout. I just wanted to know "who dunnit"?! Was it the obvious answer or something completely unexpected? Was there going to be a twist? It kept me turning the page which is what you want in a crime novel but it wasn't so suspensef
...more
Verushka
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
What is this about?: Suzannah is a drama teacher in a small town when she's accused of the attempted kidnapping of media darling (now) Ellie. All the evidence points to her ...

What else is this about?: The power of belief, and how much we sometimes want to believe in utterly the wrong things

The Accusation is one of those books that is going to be hard to review, because the strength of this story is in the characterisation wrapped around a deceptively simple plot. And also spoilers bc I am tryi
...more
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Six Minutes
  • You Don't Know Me
  • Just an Ordinary Family
  • Where the Dead Go
  • Devil's Lair
  • The Day The Lies Began
  • The Wife and the Widow
  • The Good Turn (Cormac Reilly, #3)
  • The Ex Girlfriend
  • The Model Wife
  • The Strangers We Know
  • In The Clearing
  • The Mothers
  • Under the Midnight Sky
  • Sheerwater
  • Love And Other Battles: A heartbreaking, redemptive family story for ourtime
  • The River Home
  • The War Widow (Billie Walker Mystery, #1)
See similar books…
89 followers
Wendy James is the celebrated author of eight novels, including the bestselling The Mistake and the compelling The Golden Child, which was shortlisted for the 2017 Ned Kelly Award for crime. Her debut novel, Out of the Silence, won the 2006 Ned Kelly Award for first crime novel, and was shortlisted for the Nita May Dobbie award for women's writing. Wendy works as an editor at the Australian Instit ...more

Related Articles

As serious bookworms know, autumn reading is particularly rewarding. The days get shorter, the air gets cooler, and curling up with a...
396 likes · 175 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »