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The Assistant

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3.78  ·  Rating details ·  1,853 ratings  ·  382 reviews
She’s in your house. She controls your life. Now she’s going to destroy it.

A terrifying and timely new psychological thriller, from the No. 1 Sunday Times bestselling author of The Ice Twins.

She watches you constantly.
Newly divorced Jo is delighted to move into her best friend’s spare room almost rent-free. The high-tech luxury Camden flat is managed by a meticulous Home A
...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published December 26th 2019 by HarperCollins (first published December 2nd 2019)
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Amy Lancaster I'm not sure. As great of a book as this, if this person studied something from the theme of this book and is a bit of a perfectionist, they may like …moreI'm not sure. As great of a book as this, if this person studied something from the theme of this book and is a bit of a perfectionist, they may like something non-fiction or fiction by an author that has experience or studied this subject too. I study Law and some books can be a little frustrating as certain legal aspects can be wrong but I don't mind so much however, authors like John Grisham or Marc Grossberg that have a legal background, do write a better fiction novel on the topic as there are different things in their writing only someone with a legal background would know and it makes it more interesting to me as a reader. I hope that helps you in someway.
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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Irena BookDustMagic
Going into this book I had no idea what I signed up for. You see, I recklessly thought that the assistant in this story is a live, breathing person, when instead it was a smart device, similar to Alexa from Amazon.
Even though the story is set in present, at times it felt like the events took place in the future, but I would ascribe that to my “less technology” style of life.

I was so happy when I got an invitation to read this book because I previously read The Fire Child by S. K. Tremayne and re
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Paromjit
SK Tremayne's latest psychological thriller is terrifically creepy and thought provoking about the nature of our contemporary world, questioning its increasing reliance on technology and the potentially malign ways in which social media can be abused. Jo is a journalist whose life has fallen apart, she has recently divorced, and is in dire financial straits, so she positively welcomes the opportunity of being offered a home at such little cost by a wealthy friend in their luxury Camden flat. It ...more
Carolyn
This is a clever, dark and creepy thriller depicting what can happen when AI goes rogue! It might make you think twice about installing a home assistant or looking sideways at the one you already have to check if it's watching you.

The narrator, Jo Ferguson is a recently divorced freelance journalist, struggling to make a living in London so when her best friend Tabitha offers her a spare room in her luxury Camden flat she jumps at it. Tabitha's flat is controlled by voice activated home assistan
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Lou
Nov 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Assistant is the fourth book written under the nom de plume S. K. Tremayne; it is by far his most compulsive and chilling yet and serves as a stark warning about the perils of permitting our devices access to our very essence and precise, in-depth and eminently sensitive data on not only our lives and loves but our families and close ones too. It is a cross between a technothriller and a psychological thriller and is the perfect creepy story for the modern technological era in which we live. ...more
Mandy White (mandylovestoread)
The Assistant by SK Tremayne is a realistic and creepy story. Whilst reading this I was thinking about how easy it would be these days - everything is run on technology and we rely on it so heavily. Set in the worst winter that London has seen for years this book is sinister and dark and will get under your skin. Who or what can you trust? They are always watching, and listening.

Jo is a recently divorced journalist who is struggling to make ends meet in London. So when her best friend Tabitha of
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Sue
THE ASSISTANT, a creepy psychological/techno thriller is the fourth book written by the No. 1 Sunday Times bestseller author, under the pen name S.K. Tremayne. It warns of the highlights of modern technology taking over our lives, and is both an eye-opener and realistic and plausible in today’s world.

The novel centers around Electra, a personal assistant, that takes care of the heating, the lights in the home in which newly divorced Jo Ferguson is currently living, after moving into her best fr
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Bridgett
Jan 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle-unlimited
'myself the rose you achieve'

Who loves Sylvia Plath? I certainly hope you do, because her poetry is at the forefront of this story.

This book had so much going for it...a frightening, absolutely plausible plot; a dark, cold, creepy setting; and last but certainly not least, excellent red herrings (I did not figure out the antagonist). Despite it all, The Assistant was lacking some vital component. It just never really jibed for me.

There are a few things, however, which most assuredly decrease
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Andrea
Dec 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I knew it! This is exactly why I don't have any kind of digital home help - I don't even talk to Siri. It feels good to have my reluctance validated, in this story of home assistants gone rogue.

It's just after Christmas, in the coldest winter Britain has experienced since the 60s, and we are in the London borough of Camden. Here, newly divorced and almost homeless, freelance journalist Jo Ferguson has gratefully accepted her best friend's invitation to move into the spare room of her luxury flat
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Gary
May 01, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have previously read and enjoyed 'The Ice Twins' and 'The Fire Child' by S.K. Tremayne so was keen to read this one.
Jo is recently divorced and moves into her best friend's spare room paying very little rent to help her get through this change in her life. The accommodation is an high tech luxury flat complete with a home assistant to control the heating, lighting etc. The assistant is called Electra and is similar to the Amazon Alexa. Everything is going so well until one night when Electra s
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Ken
Aug 26, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The overreliant use of technology and the potential negative side that it could all go wrong makes for such good drama.
In the case of Tremayne's latest The Assistant (a device that is an Amazon Alexa but avoiding copyright) plays havovk with Jo Ferguson.

First the device taunts Jo of a secret from her past then attempts to ruin every aspect of Jo's life.
Whilst the manner of the attacks started incress which made the plot implausible at time, it does highlight how connected everything has become.
F
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Louise Wilson
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars rounded up to 4

Jo is currently living in Tabithas apartment. Its full of electronic devices and gadgets. Electra starts talking to Jo, telling her she knows what she did to the boy. Only two other people knew this secret. Electra keeps revealing more and more about Jo's life. Is Jo going crazy, imagining the device is talking to her? After all, her dad had just before he committed suicide.

I found this to be a it of a slow burner. Thankfully the pace does pick up after you've read abou
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Sarah
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow this was an excellent read. I haven’t read a book so good in a long time. I was so hooked and desperate to find out what was really going on. There were so many suspects I changed my mind a lot and still didn’t get it right. It was a different kind of thriller than normal especially with the Electra’s. They were really creepy but made the story even better. I really liked Jo and really wanted to know if it was her going mad or if it all was really happening. There was so much going on and so ...more
Amanda
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow this book was a chilling thriller that makes you think how technology can take over our life’s. It gave me goosebumps and made me look at Alexa in a new light!!

Jo a struggling freelance writer who is getting over her divorce with Simon, her best friend Tabitha offers her a spare room for minimum rent in her luxury apartment in Camden. Tabitha has Electra, voice activated assistants that control the lights, heating, and will answer questions such as “What is the weather like?” (similar to Ale
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Miriam Smith (A Mother’s Musings)
After a rather slow and tedious start to “The Assistant” (I mean who takes up to two hours and ponders on three basic profile dating site questions?), I did get into the story and found the second half of the book quite riveting and tense. With technology speeding along the way it is and advancing every day, this story based on hacked household smart speakers (like Amazon’s Alexa but much more capable), does sound far fetched but not totally unrealistic. It’s quite frightening how easy it is to ...more
Linda Strong
4.5 STARS

Jo is newly divorced and happy to move in with her best friend. Jo is a freelance journalist and wouldn't be able to afford living anywhere as nice as this.

The modern apartment is managed by a Home Assistant, Electra. (think Alexa) who manages everything in the house and can even carry on a conversation.

The Home Assistant is wonderful new technology that everyone wants... but one night Electra tells Jo it knows Jo's secret. Jo is scared ... because there is something in her past that no
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☮Karen
This is the third S. K. Tremayne thriller I have read and it was my least favorite. It managed to give me the creeps several times but then had my eyes rolling other times. What creeped me out were the little Alexa-like devices that controlled the luxury apartment where Jo, our protagonist, lived with her friend Tabitha. In no time the devices, here known as Electra home assistants, were controlling Jo as well, not to mention her smart phone, laptop, emails, television, and the lights and heat - ...more
Ophelia Sings
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
As technology continues to encroach on every aspect of our lives, SK Tremayne's new novel makes us wonder what would happen if that tech went wrong - or was used to nefarious ends...

It's a thoroughly modern take on the thriller genre, and one which we're seeing more and more of. However, while decently chilling in places, there are far better examples on offer than The Assistant.

The plot is decently crafted (it does get a bit preposterous toward the end, as is the wont of the genre and not neces
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Christina McDonald
Wow! How did I miss this one last year? This book was incredible!

Electric, riveting, and deliciously disturbing, The Assistant is a scarily believable story about the nature of modern technology and our reliance on virtual assistants, like Alexa or Siri. What happens when a virtual assistant goes rogue? Could it drive you insane? The Assistant burrows into the fear many of us have: that technology might not just control us, but could ultimately destroy us.

Newly divorced, Jo is happy to move into
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Fiona MacDonald
Sep 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
wow! this was such a great story. Creepy, atmospheric and full of tension.
Penniless Jo, is invited to stay in her best friend Tabitha's gorgeous state of the art flat in Camden. It has everything, in particular the most up to date Home Help assistant system (a hint towards Alexa) which was installed by Tabitha's fiancé Arlo so he can keep a check on her.
But soon after Jo moves in, she senses something is wrong. The assistants appear to be talking to her. In fact, they are saying terrible things
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Adrian Dooley
Hmm. I enjoyed the first half of this but it gradually lost its way.

The story of Jo, a divorced woman in her early 30s, not much money and living with her wealthy friend in London in her flat as a lodger.

The flat is kitted out with personal assistants in the realm of Amazon’s Echo, Google Home etc.
Her friend is away a lot with her job so Jo spends a lot of time alone in the flat as she also works from home. She uses the tech a lot and finds the voice a comfort when she is alone.
However when
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Yvonne (It's All About Books)

Finished reading: November 19th 2019


"I do not understand the extent of the hatred and the violence of the damage done to me. Why and how do I deserve this? What is the point?"

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

(view spoiler)
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Eve
Psychological Thrillers / Contemporary

She’s in your house. She controls your life. Now she’s going to destroy it.

Newly divorced Jo (33) is happy to move into her friend’s spare room almost rent-free. The high-tech flat is managed by a Home Assistant, called Electra, who helps to keep her company when she feels lonely. Till Electra start to say things about Jo's past and weird things start to happen. What secret Jo is hiding? How Electra knows things it shouldn't know? Or is Jo going crazy like h
...more
Stina
I read and loved S.K. Tremayne's first thriller "The Ice Twins" so I was excited to read THE ASSISTANT. But while the premise promised a disturbing tale at the hands of a Home Assistant, I found it slow and drawn out and relatively unexciting. I was disappointed because the concept of such a thing happening was unique to this type of book despite the very real danger of it occurring through cyber attacks.

I guess I must be in the minority as many people have enjoyed it, so maybe I will come
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Shalini
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Woah!! What a book!! The first thing I did after reading it is packed up my Alexa. No more virtual assistants for me ever. The book played on my fears brilliantly.

Jo shared Tabitha's flat which was wired and in control by the Virtual Asistants called Electra. And they knew Jo's dark secret. In Tabitha's absence, the assistants spoke to her, revealed secrets and videos, sent nasty mails to friends. Basically they isolated Jo completely and drive her nearly to suicide.

My third book by author S. K.
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Rachel Hall
Dec 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Heavy-handed execution of a timely & relevant premise that becomes progressively more far-fetched.

The Assistant is both a timely and relevant novel regarding the increasing reliance on technology in everyday life, the potential of artificial intelligence and the pitfalls of social media. Although the novel is certainly creepy in parts I didn’t find it quite the thriller I was hoping for due to pacing issues, a storyline that quickly becomes repetitive and a slight crossover into science fiction
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Julie Lacey
Nov 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a great read that had me gripped throughout the book.
Jo is grateful when her friend Tabitha offers her a place to stay when she needs it, but she can’t get used to all the Smart technology there.
She has ‘Assistants’ that turn the lights on and answer questions and are called Electra. This is very similar to Amazon’s Alexa so freaked me out a bit.
Electra says something that takes Jo’s breath away and she becomes worried about what these devices are capable of.
They soon start talking t
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Jennifer Nolan
Brillant book that showed what can happen when you let technology rule your life. It's scary to see how easily technology can be used to destroy someone's life (in this book Jo's) by someone who is tech savvy. ...more
Adrienne
Aug 12, 2020 added it
Shelves: dnf
Did not finish
Cheryl
Apr 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't love this book, it was good but not great. The main issue is that I don’t care much for Jo, our protagonist. I feel like I should be able to relate to her, in part at least, but nope, I don’t at all, and it’s not just Jo, I don’t like any of the characters, perhaps this is intentional by the author?

So I started the book, decide to continue even if I didn't like anyone and very quickly became hooked. Regardless of the characters this is a very good mystery. I may not like the people but
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Emma Shaw
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This story has seeped into my psyche and given me the most bizarre dreams of technology terrorising my life since reading. I don’t have an Alexa, any smart meters or Home Assistants. And after this book, I have never been more thankful of that! Intriguing, suspenseful, creepy and unpredictable, The Assistant exposes and explores a very modern fear alongside ones that have been around for years.

Jo is a freelance journalist, recently divorced and living in her best friend Tabitha’s spare room. Th
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Hello! I am S K Tremayne, but my true name is Sean Thomas.

I write books where real places become menacing, and where ordinary people experience something extraordinary.

Born in Devon, I now live in London, but I travel a lot in my second job as a journalist, sometimes visiting places which inspire the books. My first S K Tremayne thriller, THE ICE TWINS, was a number one Sunday Times bestseller. T
...more

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