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When I Was Ten

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  1,187 ratings  ·  421 reviews
She had lived a lie for thirteen years, and the perfect life as she had known it was about to change forever.

Everyone remembered Sara and Shannon Carter, the little blonde haired sisters. Their Dad was the local GP and they lived in the beautiful house on the hill. Their best friend, Brinley Booth, lived next door. They would do anything for each other but everything shift
Paperback, 367 pages
Published April 22nd 2021 by Macmillan (first published August 6th 2020)
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Average rating 4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,187 ratings  ·  421 reviews

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Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you've read Fiona Cummins before then you know what you’re in for and it’s a brace yourself read. It’s a chin dropper, eye popper, heart beater, hand shaker, mind blowing, breath taking, goose bump inducing rollercoaster of a book. Is Fiona Cummins middle name ‘Twisty’??!!! The book opens dramatically in April 1997 when a young girl runs away from an horrific murder scene. We later learn this is twelve year old Brinley Booth whose best friends are Shannon and Sara Carter, the murder victims a ...more
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: On her bedside table, the clock clicks forward another minute. Each tiny hair on her arm rises until her skin is stippled with goosebumps.

4.07 am

Even now, that combination of digits has the power to root her in place.

Twenty-one years ago, in another bedroom and another life, a different clock stopped forever at precisely the same time, a web of hairline cracks across its face.

(She) never speaks about that night. The past is put away now. It will not define her. She tries her best no
Mandy White (mandylovestoread)
OMG - where do I start talking about When I Was Ten. This book is dark, it is twisted and it is awesome! I started and finished reading it on the same day - it really had me hook, line and sinker. Readers of Fiona Cummins will know that she is an author that doesn't hold back and her books are not for those with a weak stomach. I just loved it!

In 1997 the infamous Hilltop Murders occurred. Well respected and liked in the community, Mr and Mrs Carter were murdered in their own home, stabbed 14 t
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Where do I begin ......? Take a deep breathe!! Firstly I was 100% hooked by this book and was taken on a dark and twisty journey that has left me breathless and feeling like I’ve been in a tumble drier on a high setting!!

We start this amazing story in April 1997, a young girl running away from a murder scene is struck by lightning leaving her with scars on her back. The young girl is Brinley whose best friends are sisters Shannon and Sara. The murder scene she was fleeing from was the girls pare
Liz Barnsley
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Hugely insightful, horrifyingly compelling and emotionally charged tale of a child killer and the endless aftermath. Brilliant writing, cleverly impacting plot this was superb.

Full review to follow.
I’m fast becoming a fan of Fiona Cummins as I know that I’m going to be in for a good time. A read that will have me so engrossed I won’t mind what’s happening around me.

This was very true with this book.

It didn’t take long to weave myself within the confines of this story.

A child kills her parents.

What?! I hear you ask.

I know. I was exactly like you are now. Gasping and in disbelief.

She owns up to it too.

This is, for sure, a dark and twisted read that I could only give 5* to.
Totally hooked, tot
The Book Review Café
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime
Fiona Cummins has fast become one of my favourite authors, I have read all of her books and ‘hand on heart’ I’ve loved everyone of them. I’m not sure about you but when I have been looking forward to an anticipated read for so long I tend to drag my heels on starting it, there’s always a niggle that I won’t enjoy it as much as I expected. Was a disappointed, it’s a ‘hell no’ with bells on! The author has written a intricately woven, on a difficult subject. What drives a child to kill their paren ...more
Feb 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A gruesome double murder made national headlines at the time, sensationalised by the fact that the killer of the respectable GP and his wife was one of their daughters. One, nicknamed the Angel of Death spent years in a children's secure unit after confessing to the killing, while her sister made her way through the foster system. Years later, a documentary team tracks down one of the sisters and as she speaks about the events of that night, they come back to haunt everyone involved.

Let's start
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you NetGalley and Pan Macmillan for a copy of When I was Ten by Fiona Cummins. This is the first book from the author I have read, and I will make sure that I will seek out the other books she has written.
It’s 1997 Sara and Shannon are sisters and live at Hilltop house. Their friend Brinley Booth lives next door. There are best friends and there is nothing they wouldn’t do for each other. Their father Dr Richard Carter and his wife Pamela are a pillar of the community. In the eyes of the
Feb 13, 2021 rated it liked it
I enjoy the writing of Fiona Cummins but unlike a lot of other positive reviewers the book failed to grab my attention the way many of her other books have. It was well written and difficult to say what didn’t work for me but I felt it was good not great. The story seemed to drag a fair bit and lacked the excitement I was hoping for.

She had lived a lie for thirteen years, and the perfect life as she had known it was about to change forever. Everyone remembered Sara and Shannon Carter, the little
Sheree | Keeping Up With The Penguins
Crime thrillers aren’t just crime thrillers anymore: it’s impossible for fiction writers to ignore our collective obsession with true crime journalism. When I Was Ten will not satisfy the die-hard fans of the old-fashioned whodunnit, because the answer is abundantly obvious from the start (and the red-herrings half-hearted at best). However, the political ramifications of the crime – and the resurgence of media interest upon its anniversary – are resonant and timely.

My extended review has been p
Feb 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
An excellent dark psychological thriller which I thoroughly enjoyed and would highly recommend to lovers of this genre!
Ruthy lavin
Aug 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
A really good read!
Recommended :)
Vanessa Menezes
Aug 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
The little Carter sisters, Sara and Shannon, live in a beautiful house on the hill. To the outside world, their childhood is perfect. Then one day, ten-year-old Sara does something unforgivable.

Sara after facing the consequences for her actions starts a new life under a new name, Catherine, but fails to mention her past to her husband and daughter.

On the anniversary of the trial, when Shannon gives an interview with a request to reach out to Sara, both the sisters are forced to confront what re
Tracy Fenton
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
If you’ve already had the pleasure of reading Fiona Cummins’ previous books then you know to expect a dark, twisty and uncomfortable story and When I Was Ten is no exception.

The book opens in 1997 with a young girl fleeing from a double murder scene having witnessed a traumatic and horrific event. Fast forward to 2018 and the story introduces us to Catherine, happily married to Edward and loving mother to 12 year old Honor, whose lives are about to be turned upside down and inside out when her C
Ellie Spencer
Apr 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Wow! Thriller’s are my absolute favourite genre of novel, and this is one that is certain to haunt me and remain in my memory.

When I was ten follows two sisters, and their old next-door neighbour/closest friend. Years of humiliation and abuse from their parents culminates in the murder of both parents during the night. All of the girls tell lies about what happened that night, but secrets have a habit of getting out.

For most thrillers I read, I tend to guess the ending relatively quickly. But th
Jacqueline  sharp
Jun 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the type of book I have come to expect from Fiona Cummins, always gripping, and exciting.

The story begins in 1997, when a young girl fleeing from a murder scene is struck down by lightening leaving her with scars in her back. This is Brinkley and her best friends are sisters Sara and Shannon. The murder scene she is grunting from is that of her friends parents Dr Richard Carter and his wife Pamela, killed by being stabbed with scissors. Sara is charged with and found guilty of murder, bu
May 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A book that kept throwing secrets at me even till the last page. 2 sisters bound by a secret and murder of their parents by one. What made a 10 year old child kill her parents? Stabbing them in the neck 14 times.

A grown woman with a family leading a happy life until the secret broke and life became a chaos. This was the story of Sara and Shannon Carter but also of their best friend and neighbor.

This was author Fiona Cummins at her best where the story ramped up its suspense with each page. This
Naomi (aplace_inthesun)
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
Firstly, the cover of this book is absolutely incredible.

AND the book delivers in every which way as well.

Brinley works in media and has the chance of a lifetime to follow a story every journalist would wish for. She's following the story of Shannon Carter who has been in hiding after the murder of her parents when she was a child, granting interviews on the anniversary of the murders. Shannon’s sister Sara has been ‘missing’ for two decades, living under a new identity because of her connectio
Fiction Addition Angela
Apr 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
What would you do for your best friend? Can you remember when you were young and childhood friendships meant the world to you and you'd do anything. Well maybe anything is too much.
In 1997 Shannon and Sara - sisters who live next door to their friend Brinley.
To the outside world the sisters who live with their parents Dr Richard Carter and his wife Pamela are lucky girls who have the very best of everything. But behind closed doors the girls face child abuse and cruelty that makes you feel uncom
Aug 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I was Ten by Fiona Cummins offers readers a big twist about a third of the way through. It reminded me of book-dropping bombshell Clare Mackintosh offered in her debut novel, I Let You Go.

Of course Cummins doesn't rest on her laurels and adds in another twist or two for good measure.

Read my review here:
Elaine's Reviews
Jun 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Dr and Mrs Carter, parents to two blonde little girls age 10 and 12, are found murdered, savagely stabbed, in their bed. Even more shocking is when one of their children is charged with murder in a case that is dubbed the Angel of Death Murders.

In a now and then narrative, on the anniversary of the murders, one of the girls gives media interviews to try to reconnect with her sister.

Elsewhere, Catherine Allen's life is about to fall apart - what is her connection to the murders?

This story centre
Sep 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
A lot of inconsistencies,not enough tension,doesn´t quite come together,irrelevant storylines.Not a good read.
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews

3.5 stars

‘But no news event –except perhaps that car crash in a Paris tunnel- would quite manage to replicate the nation’s collective intake of breath at the Hilltop House murders and the Angel of Death, a blonde-haired moppet who stabbed her parents fourteen times with a pair of scissors.’

When I Was Ten is the fourth novel by crime writer Fiona Cummins. This latest release from Fiona Cummins exposes a double murder, long held secrets, deceit, darkness, trau
May 02, 2021 added it
DNF @ 28%

Nothing against this book but exam season hit & I just can’t see myself picking it back up afterwards.
Just want a clean slate you know?
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fiona Cummins is a fabulous writer. The Neighbour was one of my top 20 books of 2019. When I Was Ten is a powerful depiction of what happens when a child kills and what drove her to it. Very good indeed. A review to come closer to the publication date on For Winter Nights.
daniela weber
Oct 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
told in three perspectives and based on justice,
politics and midia, the trauma suffered by three
girls who used to play together, their shared
secrets and ideals of loyalty cast shadows
that go beyond crime and punishment. ♡
Emily Carter-Dunn
Aug 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

Thank you to Netgalley and Pan Macmillan for a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

I have not read any of Fiona Cummins' other books before, so I had no idea what I was in for. I loved the blurb and the cover of this book. I can safely say that I will be reading Cummins' other books after reading this one.

Sara and Shannon Carter suffered years of emotional and psychological abuse at the hands of their parents, who they must address by their first names, before breakin
Julie (Bookish.Intoxication)
Aug 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When I Was Ten, draws you in from the first page, from the get-go, it is filled with characters that you are unsure if you can trust, all with their own agenda and secrets.

Twist after twist, this book will have you reeling. It is a roller-coaster of twists and turns that you won't see coming, that will bring you to your knees. The fact that these girls were 12 and younger is chilling but also heartbreaking. Cummins writes them so well but also writes from their point of views perfectly. It is me
Elaine Tomasso
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I would like to thank Netgalley and Pan Macmillan for an advance copy of When I Was Ten, a stand alone psychological thriller set in London and its environs.

The novel opens in 1997 with a young girl telling us that all the grown ups are dead. It then switches to 2018 to tell us that in just over ten minutes Catherine Allen will be dead. Then it slowly unfurls the events surrounding these two positions.

Wow! This novel had me on the edge of my seat throughout. Just as I thought I had a handle on p
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Fiona Cummins is an award-winning former Daily Mirror showbusiness journalist and a graduate of the Faber Academy Writing A Novel course. She lives in Essex with her family. Rattle is her first novel.

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