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Destroy Me

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Cat panics when she sees a photofit of a murder suspect flash up on the news. It looks exactly like her, and to make matters worse, the victim is her childhood best friend, Charlie.

The following day, the police arrive at her doorstep to question her. She hadn't seen or spoken to Charlie in years, but could the secrets of their past finally be coming back to haunt her?

Desperate to find out who gave the police her description and to protect her five-year-old son, Cat investigates. She knows she is innocent and will stop at nothing to prove it. But some secrets are best left buried...

336 pages, Kindle Edition

First published March 18, 2021

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About the author

Karen Cole

14 books76 followers
Karen Cole grew up in the Cotswolds and got a degree in psychology at Newcastle University. She spent several years teaching English around the world before settling in Cyprus with her husband and two sons, where she works at a British army base as a primary school teacher. She recently completed the Curtis Brown writing course where she found her love of writing psychological thrillers.

Deliver Me is her debut novel.

~ from Quercus

Librarian's note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

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5 stars
203 (34%)
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233 (39%)
3 stars
108 (18%)
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27 (4%)
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12 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 71 reviews
Profile Image for Crystal.
691 reviews89 followers
July 26, 2021
Catherine Bayntun is in a bad place. She's separated from her husband, raising her 5-year-old son while still trying to being amicable with her cheating ex, and dealing with increased anxiety and body issues. As bad as things are for her currently, they're about to get even worse. When she sees the photo of a murder suspect on the news, her life takes an even darker turn. Because the suspect looks exactly like Catherine and the victim is an estranged friend of hers. But her and Charlie haven't spoken in years...not after the dark secrets that tore their friendship apart. As she is questioned by the police and everyone starts turning on her, Catherine starts to also questions herself. Could she really be capable of murder? That's crazy! But the alternative is equally as crazy. If she didn't do it, that means someone is out to frame her and destroy her life. But who would have the motive to do something like this to her? And why was Charlie also targeted?

I've read all of Karen Cole's book and enjoyed them, so I was really excited about this book. The premise sounds so unique and intriguing. Unfortunately, it didn't deliver. Catherine isn't a very likable character and her constant complaints about her weight and appearance became grating. The book was fast paced and interesting enough until the big secret of what Catherine and Charlie has done all those years ago was revealed. After the big reveal, I lost any trace of sympathy I had for Catherine. Not only was their actions despicable, but justice wasn't served in the end. I hated the ending so much! It was frustrating, disgusting and I'm left angry after finishing this book.

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Neha Singh.
202 reviews32 followers
May 15, 2021
4 Stars!

***Thanks Netgalley and Quercus Publicity UK for this e-arc, all the opinions here are my own ***

Catherine Bayntun is a soon-to-be divorced mother of 5 years old Dylan. Separated from her husband when he cheated on her with another woman, she is just getting past her anxiety and body issues. Suddenly, one day she gets the news that her childhood best friend has been murdered, and she is the prime suspect. Looks like someone is out there to frame her... Is her past finally coming to catch on with her? Or is this something else?

This was a very engaging and quick read for me. I liked Karen Cole's writing and the way past chapters interwove with the present. I like how she builds up the tension and make you crave for more. It was my first book by her but definitely will not be the last.

Now to the plot— it was your average suspense novel with few of your typical mystery thriller tropes like Every Man is a cheater, MC (main character), Cat, dealing other woman in the marriage trope. But apart from that it was quite a unique experience for me, as I have not read that many similar books.

Unlikable MC...she was relatable in few instances, but as we got to know more about her and some of her actions, it was difficult to feel bad for her.

There were so many instances where our MC acted rashly, and her actions did not make much sense...but I can get past that given her mental state at that time. Few instances felt quite convenient ...like Cat trying to reach Charlie's husband knowing that her face is plastered all over the media, and she is a big suspect for murder. And he did not recognise her as the main suspect from the media. Cat's mom and her views on her daughter's marriage really infuriated me... I know this is somewhat a reality in many places, still it was tough to read about. And Poor Delilah!(her dog)...was that really necessary😰!

There were many characters introduced who had the potential to be the culprit...and it was neither super obvious nor out of the blue. I had great time solving the puzzle and getting to that ending.

Overall, an engaging and easy to read suspense thriller by Karen Cole... I would not mind reading more from her collections. It was fun!
Profile Image for Linda Strong.
3,882 reviews1,625 followers
June 30, 2021
Cat is amazed to see her picture in the newspaper. A woman was murdered and this woman was seen in close proximity. It looks just like her .. even down to a mole on her face. And then she's really concerned when the victim is identified ... and it turns out to be her childhood best friend, Charlie.

She thinks she's being targeted .. she has an alibi for the night Charlie was murdered. She spent the night with a guy she had picked up in a bar. She only knows his first name ... surely he will corroborate her story.

But the police are doubtful. They've questioned her .. he almost ex-husband and his girlfriend.. her mother.. and her friend. She knows she is innocent and since the police seem to be looking at only one person ... her ... she's going to do her own investigation.

She can't help but remember how she and Charlie were best friends.. always getting in trouble together. There were also secrets ... secrets that only the two of them knew.. now down to one. Cat starts receiving letters and messages that refer to this deep,dark secret.. now she worries that her secret will be exposed.

Suspenseful from start to finish, this is hard book to put down once the reading starts. There's plenty of suspects.. all with varied motives ... all deftly drawn. There are twists and turns that lead to a surprising conclusion. Action-packed page-turner.

Many thanks to the author / Quercus Books / Netgalley for the digital copy of this psychological thriller. Read and reviewed voluntarily, opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
Profile Image for Christina McDonald.
Author 9 books2,309 followers
October 4, 2021
A very exciting premise that moves with a slightly slower pace toward the big reveal. Suspenseful with twists, shady suspects and red herrings, it was a short, quick, interesting read, but it ultimately ended up being just ok for me. Psychological suspense fans might be interested in giving this one a go.
Profile Image for Kath.
2,331 reviews
March 11, 2021
I pretty much whizzed through this book in just a couple of sittings - would have probably read start to finish in one if I hadn't had to sleep and go to work!
We follow Cat as she is linked to the murder of an old school friend she hadn't seen in nearly 20 years. Someone, a witness, described her as being nearby and a photofit was circulated. Then the police turn up at her door questioning her whereabouts on the night in question. He alibi falls through but the likeness has been seen by others so she gets hounded. And then someone is sending her messages through the internet and also her son at school. Messages that link back to something in her past - a thing that connects her to the dead woman. Could the past finally be coming back to haunt her present, so many years later, and what could be so horrific that she needs it to stay buried...?
This book hit the ground running, held me captive throughout, spitting me out at the end completely satisfied. It ticked all the boxes I need for a good book to be a great read. OK so it's a bit on the formulaic side for the genre but, hey, if it ain't broke... I also managed to guess a few things ahead of time but not connect them to the people concerned. I lost track of the suspicions I had on most of the cast along the way. Changing my mind at how I feel about them, often several times.
Pacing was good and there was no superfluous waffle or padding so the story got on with itself very well. Characters were, shall we just say, interesting! Spoilers prevent me from saying more about the majority but I did sort of warm to Cat mostly although I did not agree with some of the things she did along the way - she showed herself to be alternately smart and naive - but I guess they were necessary to progress the story.
All in all, another winner from this author - really can't wait to see what she has in store for me next time. My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.
Profile Image for Samantha Gonsalves.
330 reviews27 followers
October 29, 2021
Destroy Me by Karen Cole is a good thriller that will have you guessing till the very last minute! At the very core this is a domestic thriller with a twist. I did not like the main character Catherine but I loved the plot a lot. The story flew easily & although there were times i felt I knew where this was headed, I didn't really. The moment that set the events of this book into motion was very tragic. But nothing more tragic than the untimely death that came about in Cat's own house member. I really hated that part. I did not feel that Cat grieved enough for this loss. As a character she felt very clinical & distant with minimal feelings for everyone except her son. So it was refreshing to have a central character who is not a mopey damsel in distress. The very last twist in the last chapter was a little underwhelming. I liked the plot of the book & would recommend this as a one time read!

Thank you, NetGalley, Quercus books & Karen Cole for an arc!
Profile Image for Laurie Allin.
816 reviews37 followers
May 1, 2021
Cat discovers her picture on the news as a person of interest in a murder. But she didn't do it and was otherwise engaged at the time. Who would have given her description to the police? But who knew the secret she shared with the murder victim who she hadn't seen in the 17 years since they left high school? This all sounds like the beginning of an amazing thriller but unfortunately it fell a little flat. Cat's character was just annoying and unlikable, there were a couple of interesting twists, but no real zingers, and the grand final reveals lacked any real WOW! factor.

All and all it was enjoyable, and a short quick read. Just not the kind of psychological thriller that I'll be thinking about later.

Thank you to #NetGalley and Quercus for allowing me to review a copy of #DestroyMe.
Profile Image for Katy The Sleepy Reader.
256 reviews19 followers
July 24, 2021
I received this book courtesy of Netgalley in exchange for a free review.

On the surface, I chose this book because the story sounded intriguing.

Catherine Bayntun, a recently separated mother, is horrified to see a police sketch of what looks exactly like her, down to the mole on her cheek, on the evening news. She is being sought after a woman, Charlie, is found murdered. Catherine and Charlie were school friends but she hasn't seen her in over 17 years.

Seventeen years ago they were at a party when Catherine discovered Charlie having sex with a guy she had a crush on. Catherine takes off from the party, walking home when she is chased down my Charlie in a car, a car that isn't hers, its Catherines. They have an argument and then make-up, deciding to go home as they are both very drunk. As Catherine is driving, a dog runs out in front of them and then a 5 year old little girl, Daisy. She tries to stop but its too late, suddenly theres a thud and Daisy is flying though the air. They stop and realize she's already dead. Charlie doesn't have her phone and Catherines phone battery is dead, or so she says (we find out later it wasn't). They decide the girl is already dead and an ambulance wouldn't help her, plus it would ruin their lives. So they leave. They leave a 5 year old little girl, dead in the street.

Fast forward 17 years, Catherine has a 5 year old son, Dylan. One day he comes home from school and she's checking his backpack when she finds an envelope with a photo in it of the park near her house. Then she receives another one of the road where the girl died, the exact spot. She soon realizes that someone from the girls family is targeting her. It all goes south when Charlie is murdered and she is now a suspect. She's eventually cleared but then her son is taken. Once she realizes who took him she has to get him back without alerting the police. Alerting them could harm him and would end her life as the hit and run would come out.

Daisy's sister, Beth, killed Charlie and targeted Catherine by taking Dylan, so that she would go to the police and confess her killing of Daisy. An intense car chase ensues and Catherine crashes, waking in the hospital. She finds out Beth was apprehended and Dylan is safe but she has a spinal injury and nothing will ever be the same. Her soon to be ex says he'd like to come back and take care of her and Dylan and she agrees to forgive him (he had cheated on her).

The book ends with a rehashing of a previous entry where Catherine was remembering the night she hit Daisy. She tells Charlie that her phone battery is dead but it wasn't. She could have called an ambulance but chose not to to save her own life.

I really disliked the ending. I felt it didn't really wrap anything up. Yes, the woman targeting her was arrested but then Catherine didn't have to take responsibility for the murder of a 5 year old. I don't care if it was 17 years ago. As a mom, I don't know that I could have gotten past that. It is a quick read but I'm not sure if I will read anything else from this author, I will have to play it by ear.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Domi.
317 reviews2 followers
April 6, 2021
A nice enough mystery where all of sudden a recently separated mother becomes the focus in a murder investigation based on a photo fit putting her at the scene of the crime and it turns out the victim is an old friend with whom she shared a terrible secret.
The idea was intrigueing and I managed to fly through this book, several plot twists are thrown the readers way so just when you think you've got it figured out something else comes up and you realise it's not quite as you expected.
On the downside there were some inconsistencies in the story and I could have done without the obssessive body shaming every 2 pages since in my opinion this didn't play a relevant role. At all.
The main character Cat was a person I severely disliked so the ending was unnecessary if you ask me, just one twist too many. But if you're looking for a fast paced mystery which will keep you guessing about the villain for a long time, this is the book for you.

An ARC was provided by Netgalley in exchange for a honest review. ***
Profile Image for Chanel Lindsay.
551 reviews7 followers
March 27, 2021
I would firstly like to thank Netgalley and the publishers for allowing me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

I just sped through this one!
It's not my favourite book from this author but it was certainly an enjoyable one. Fast-paced, straight to the story, intriguing from the get go, and a scarily intense plot, this book had me on the edge of my seat throughout.
I didn't massively feel for Cat (at least not for the whole book), but I did feel sorry for 5-year-old Dylan. What a nightmare!
With plenty of clues, some sudden twists and turns, and a story that had me guessing the whole way through, I would definitely recommend this one.
Profile Image for Helen Latto.
127 reviews2 followers
March 20, 2021
I couldn’t put this book down. What would you do if you saw your face on the news as the suspect in a murder inquiry and to make things worse the victim is someone you knew. A real page turner of a thriller which keeps you guessing until the end.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for an advanced digital copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Leona.
938 reviews
March 20, 2021
This was an excellent suspense thriller that I was hooked on from the very start. I was completely gripped by the storyline and had absolutely no idea who the perpetrator was until they were finally revealed. I highly recommend this book for fans of psychological/suspense thriller.
Profile Image for Federica.
430 reviews9 followers
March 11, 2021
I absolutely loved this book!
I got hooked right from the start both by the plot and the excellent writing. It's full of twists and turns that literally leave you guessing right till the very end.
Cat has her flows, but you can't but feel her emotions and almost understand (but not forgive) her mistakes.
I couldn't put it down and will definetly read other books by this author.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Ghada.
507 reviews28 followers
March 14, 2021
Thanks NetGalley, Quercus Books and Karen Cole for an ARC to review.
A fast paced thriller who will keep you engaged till the end.
When Cat finds out she is a suspect in a murder case her life goes off track and she starts questioning her own sanity, did she really kill Charlie- the friend she hasn't seen in years?
I would love to read more for the author.
245 reviews4 followers
March 12, 2021
I liked the concept for this - how crazy would it be if you saw a photofit of a murderer on TV and it was you?! Especially if you knew the victim.

The good thing about the book is that it was quite short and fast-paced to match. The tension was good and it was believable that the main character could be in real danger.

The less good things are that even though the book was short, there was still some unnecessary padding. The main character's constant gripes about her appearance were grating. To me it was obvious that the 'bad guy' had to be one of two characters so there wasn't much in the way of surprise there. I mentioned before that a big positive of the book was that you felt the danger for the main character, but I found it a bit hard to care when it becomes increasingly obvious that she's actually a dreadful person who deserves all she gets and then some.

I will always give a lower rating to books which introduce a pet only to kill it off as a means to get at the owner. It's overdone and only used as a shock tactic. It's a cheap plot device and shows lack of imagination as far as I'm concerned.

Overall this wasn't really for me. It's a very quick read though and most of the reviews seem to be glowing so I would encourage anyone else to read it for themselves.
Profile Image for Dee.
262 reviews5 followers
July 4, 2021
⭐️ 4 ⭐️

Many thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and Karen Cole for the eARC, in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

An easy, enjoyable read with plenty of suspense. Lots of twists and turns and red herrings to keep you guessing right to the end. I thought I had the ending all figured out, but I was wrong.
I have read other books recently with a similar sort of back story, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend.

Profile Image for Ashley.
49 reviews
August 10, 2021
A huge thank you to the author and publisher for providing an e-ARC via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion regarding the book.

Catherine, a newly single mother, is exhausted. Not only is she raising a five year old son, Dylan, five days a week, but she is also dealing with the recent end to her marriage. She's mulling over her ex's infidelity and how she largely believes her weight was the problem when her son calls her attention to the television, telling her he's just seen her on the screen. Sure enough, there's a photofit of her, released by the police who are attempting to find the person who murdered a woman named Charlotte. As luck would have it, Charlie is an estranged friend of Cat's whom she has not spoken to or seen in seventeen years. Before Cat can ever get a handle on how she's become involved as a primary suspect, she begins receiving ominous photographs from a random man who lives in a completely different country. Cat must prove she is innocent to the police, as well as her entire town who have all seen the photofit and reached their own conclusion, all the while trying to find out how her past has come to play a huge role in Charlie's death, and her torment.

Destroy Me by Karen Cole is a thrilling tale of a mother trying to return her life to normal, while it seems someone is hellbent on serving her a heaping plate of "karma". Cole does an excellent job of keeping readers intrigued, of crafting the character Catherine to be relatable and understandable while ensure the reader never guesses the actual culprit. In the end, I hadn't guessed who could have been involved so overall the mystery was never broken, though I will advise readers that there can be lulls in interest as the novel tends to slow as the discussion begins to focus on Cat's destroyed love life (which is still interesting, but the pacing feels a bit rushed in their separation and his leap to start a new life).

I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy realistic mystery thrillers, who enjoy identifying with characters all the while still being surprised by the overall outcome of said character's tale.
Profile Image for Žaba Čita Novine.
270 reviews6 followers
March 28, 2021
Well, this was bad - naive and sloppy.

It was an easy and quick read, I'll give it that. It was mostly plot oriented and fast paced, so it was simple to go through and I wasn't bored so much reading it.

But, there were some really stupid decisions, sloppy doing, some very bad planning and plot wholes, and I just wanted to scream at the main character all the time.
Besides, she was way too obsessed with her looks and her weight and it wasn't at all relevant to her personality or to the plot that I have no idea why the author found that so important to push on every second page.

As I already said, I just couldn't bring myself to root for the main character as she was such a horrible person, and I found her even more disgusting after the final chapter.
And none of the things that she said or done made much sense to me.
For example,

Just way, waaaaaaaaaaaay too many nonsense here for me to have liked the book.

But it is a quick and fast-paced read, so by all means, give it a try!

A big thank you to Quercus Books and NetGalley for providing me with an early copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Susy Whitney.
83 reviews3 followers
July 27, 2021
This was a fast read! I was eager to learn what the outcome would be. Catherine (Cat) is watching the evening news and finds herself staring at her own face as a suspect in a murder case. The murder occurred close to her house AND she knew the victim. But Cat is innocent! After being questioned by the police and feeling that they just aren't doing enough to find the real killer, she begins to dig into the murder. But maybe things should have been left alone. Cat and the murder victim share a dark secret. Does Cat really want to open up the past?
Cat is a soon to be divorced mother of a 5 year old. Her son is just beginning school in a school with a good reputation. Since her photo has been linked to this recent murder, Cat is apprehensive to be seen in public. When another mother befriends her, she is unsure of her intentions. While at her house for a play date, Cat meets her husband, Luke. Cat already knows Luke......how does he fit into this murder investigation?
Once Cat sees her photo on the news, her decision making seems to become extremely poor! Although I enjoyed the book and couldn't wait to see what would happen, Cat makes some really stupid decisions. She isn't a very likeable main character. The secret from her past, also made me dislike her. I didn't find her to have many redeeming characteristics. I would have preferred an alternate ending, where Cat has to pay for her past.
Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and Karen Cole for the opportunity to read this book prior to its release.
Profile Image for Cassie The Ghost.
109 reviews7 followers
March 26, 2021
Thank You to NetGalley and Karen Cole/Quercus for giving me the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review.

This is a first Karen Cole for me so I wasn't 100% how I was going to jive with the author's writing style. The narrative speaks in first person, present tense which at first I was unsure of (usually isn't my cup of tea) but I like to keep going for a bit to make sure I didn't miss on a good thing. And I can honestly say, I'm glad I didn't. While the book starts of a bit slow - i.e. getting to know characters, learning of Cat and her weight issues (which at the time was brought up a little too much in the beginning but thankfully died down the further the story went) became like an addiction and I ended up reading more pages than I was used to so fast. At one point, I didn't remember getting from chapter 8 to suddenly chapter 21. It flies by and you ARE at the seat of your pants.

I love the interaction between each "suspect" and how Cat has to be careful about who or what she does or says. The ending though - Oof. That, I was not expecting in the slightest. The state of Cat or that little last reveal. Overall, I will most definitely be reading more of Karen Cole in the future.

So thank you again for the opportunity!
Profile Image for Melanie.
87 reviews1 follower
August 4, 2021
*** Minor spoiler at the end of this review.

Cat is a recently divorced mother, who sees herself on the TV on day in the news. She is the suspect in the murder investigation of her old high school friend, and has few friends now who she can turn to. The police don't believe her, her mother wants to pretend it's not happening, her ex-husband isn't exactly helpful, and the parents at her son's school are very suspicious of her.

Cat decides to investigate by herself to find some answers, as a stranger in Facebook sends her pictures of places from an event in the past she wants to forgot. Who is this stranger? How does he know what happened that night? And can Cat find the real killer before something happens to her or her son?

I rated this book 4/5 stars. The beginning was a tad slow for me and it took a while for the story to build. About half way through I became invested and needed to find out what would happen to Cat and her family.

Thank you to NetGalley and and author for giving me the chance to read and review this book.

** Spolier - if you are anything like me, I like to know ahead of time about pet deaths. The dog, Delilah, is killed in the last 1/4 of the book. It's not overly upsetting/emotional, but it does happen.
237 reviews
September 16, 2021
This is a novel that will quickly hook you and keep you glued to the pages as the story slowly unfolds. This book has very quick pacing so you won’t be able to look away. It’s a very quick read because of the quick plotting. The premise sounds so bizarre, why did a witness place Cat at the scene of a murder? Cat is a normal British mum who is still reeling from her recent separation from her husband and finding herself suddenly a single mother of a five year old son. Who could think she’s a murderer? Suddenly she’s faced with this hanging over her head and the realization of what it could mean. This is not a perfect novel but I do think its flaws, like for me I didn’t care about her ex-husband and even Cat was not all that compelling, are made up for by it’s quick pacing and believable plotting. It all makes sense and is not one of those novels that tries to be tricky without making sense. The best novels for me are the ones that hold my interest and this very much succeeded. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Profile Image for Katy.
169 reviews
July 12, 2022
Destroy Me
by Karen Cole
4.5 stars

Newly separated and on her own with her 5-year-old son, Cat is starting to adjust and has a better handle on her anxiety and weight loss. Then one day she sees that her childhood best friend was murdered and she's been described to the police as a suspect. Soon after Cat's life gets turned upside down. Will she be able to keep her past hidden or does she need to confess something that happened over 17 years ago.

This was a quick suspenseful read, I wouldn't have guessed who it was no matter what. I had a few guesses but got them all wrong. I enjoyed Karen's writing she had me sitting on the edge of my seat trying to figure out who, what, where, and why. There were a few characters I thought weren't needed the story would have moved on without them. I felt like Cat was a little too much at times and her past wow. Wasnt the ending I was hoping for at all. I didn't care for it I mean karma did come back around on everyone though.
Profile Image for Kara Watson.
28 reviews2 followers
March 18, 2021
HOLY COW I breezed through this book in 2 days! It would have been less than that, but a little thing called work and life got in the way.
This book hooked me from the beginning! One of my biggest fears in life is getting framed for a crime I didn't commit, so I don't blame Cat for panicking when she sees a police sketch of a murder suspect on the news that looks exactly like her! Things get worse when she discovers that the victim was her childhood BFF, who she shared a dark secret with. Cat starts receiving letters and messages referencing this secret, which puts her on even higher alert. Not only is Cat suspected of her former friend's murder, now she has to worry about an event from her past resurfacing.
Thanks to NetGalley, Karen Cole, and Quercus for my ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Rohase Piercy.
Author 7 books49 followers
July 22, 2021
What do you do if you suddenly see a photo-fit of yourself on the news, and the police want to interview you in connection with a murder that you know nothing about? Well, presumably you go down to the police station and set the matter straight, especially if you have a water-tight alibi and were nowhere near the place in question.
That's not what newly separated mother Catherine Bayntun does in this fast-paced thriller though, because it just so happens that the murder victim is a former close friend, whom she hasn't seen since they parted company on leaving school sharing a dark secret that nobody knows about but themselves - or do they?
I found this a great read, and I like Karen Cole's writing style, with scenes revisited and all the little details teased out one by one as Cat's guilty past is gradually exposed. Will definitely read more from this author!
Profile Image for Amanda.
28 reviews1 follower
August 15, 2021
I love a quick mystery for a weekend read and this new book (released on paperback Aug 31) definitely checked the box! Imagine you’re watching the evening news and you learn an old, estranged friend from high school is found slain in her apartment. Then, even more shockingly, when the news station shows the illustration of the suspected murderer, it’s very clearly and unmistakably a picture of… you. I really felt the panic and confusion of the protagonist, and it definitely made me think “what would I do in this situation?” Destroy Me is sure to be well-received and I’m eager to read more by this new-to-me author Karen Cole! The writing is just so-so but sometimes you don’t want something super flowery and detailed and you just want to follow the plot to figure out what the heck happened. Karen Cole does just that.
Profile Image for Amanda.
28 reviews1 follower
August 16, 2021
I love a quick mystery for a weekend read and this new book (released on paperback Aug 31) definitely checked the box! Imagine you’re watching the evening news and you learn an old, estranged friend from high school is found slain in her apartment. Then, even more shockingly, when the news station shows the illustration of the suspected murderer, it’s very clearly and unmistakably a picture of… you. I really felt the panic and confusion of the protagonist, and it definitely made me think “what would I do in this situation?” Destroy Me is sure to be well-received and I’m eager to read more by this new-to-me author Karen Cole! The writing is just so-so but sometimes you don’t want something super flowery and detailed and you just want to follow the plot to figure out what the heck happened. Karen Cole does just that.
Profile Image for Zoe.
1,750 reviews157 followers
September 4, 2021
Brisk, relentless, and cunning!⁣

𝐃𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐨𝐲 𝐌𝐞 is a menacing, crafty, pacey tale that takes you into the life of newly separated, single mom Cat Bayntun as her world suddenly gets turned upside down when a photofit that looks just like her makes her the prime suspect in the heinous murder of a woman she not only had a past with but with whom she shared a dark, dangerous secret.⁣

The writing is tense and tight. The characters are troubled, complex, and secretive. And the plot, using flashbacks to the past, is an ominous mix of twists, turns, surprises, shocking revelations, familial drama, secrets, deception, obsession, tragedy, and murder.⁣

Overall, 𝐃𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐨𝐲 𝐌𝐞 is an intense, quick, highly suspenseful read by Cole that does a good job of reminding us that pain and hatred can fester for years, and revenge is, as the famous saying goes, often best served cold.⁣

Thank you to Mobius Books US for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Erika.
683 reviews11 followers
March 12, 2021
Thanks to Netgalley and Quercus for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Cat, is mom to 5 year old Dylan and estranged from her husband when she sees her picture on the tv news as a suspect in a murder. Turns out the murdered woman was Cat's high school friend with whom she lost touch many years ago, after a very dark experience that she has kept a secret every since.

I really loved this author's 2 previous novels and liked the one before that. I think this one wasn't quite as good as the rest. It was short and the story was good enough and the outcome worked, and I didn't figure it out, but it was just too much of the same story I have read many times. Nothing new. But I do really like this author and this book was not bad at all. I look forward to her next novel.
Profile Image for Linda Tilling.
544 reviews22 followers
March 27, 2021
Cat panics when she sees a photofit of a murder suspect flash up on the news. It looks exactly like her, and to make matters worse, the victim is her childhood best friend, Charlie.
The following day, the police arrive at her doorstep to question her. She hadn't seen or spoken to Charlie in years, but could the secrets of their past finally be coming back to haunt her?
Desperate to find out who gave the police her description and to protect her five-year-old son, Cat investigates. She knows she is innocent and will stop at nothing to prove it. But some secrets are best left buried... "

This book had all the hallmarks of being a great psychological thriller and it did not disappoint (until the last couple of chapters which I felt were a bit of a let down for me, personally).

However, the story of Cat and who was out to get her raced along at a great pace and was certainly an edge of the sea read and I thought the layer upon layer of the story building up to the final reveal at the end was great. Lots of clues along the way, and certainly some pages that were filled with a mother's worst nightmare.

I will definitely look out for more books by Karen Cole, thanks NetGalley for introducing me to a new Author.
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