The Rumour by Lesley Kara #NetGalley #BookReview @TransworldBooks @LesleyKara

the rumour

Author: Lesley Kara

Genre: Psychological Thriller 

Format: Paperback 368 pages

Release Date:  27 December 2018

Publisher: Transworld Publishers

I would like to thank the publisher and the author for the opportunity to read this book via NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


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 forty-eight years ago – no photos of her exist since her release as a young woman.

So who is the supposedly reformed killer who now lives among them? How dangerous can one rumour become? And how far will Joanna go to protect her loved ones from harm, when she realizes what it is she’s unleashed?

My Thoughts

Sally McGowan, at just five years old, became an infamous killer, when a game gone wrong  resulted in her stabbing her friend Robbie leading to his death. Huge media coverage at the time of the trial and the subsequent backlash at Sally for what she had done meant that years later upon her release, Sally was placed in witness protection. So much time had passed that no one knows what Sally looks like now, or where she is living. Until that is, rumours start to fly around the small sleepy town of Flinstead that Sally could be living among them. 

Whilst reading this book I couldn’t help but draw similarities to the horrific tragedy of the murder of James Bulger back in 1993 and then the subsequent media attention that was drawn when the two boys who murdered him were released back into society with new identities. This book explores very similar aspects to this real life event. 

This story shows how a rumour, innocently told between mothers at the playground gates, has devastating consequences. Jo, who happens to be the catalyst of the rumour in this story seems like such a nice woman. She loves her son deeply and innocently passes the rumour on in the hopes that by making friends with some of the other mums that her child will be invited round their children’s house for play dates and such. I really liked Jo, she is a very relatable character, just like all mums out there she just wants what’s best for her son. 

I personally found the book slightly slow in places around the the middle of the story, but my of my did the ending make up for it. There is a pretty clever twist at the end which I didn’t anticipate even though I had pretty much suspected every other character at one point or another. There are quite a few characters in this book and many of the ‘mums’ all seem to blend into each other, but as they don’t play big parts it’s not an aspect that makes the story difficult to follow, on the contrary, I thought this book was well plotted, the characters who matter are the ones I remembered and these were the ones which were well developed throughout the book. 

Overall a great book which made me start thinking about a lot of different topics. I would recommend to all psychological thriller fans. 

About the Author

Lesley Kara is an alumna of the Faber Academy ‘Writing a Novel’ course. She lives on the North Essex coast. The Rumour is her first novel. 

For more reviews and updates you can follow me on Twitter @BooksBucks

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Shalini says:

    I loved your review… I had similar thoughts too about this book

    Liked by 1 person

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