Tattletale by Sarah J Naughton @sarahjnaughton

One day changes Jody’s life forever.
She has shut herself down, haunted by her memories and unable to trust anyone. But then she meets Abe, the perfect stranger next door and suddenly life seems full of possibility and hope.

One day changes Mags’s life forever.
After years of estrangement from her family, Mags receives a shocking phone call. Her brother Abe is in hospital and no-one knows what happened to him. She meets his fiancé Jody, and gradually pieces together the ruins of the life she left behind. But the pieces don’t quite seem to fit…

No one believes a liar, even when they’re telling the truth.  That’s the tagline of Tattletale.  Mags is a lawyer in Las Vegas, although originally from Scotland.  When her estranged brother, Abe, has an accident she, as his named next of kin, comes home to deal with the aftermath and meets Jody, his fiancée.  Jody is a damaged person and as Mags discovers more about her brother’s relationship she starts to think things don’t quite ring true.

This is a fast-paced psychological thriller, told by Jody, Mags and Mira, who is Jody and Abe’s neighbour at St Jerome’s, a block of flats in a former church.  The flats themselves form a sinister backdrop to the story and provide an atmospheric setting for the events to play out against.  Mags is a strong woman and for the most part I liked her.  Jody took quite a bit of warming to for me.  I have to say that none of the characters are particularly endearing but I was compelled by their stories.

There are some truly shocking parts to the story and some very graphic scenes.  I did find it disturbing and unsettling but they’re integral to the plot and certainly make it a hard-hitting book.

There’s some very clever and tight plotting going on here, and a lot of twists and turns that I didn’t manage to second guess.  Tattletale is a superb title as there is lie upon lie being told.  Perhaps the really clever part is the element of doubt the author creates in not telling us sometimes who is narrating and leaving it open for the reader to try and come to their own conclusions.

I know that Sarah J Naughton is already an established thriller writer for children and Costa nominated too, but with Tattletale she is setting herself up nicely as an writer for adults too.  It sits well amongst others in the genre.

With thanks to the publishers and Amazon Vine for the review copy.  Tattletale is published on 23rd March 2017 by Trapeze.

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