Tattletale by Sarah J Naughton is our review today. Trapeze Books published it in March 2017. Linda Tilling is here today with her review. Read on to find out more.
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…
My 3* review for Tattletale by Sarah J. Naughton. The front cover of the book gives you snippets of “The perfect, brother, the perfect fiance and the perfect revenge?” Then the back cover hits you with “Only a Liar knows the Truth”. And the title of the book doesn’t give much away either.
The book begins with a Before Chapter, then an After Chapter and then the book continues with each of the 42 short chapters written by different people varying from Abe, who apparently tried to commit suicide and is now in a critical condition in hospital, his fiance Jody who considered him to be the most perfect boyfriend, his long lost sister Mags who returns home to London from America after his death, and a neighbour Mira. I found this and the timeline changes quite confusing at first, and in fact, I re-read the Before and After chapters, a few times during the book just to see where they fit it. So for me, the story was very confusing until at least halfway through the book, however, it did add to the mystery and intrigue of what actually happened that night when Abe died and also in the months leading up to it.
I did not like Mags, the lawyer from America who thought she could work the case for the British Police, and the palpable tension between her and Jody added another dimension to the story as they both tried to outdo each other with how much they knew and cared for Abe, but of course you are aware all the way through the book that people are lying. As anyone who regularly reads psychological thrillers knows, there is no such thing as the truth, only the stories we choose to tell to ourselves and ultimately to others to convince them of Our truth. Mags decides to stay in Abe’s flat for a few weeks while he is in hospital, and gradually pieces together the details of Abe’s life, but the pieces don’t quite seem to fit.
The book has very dark undertones to it and there are graphic descriptions and some references to some parental abuse, gay sex, rape, so be warned that in places this book makes very uncomfortable reading, however, it is an essential part of both the backstory and what actually happened to Abe and so the Author can be forgiven for it, in my opinion. It helped to make you feel and understand the heartbreak, sadness and motivations behind the behaviours of the characters and exactly what made them the people they are today and why they acted as they did.
The ending was a good conclusion to the story and in fact, I had no idea which way the Author was going to take us, which is always a bonus for me. When I started it, I was struggling to work out who was who, who was lying and what was going on both at the present time and historically and I must admit to getting so confused it spoiled it a bit for me. I know it needs to drip feed you to not give too much away, but I needed a bit of guidance in places, sorry.
Linda Tilling on behalf of Love Books Group
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