Sunday 26 March 2017

TATTLETALE by Sarah J. Naughton

The perfect brother.
The perfect fiance.
The perfect revenge.

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 fiance Jody, and gradually pieces together the ruins of the life she left behind. But the pieces don't quite seem to fit...

I'm a sucker for psychological thrillers, so of course I was interested in checking this out...

Jody's life hasn't been easy. She has a lot of terrible haunting memories, horrible physical scars, and even worse emotional ones. The day the man she loves more than anything/anyone else in the world ends up in the hospital, her fragile life crumbles around her.

Mags is a successful lawyer in Vegas. After escaping the memories of a horrible childhood, she hasn't looked back. So when she gets a call to tell her Abe, her estranged brother, is in the hospital she heads back to London. Not only is she forced to face her uncomfortable past but, when she gets to his flat, she starts to realise something isn't quite right.

The more Mags digs, the more lies she uncovers, and gets deeper into her brother's life...

Yikes! This book hooked me instantly. 

It starts in a strange, yet intriguing way that introduces all the main characters in such a jumbled way the first three chapters serve as puzzle pieces. Pieces that start coming together as Mags uncovers more about her brother and the residents of the building he lived in.

The story unfolds in the POV of several characters--some start out as a mystery--and totally work. I loved how Mags's cold exterior also concealed a damaged woman who found it easier to focus on ambition. I loved how Jody came across as weak and useless, but was really a survivor. And Mira added another, alternate perspective to an already great story.

As for Abe, he might have been absent for most of the story, but he was so interesting. The mystery at the core of the story is: what really happened to Abe? And it's a hard and page-turning path. It takes some great writing and characterisation to breathe so much life into a character who's in a coma.

Oh, and I have to mention St Jerome's because this former church felt like another long-suffering character in this book. The atmosphere is as vivid as the colourful residents and the many secrets they keep.

Tattletale is a very sad and twisted psychological thriller that reveals the very deep and awful echoes childhood abuse has on adults. Some scars never fade, but they sure ruin lives. This is such a well-written story. The characters in this book perfectly portray just how strongly the echoes of the past can burrow. And sometimes, actually follow you. 

This is also a story about family, friendship, sacrifice and loyalty. Even though the disturbing subject matter was uncomfortable, made me angry and very sad, I loved this heartbreaking book. I really did.

Tattletale, March 2017, ISBN 9781409166948, Trapeze

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