EXCERPT: When I turn around I see there are lots of parents on the playground now. They all seem to be watching me with interest, and it’s eerily quiet compared to the usual background chatter at pick up time.
I head for the Buckingham mums group, immediately noticing that Tanya isn’t among them. I nod to a couple of parents I recognize on my way over, but I can’t fail to notice there’s a definite chill in the air, despite the warmth of the sunshine.
I stop in my tracks as I see someone walking towards me. Small and thin, Jasper’s mum’s face is twisted and pale.
‘The other parents told me! I know all about you . . . who you are,’ she says breathlessly. ‘You had no right to be near my son. Don’t you think he has enough problems?’
‘Charlie,’ I say calmly, ignoring the rush of heat in my face. ‘I owe you and Jasper an apology. Shall we take this inside?’
I’m desperate to avoid putting on a show for everyone here.
‘Is it true?’ she says, her voice cold. ‘What they’re saying about you?’
ABOUT THIS BOOK: Janey Markham is thrilled to be moving with her family to Buckingham Crescent, the smartest address in a desirable suburban town.
Worried she’ll be excluded by the glossy local mothers, Janey is thrilled when she meets Tanya, the kind of woman she has always looked up to. Tanya takes Janey under her wing, and her teenage daughter Angel is amazing with Janey’s little boy. As Janey and Tanya grow closer, Janey feels she can finally leave her troubled past behind.
But then everything changes…
In a weak moment over a bottle of wine, Janey finds herself telling Tanya her most shocking secret. Why wouldn’t she trust her new friend?
The following day, Janey sees Angel, with a man old enough to be her father, pushing someone into a car. The next day a body is found and police appeal for witnesses – and share a picture of the same car…
When Janey tells Tanya she is going to the police, Tanya turns threatening. She’ll stop at nothing to defend Angel, even if her daughter is guilty. If Janey says anything, Tanya will make sure that her dark secret gets out.
Janey faces an impossible choice. Stay quiet about what she saw that terrible day. Or speak up, and destroy the family she has worked so hard to protect…
MY THOUGHTS: I tend to run hot and cold with Kim Slater’s books. Never icy cold, because she’s a good writer, but lukewarm. And I am afraid that I am only lukewarm about her latest, Little Whispers.
There is a lot of dialogue in this book, and I mean a lot, and it is exceedingly difficult to create an atmosphere by dialogue alone. That is what is missing from Little Whispers – atmosphere. It is decidedly absent despite the Real Housewives merging with a Trumpesque business empire setting. Or perhaps because of it.
I really didn’t warm to any of the characters, other than Angel, the teenage daughter of Tanya, spoiled but with an ambition her mother regards as beneath her. I found Janey quite immature in an ‘I want, I want, I want it all’ kind of way, and yet she was so wonderful with Jasper.
The overall idea was great. I just think it could have been done better. The occasional flashbacks with Susan didn’t add a lot to the story and, although it all ties in at the end, were repetitive and not particularly useful.
This is a fast, easy read. Ideal for that situation where you need a read that is not too demanding.
This is not a psychological thriller. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Nor is it breathtaking. It is an okay read, but not one that I will be rushing to recommend. Slater can write and has written much better.
#LittleWhispers #NetGalley #Bookouture
THE AUTHOR: For many years, Kim sent her work out to literary agents and collected an impressive stack of rejection slips. At the age of 40 she went back to Nottingham Trent University and now has an MA in Creative Writing.
Before graduating in 2012, she gained literary agent representation and a book deal. As Kim says, ‘it was a fairytale … at the end of a very long road!’
Kim is a full-time writer and lives in Nottinghamshire with her husband.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Bookouture via NetGalley for providing a digital ARC of Little Whispers by K.L. Slater for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com
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