The Dare by Lesley Kara

EXCERPT: Suddenly, I hate Alice Dawson. I hate her because she isn’t telling me something. I hate her because she’s pretty and doesn’t wear glasses or have frizzy red hair or epilepsy. I hate her so much I can barely breathe. I accuse her of being two-faced – the ultimate insult – and we start screaming at each other. Alice marches off towards the next stile and it’s as much as I can do to keep up with her. We’re arguing the whole time: me hurling insults at Alice’s back, Alice stopping every so often to glare at me over her shoulder and lobbing them straight back. By the time we reach the crossing, we’re running out of horrible things to say to each other.

We’ve had rows before, where one or other of us has stormed off – usually me to be honest – but we’ve always made up in the end. Even after the really bad one we had last month. This time seems different. More final.

And that’s when everything goes fuzzy. When the clear blue of the sky and the vivid greens of the grass and trees collide in a messy blur and the only sound in my ears is the vibration of the track. The crescendo of that long metallic note filling my head unbearable noise.

The next thing I know, I’m sitting in a puddle of wee by the side of the track and a train has stopped. But trains never stop here. It’s the middle of a field.

I’m feeling all groggy. Where’s Alice? What’s happened?

Then I see one of the sleeves of her denim jacket, caught up in the branches of a bush. Only . . . only it’s not just a sleeve. Hot bile rushes out of my mouth and everything goes black.

ABOUT ‘THE DARE’: As a child, it was just a game. As an adult, it was a living nightmare.

When teenage friends Lizzie and Alice decide to head off for a walk in the countryside, they are blissfully unaware that this will be their final day together – and that only Lizzie will come back alive.

Lizzie has no memory of what happened in the moments before Alice died, she only knows that it must have been a tragic accident. But as she tries to cope with her grief, she is shocked to find herself alienated from Alice’s friends and relatives. They are convinced she somehow had a part to play in her friend’s death.

Twelve years later, unpacking boxes in the new home she shares with her fiancé, Lizzie is horrified to find traumatic memories and paranoia suddenly surfacing. Is the trauma of the accident finally catching up with her, or could someone be trying to threaten her new-found happiness?

Twelve years is a long time to wait, when you’re planning the perfect revenge . . .

MY THOUGHTS: The Dare is an entertaining and easy read from start to finish. The timeline switches between 2007 and 2019, and is told mostly from Lizzie’s point of view with an increasing number of inserts from the unknown other person as the book progresses.

I am impressed that the author chose to inflict epilepsy on Lizzie – it’s not a ‘fashionable’ affliction, not one that we read about often. It is often misunderstood, and even feared. Kara has done an excellent job of portraying the fears and insecurities that epileptics experience every day.

The Dare is an addictive and gripping read. I read it every moment I could. It took me some time to figure out what was going on, and even then my sympathies wavered.

This is a well thought out plot that is also well executed with believable twists and a shocking finale.

I am excited when I see that this author is releasing a new book, and The Dare definitely didn’t disappoint.


#TheDare #NetGalley #LesleyKaraAuthor @LesleyKara @BantamPress

#contemporaryfiction #mystery #psychologicalthriller #suspense

THE AUTHOR: Lesley Kara is an alumna of the Faber Academy ‘Writing a Novel’ course. She lives on the North Essex coast.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Random House UK, Transworld Publishers, Bantam Press via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Dare by Lesley Kara 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 profile page or the about page on

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Author: sandysbookaday

I love good quality chocolate. I love the ocean and love to be in, on or beside it. I read any and every where. I am a proud mum and Nana. I like wine, gin, Southern Comfort, a cold Heineken on a hot day. I am very versatile like that. I cross stitch, do jigsaws, garden, and work on a farm. I am an occasional scribbled. I have far too many books I want to read to ever find the time to die. I am an active member of Goodreads as Sandy *the world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* and review on Amazon under the name Sandyj21. My Goodreads reviews are automatically linked to my Facebook page. Groups I belong to and participate in on Goodreads include: The Mystery, Crime and Thriller Group; Mysteries and Crime Thrillers; Psychological Thrillers; Reading for Pleasure; Crime Detective Mystery Thrillers; English Mysteries; Dead Good Crime; Kindle English Mystery, All About Books and NZ Readers. April 2016 I made the Top 1% of Goodreads reviewers (As follows) Hello Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*, In our community of readers, you stand out in a notable way: You're one of the top 1% of reviewers on Goodreads! With every rave and every pan, with every excited GIF and every critical assessment, you've helped the Goodreads community get closer to a very important milestone – the 50 Million Reviews mark!

4 thoughts on “The Dare by Lesley Kara”

  1. Excellent review Sandy, this sounds like a book that I would enjoy. Interesting about the affliction of Epilepsy. You are right, I don’t think I have read a book where someone has it, yet I know people that do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My youngest son has epilepsy Carla. He developed it aged 4. He was a severe epileptic throughout his childhood and teenage years. He still has night seizures when he is overtired, but lives a very full life. He surfs, dives, and is a boilermaker by trade. We always encouraged him not to let epilepsy define him. He sure took that to heart! 🤣😂❤

      Liked by 1 person

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