A brilliant book… I am having a book hangover after a long time.. There is a stillness in me along with a restlessness. This book deals with the other side of the coin.
Mud sticks!! That is a statement of fact. Reputation, belief, trust all take years to develop and a second and few loose words to crash.
Nick, a creative art teacher and an actor, has a beautiful family with Marina and two kids Luca and Ava. Life is wonderful, filled with happiness. Dinner is a place of warmth, good food, and sharing of their love. Till the doorbell rings…
It’s the POLICE!! Nick has been accused by his student of sexually assaulting her.
Life as they know it is over. Then it is a matter of he said, she said. Such an accusation is not easy to disprove…
The story revolves around the repercussions of one word uttered. The police, child protective services, social services all are forced to act. The media, the social media take slingshots at Nick and family. Everyone is affected.
This is my first book by author Lisa Ballantyne, and she blew me away with the story, with the words, with the emotions. Her characterizations pulled me into the book from the first page. The suspense in the plot kept me stuck to this book. The fear for both the characters, the need to know the truth kept me going till the end.
The whole story is a difficult concept to write, but Lisa has pulled it off. The hidden secrets slowly revealing itself, the invariable doubts which come forth, friends and family behaving differently with Nick made this book riveting. Is he really innocent? Is he hiding something?
On the other hand, Angela, the 12 year old child is filled with so much anger that it is easy to know something has happened with her, something bad. She has her own secrets which make her lash out, to hurt others. What has been done to her?
Lisa has seen to it that the twists occur at the right time to make the readers gasp. She has added the right shade of grey to the characters that keep them in shade. The twilight zone is the most difficult place to be in. It is difficult to know which scene is real and which is a mirage.
There are few minor scenes from the medical point of view which I didn’t agree with. Rest of the book flows well to make this ONE OF MY MOST EXCITING READS!!
I received an ARC from NetGalley and publisher, and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.
My rating : 4.5 stars
About the Author
Lisa Ballantyne is the author of the Edgar Award-nominated The Guilty One which was translated into nearly thirty languages. Her second novel, Redemption Road, was a USA Today Bestseller. Originally from Armadale, in Scotland, she now lives in Glasgow.
While Nick Dean is enjoying an evening at home with his family, he is blissfully unaware that one of his pupils has just placed an allegation of abuse against him – and that Nick’s imminent arrest will see the start of everything he knows and loves disintegrating around him.
When Angela Furness decides that enough is enough – she hates her parents, hates her friends and, most of all, despises what has recently happened at school – she does the only thing she knows will get her attention: calls the police. But Angela is unaware that the shocking story she is about to tell will see her life begin to topple.
Because, once you’ve said what you’ve said, there’s no way back, right? No matter if you’re innocent or guilty.
Publication date : 2nd August, 2018
Publisher : Little Brown Book Group UK