*I received an arc copy via the publisher in return for an honest review*
Anything You Do Say by Gillian McAllister
A tense thriller, perfect for fans of BBC’s Doctor Foster.
‘I could run, or I could stay and call him an ambulance. Now it is decision time . . . ‘
It’s the end of the night. You’re walking home on your own.
Then you hear the sound every woman dreads. Footsteps. Behind you. Coming fast.
You’re sure it’s him – the man from the bar who wouldn’t leave you alone.
You make a snap decision. You turn. You push. Your pursuer tumbles down the steps. He lies motionless, face-down on the floor.
Wait for the police to arrive. For judgement, for justice, whatever that may be. You just hope you husband, family and friends, everyone you love, will stand by you.
Stay silent. You didn’t mean to do it. You were scared, you panicked. And no one saw. No one will ever know. If you leave now. If you keep quiet. Forever.
Which is it to be?
“It starts with a selfie”
Protagonist Joanna is out in a bar, in London with best friend Laura. They laugh and joke, posing for a selfie with a random man. They treat the random man (Sadiq) rather coldly, leaving his to retaliate in a rather pushy manner. They leave the bar and part their ways and that is when the unpredictable moment occurs……..
“You don’t want to be talking to me like that” Sadiq
Joanna take her path which leads her alone, down by a canal. She begins to feel followed and anxious. She takes her phone out and calls her husband Rueben, they talk for minutes before the call fails. Leaving Joanna and her pursuer alone…….
Joanna is at the top of the stairs, when she feels a close presence of the man, she thinks is Sadiq. She turns and in a fit of panic pushes the man, down the stairs. He lies at the bottom of the stairs motionless and it is NOW the time for Joanna to decide, Fight or flight?
The following narrative is played out in two sequences. Very reminiscent of the movie Sliding Doors, featuring Gwyneth Paltrow. One half depicts what would have played out had Joanna revealed herself as the attacker. The other portrays what would have occurred had Joanna concealed her attack. I think the alternating chapters offer the reader, much food for thought. So I can see the novel being popular with book groups. I did contemplate myself what I would have done, in a similar situation.
Personally I found the protagonist of Joanna very unlikable. She is obsessed and infatuated with her husband. She is full of middle class drama and at times I contemplated her own mental health. But I found this, to be the point of her character. That we as the reader, won’t necessarily like her. But we will question her actions and why she behaves the way in which she does. Much like the police and the media, question the actions of all involved. Or maybe I got the narrative completely wrong, never the less.
This novel is thought provoking and I read the entire book one evening! 4*