The Rumor by Lesley Kara, 3 Stars

Some books are hard to read because something happens in them that is so heartbreaking that it’s hard to comprehend. Usually if I can get past the initial event, it’s okay.

Kind of like when you read a horrific headline in news. I usually want to run screaming from the screen (because really, who is reading an actual paper these days?), but I find that if I actually stop and read the article, I can find several ways how this horrible event that happened to someone else could not happen to me. I hope.

I guess it’s what we jokingly refer to as a “train wreck”. Something so horrible that you can’t look away. Because my mind will go far worse places when left to wander than the true version of whatever it was that happened.

So, having taken a long time to vaguely explain this, I don’t necessarily recommend The Rumor to women with small children. Because part of it is hard to stomach. But I suppose that is what creates most of the suspense in this domestic thriller. But it is nice to be warned sometimes, isn’t it?

From the Publisher:

When a single mother hears a shocking rumor outside her son’s school, she never intends to pass it on. But one casual comment leads to another . . . and now there’s no going back.

Rumor has it that a notorious killer, who committed a brutal crime as a child, has been living a new life under an assumed identity in Joanna’s seaside town. So who is the criminal hidden in their midst? Suspicion falls on everyone.

As Joanna becomes obsessed with the case, her curiosity will expose her son and his father to the supposedly reformed murderer—who may be ready to kill again. She will learn how dangerous one rumor can become . . . and just how far she must go to protect those she loves. She is going to regret the day she ever said a word.

My Review:

I would definitely place The Rumor in the category of domestic thriller, not to be confused with a more suspenseful or horror type thriller. Nothing happens that is totally incredible or supernatural. It’s a situation that it’s quite possible you could see in your community, although that would actually be far more terrifying than reading it on paper.

In the book, Joanna is a single mom who has a special relationship with her six-year-old son Alphie’s father, but lives alone with her son just around the corner from her mom. She doesn’t quite fit into the small town, PTA dominated landscape as a single, working mother.

So when she hears a rumor, about a murdered lurking in their small-town midst, she uses it as an ice-breaker to give her something to talk about with the other mom’s who she wants to impress so that her son fits in. That was her first mistake. Joanna begins receiving threats and she has no idea who she can trust. And you better believe she regrets opening her big mouth.

It’s a classic who-dunnit with a huge cast of characters. Huge to the point where I had some trouble keeping track of who is who. The author does a good job leading the reader down multiple scenarios before the book comes to a surprising, twisty end.

I like this one, but I didn’t love it. Still, it got some great reviews from readers and worth checking out if you are a fan of domestic thrillers. I think for me, the PTA moms were just too annoying and their pettiness struck too close to home. I wanted to be like, Joanna, you be you girl!

Special thanks to Netgalley and Ballantine Books for an e-galley in exchange for my honest review. This one releases June 18. Secure your copy!


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