“A brilliant premise with a killer twist. The Rumor depicts the prejudices and secrets that simmer in a small seaside town to devastating effect.”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
The Rumor – Lesley Kara (2018) How quickly a rumor starts….overheard gossip in the child pick up line. “Remember that story of the 10 year old who murdered a 5 year old way back? I heard she lives in our town”…then it gets mentioned at bookclub as a diversion, a conversation starter. But as most rumors, it picks up traction and fingers start pointing. Accusations and petty crimes result, but are they really directed at the appropriate person?
Told from the point of view of Jo – the person who overheard the rumor and mentioned it at book club. She feels guilty for starting this whole thing, but she can’t quite let it go and starts wondering about everyone she knows.
It’s a clever plot. Easily relatable…it’s so easy to pass on gossip you think is benign; But you never tend to think of the consequences, and this plays them all the way out. I thought I knew who it was several times, and was still slightly surprised. Good twists. Nicely written and easy to read.
Added 21st October 2020
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
How many times have we repeated something we heard casually to others? It may be to change the direction of an awkward conversation, fill in the lull when there is nothing to say or, as in the case of Joanna in this story, in an attempt to fit in.
Returning to the small town she grew up in, with a 6 yo in tow and trying to navigate a complicated relationship with her son’s father, Joanna nevertheless wants to be a part of the social scene such as it is.
More importantly, she wants her son Alfie to have friends and seeing him struggle, she tries to make friends with other moms at the school gate, inadvertently and without thinking about it, repeating a rumor she heard.
But what she repeats goes a long way, creating ripples in the small seaside town, because it stirs up the prospect of danger to the town inhabitants from a child killer who could now have been relocated to their town.
From speculations as to who it might be to outright accusations and aggression against suspected people, the rumour takes over the lives of the residents of the town.
Joanna regrets her impulsiveness and tries to do damage control but it is soon clear that it is out of her hands.
I liked the concept as it is certainly not run of the mill, and the suspense is built up well, with many possibilities subtly indicated, to keep the interest alive and the pages turning.
Added 16th August 2019