“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
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