Everything I Told You by Lucy Dawson
Publishing Date: 5th January 2017
Source: Received from the publisher in return for an honest review, thank you!
Number of pages: 324
Genre: Psychological Suspense
You went to bed at home, just like every other night.
You woke up in the back of a taxi, over 250 miles away.
You have no idea how you got there and no memory of the last ten hours.
You have no phone, no money; just a suicide note in your coat pocket, in your own writing.
You know you weren’t planning to kill yourself.
Your family and friends think you are lying.
Someone knows exactly what happened to you.
But they’re not telling…
Impossible to put down psychological suspense, perfect for fans of Mark Edwards, Louise Jensen and Lisa Hall.
“Everything you Told Me” is my first book by Lucy Dawson, even though I have her previous novel “You Sent Me a Letter” on my never ending TBR pile, but as I’ve heard many good things about this author and her writing, I made sure to read the newest release in time for its publication. This book turned out to be a great slow burner, with brilliantly developed characters and complex plot. It was an ambitious, clever and twisty read that stays in your mind even if you’re not reading it. I was already hooked when this crumpled £400 taxi receipt, just like the one Sally finds in her pocket, arrived ahead of my review copy, and as soon as the book hit my doorstep I started reading it.
Sally is a stay – at – home mother, Chloe is 4 years old and Theo is 6 months, and it is Theo that’s causing so many problems, as he’s a very bad sleeper. Sally and her husband Matthew are trying to cope but they are both on their tenterhooks – mostly Sally, as she’s the one looking after children while her husband can work, and as much as she was tired and at the end of her tether, she loved her children above all – it was crystal clear for me, so I was also sure she would never put them in danger voluntarily. One day Sally wakes up in a taxi, 250 miles away from home, with the right amount of money to pay the taxi – driver and a piece of paper that turns out to be her suicide note. She doesn’t have any recollection of what happened and how she got there. Back at home, she’s surrounded by her friends and family, all of them trying to help her – or is someone trying to make her feel uncertain, unsure and paranoid? Or does Sally really need professional help?
As I have already mentioned above, the characters in this novel are brilliantly developed and described, and truly, they all made wonderful suspects for me. Some more, some less, but when you read the book for yourself you’ll see what I mean. There was not a single character that left me feeling unsuspicious, and everyone was under my suspicion at one point, maybe except for Sally’s father. They all had motives and the author took her time to mess with our heads with the web of lies, secrets and manipulations. This is this kind of story that make you suspect every single character. Even though I must admit I relatively quickly set my heart on one person, I didn’t rule out any other person – there could happen anything, really. As it turned out, I was right, but only 50% right. Ha, you can say, how can you be only half right, either you are right or not – but THIS is THE TWIST. The surprise that blew me totally. Intrigued? I hope so – please go and get a copy of this book! It is also this kind of read that’ll make you think and wonder, and I think there are two ways your mind can go – either you’ll be on Sally’s side or against her. Everything was possible, in my opinion, and even though I belonged to those who believed Sally, there WERE moments that I was doubting her. The story is told from her point of view, she’s the narrator, so it made the book even more intriguing, because you were never sure if she’s a trustful narrator or not.
They were also those kinds of characters that I rather do not take close to my heart. I don’t mean that they’re unlikeable or something, it’s just that I didn’t trust them and didn’t want to feel disappointed at the end. I fell for Sally, of course, I could partly relate to her and understood her problems, and I hated to see how the others don’t believe her, how they try to make her paranoid, how they play her and in the end she didn’t have a single person who she could turn to and ask for help.
The only thing that spoiled the book for me a little was that there were moments that really felt too far – fetched, too exaggerated and impossible to happen, some situations too clichéd and some of the characters were self – obsessed, and I think I can’t change someone’s life only because I feel it’s the right thing to do. But these are only small things and altogether, I really enjoyed this book. Lucy Dawson is a very talented writer who skilfully and cleverly delivers a tale full of tension and suspicion. It was really this kind of book that made me want to look at the last page to see if my suspicions are right and it took almost my all willpower not to do this – because I didn’t, which I’m proudly reporting here – I didn’t skip a single word, to be honest, I was so absorbed in this story that I didn’t want to miss a thing. It got under my skin, guys, it intrigued me and also annoyed me – but I can’t say why, I’m scared I’ll let slip too much and spoil the read for you.
“Everything You Told Me” is a brilliant read about manipulation. I wouldn’t call it thriller, to be honest, maybe psychological suspense? Because it kept me gripped and it was full of tension and suspense. A slow burner, but in such books you don’t need incredible pace, you rather need it to be slower, with the right number of questions and misunderstandings, and you get it all here. I really liked how cleverly the author made the lines between lies and truth blur – the way she wrote it made me want to know the truth immediately! She skilfully put the wool over our eyes and made the journey to the truth very twisty and curvy, but without making it too overwhelming or tiring or keeping it on too long and hence losing our attention – by giving very subtle clues she made me feel desperate to know the truth and to read further. A great read, guys, highly recommended!