I don’t post to Goodreads much. I’m behind in adding my reviews there and I really only use it to track my reading. However, every so often I’ll unload my thoughts via the site’s App as I’m updating my reading, and after just 25 or so pages of Tattletale by Sarah J Naughton, those thoughts weren’t good.
“I’m not sure I can keep going,” I wrote. I didn’t like any of the characters we’d met. In fact I decided they were all revolting. I cared little about them and wondered if that would change. Plus I was a tad confused. However… I had a look at other comments on Goodreads before making a decision and noted a few people said it started slowly but was worth continuing. And I will usually give a book at least 50 pages. So I kept going.
by Sarah J. Naughton
Published by Hachette Australia
on March 28th 2017
Source: Hachette Australia
Genres: Psychological Thriller
Once upon a time, there was a little girl who believed in fairytales. Now she is out to get your happy ending.
One day changes Jody's life forever.She has shut herself down, haunted by her memories and unable to trust anyone. But then she meets Abe, the perfect stranger next door and suddenly life seems full of possibility and hope.
One day changes Mags' life forever.After years of estrangement from her family, Mags receives a shocking phone call. Her brother Abe is in hospital and no-one knows what happened to him. She meets his fiance Jody, and gradually pieces together the ruins of the life she left behind.
But the pieces don't quite seem to fit...
I eventually grew to enjoy this book. I didn’t LOVE it though and think it had great potential it just didn’t quite reach.
We flick back in time between the story of a young girl and her brother and her – quite frankly – rather horrendous upbringing; to the present in which Mags has travelled (home) to the UK after her brother’s hospitalised. Abe’s in a coma and the only clues about the fall (resulting in his injuries) are offered up by his fiancee Jody (annoyingly also spelt ‘Jodie’ at least once! #editing).
We’re predominantly in Mags’ head and that of Jody’s. And they’re both fragile creatures, with fraught pasts they’re reticent to recall. But where Mags has become cold and distant, Jody’s almost obsessive in her care for Abe.
Things just don’t add up for Mags, and as a lawyer she finds herself questioning Jody’s and the police’s version of events which suggest Abe took his own life.
The siblings were estranged however and Mags knows nothing of his life so is forced to pick apart her brother’s days to understand if he did ‘commit’ suicide, and why. And of course, if he didn’t, she’s determined to know exactly what happened.
There’s a lot of psychological drama bubbling beneath the surface here. On one hand Mags feels a level of guilt about her brother’s life, compared to her own successful career and wealth; but on the other she’s kinda eager to turn off his life support and get on with her own.
And Jody’s a bubbling array of discrepancies and we start to wonder how much of her world is really true. She’s an obvious suspect in Abe’s accident and she seems reticent to help Mags understand exactly what happened.
Naughton introduces a number of other characters in the background – a potential love interest for the prickly Mags; and other residents in Abe and Jody’s apartment building.
Eventually (and I do mean eventually) a couple of the plots introduced early-on intersect, but readers are probably left hanging about the elements for too long (like WhoTF is Rob?). Indeed, I kept wondering if I’d imagined one of the early chapters as it didn’t seem to fit anywhere.
Ultimately this book was satisfying and once I got started I wanted to learn what happened, but it was a bit heavier going than I’d have liked it to be.
Tattletale by Sarah J Naughton was published in Australia by Hachette and is now available.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.