Sunday 15 October 2017

BLOG TOUR: Anything You Do Say - Gillian McAllister

Gone Girl meets Sliding Doors in this edge-of-your-seat thriller
Joanna is an avoider. So far she has spent her adult life hiding bank statements and changing career aspirations weekly.
But then one night Joanna hears footsteps on the way home. Is she being followed? She is sure it's him; the man from the bar who wouldn't leave her alone. Hearing the steps speed up Joanna turns and pushes with all of her might, sending her pursuer tumbling down the steps and lying motionless on the floor.
Now Joanna has to do the thing she hates most - make a decision. Fight or flight? Truth or lie? Right or wrong?

What did I think?

Oh wow!  What Gillian McAllister has created here is nothing short of exceptional - two novels in one in only her second book!  I'm sure many an established author would shy away from such a challenge with the others wishing they had written it.

If I had to describe Joanna in one word it would be 'imaginative', so when she hears footsteps behind her after a night out she thinks it is the man she spurned in the bar.  As the footsteps get closer, Joanna reaches out and pushes her would-be attacker down the steps she is about to descend.  His momentum propels him forward at speed and he lies bent and broken at the bottom of the steps.  In that split second, Joanna must decide whether to run or call for help.  In a rare treat for readers, Gillian McAllister shows us the journey down both paths that Joanna will follow if she reveals or conceals her crime.

I thought it might get confusing with alternate 'reveal' and 'conceal' chapters but it really doesn't.  In conceal, Joanna is eaten up with guilt and her lie snowballs out of control and threatens to crush her under its weight like the boulder chasing Indiana Jones through the tunnel.  Even when Joanna reveals her crime she still can't help getting tangled up in a web of lies and her whole defence revolves around the one thing she is lying about: how long she hesitated before raising the alarm.

I do firmly believe that we have particular paths we are destined to follow in our lives.  Even though sometimes there may be a fork in the road or roadworks causing a diversion, we ultimately get back on the path we should be on.  Joanna's journey is just like this as whichever path she follows, reveal and conceal will merge together at the end but will leave very different casualties in their wake.

Anything You Do Say is such a thought-provoking and hugely entertaining book.  At her fork in the road, I felt Joanna's fear and truly believed that she was afraid for her life so I can completely understand why she lashed out like she did.  It's easy to say that you would rush to help an injured person, but would you be in such a rush if you thought that person meant to do you harm and may still be a danger to you?  It's hard to say how you would react in such circumstances; with that spike of adrenaline and a thudding heartbeat in your ears, what would you do?  This is the question that I'm sure every single reader of Anything You Do Say will ponder for many days, weeks, months and even years after reading this outstanding novel.

Oh you've upped the ante now, Gillian McAllister!  I'm not sure how you plan to follow this but I can't wait to find out.  You had me hooked with Everything But The Truth but Anything You Do Say is so extraordinary that it completely blew me away.  This book is going to be a HUGE success so make sure you pick up a copy and see what everyone is raving about.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

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