It’s dark, it’s late, in a split second you could make a decision that will alter the course of your life forever…
Welcome to my stop on the Anything You Do Say blog tour, after reading ‘Everything But The Truth’ by McAllister earlier this year, I jumped at the chance to be a part of this blog tour and share my review with you all today.
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 to lie motionless on the floor. Now Joanna has to make a decision: Fight or flight? Truth or lie? Right or wrong?
Anything You Do Say begins with the moment of truth – fight or flight? Does Joanna call 999 or does she run – reveal or conceal? Don’t worry, you don’t have to decide because McAllister gives us both. In alternating chapters, we get the ‘reveal’ – Joanna calls the police; and the ‘conceal’ – Joanna runs. In this sliding doors thriller, we see how each decision alters Joanna’s life, how each decision changes who she is, changes her patterns of behaviour and affects those closest to her. It’s like getting two books for the price of one! What’s so impressive about this novel is you get both ‘realities’ in alternating chapters but they are each distinct and you never become confused. You could remove one ‘reality’ and you would still have a fully functioning novel, such is the depth of the detail given.
Narrated in first person by Joanna, this is very much a character-driven novel, one in which you really get to know Joanna, her secret thoughts and fears – the character development was amazing. As you read both of these ‘realities’ side by side, you can see that both are Joanna, such a well written character that her actions/choices reflect both narratives perfectly. Morally, I empathised with Joanna in both decisions, we’ve all experienced a similar situation, walking alone at night, fearing the footsteps we hear behind us, only Joanna, in a snap decision, did something she lived to regret but ultimately payed the price for in both ‘realities.’
If you appreciate ‘believablity’ in storylines then you have nothing to worry about here, nothing is exaggerated or far-fetched, in fact it’s so close to being a true account, it’s scary. The way McAllister portrayed Joanna’s relationship with her husband, family and friends, the involvement of the criminal justice system and how Joanna acted herself were all extremely believable. You really are a ‘fly on the wall’ in Joanna’s life and witness everything. In the near 400 pages I read, there was only one point, about three quarters of the way through the novel, when I wished events would move a bit faster, but that was born out of my want to know the final outcomes. However, that McAllister was able to fit so much into this novel is impressive.
Psychologically you play out this moral dilemma alongside Joanna, asking yourself what you would do in her situation and thinking how easily you could find yourself in her situation. The suspense was doubled in this novel because you were hooked into both the ‘reveal’ and ‘conceal’ narratives, there was no one narrative I preferred to the other and I needed to now the outcome of both decisions – and I was pleased with both outcomes.
Anything You Do Say is perfect for fans of psychological dramas and thought-provoking fiction, I highly recommend you read it and see how the snap decision Joanna made changed the course of her life forever.
*My thanks to the publisher (Michael Joseph) for providing me with a copy of this title and inviting me to participate in the blog tour*
FOLLOW THE ANYTHING YOU DO SAY BLOG TOUR