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Sunday, June 23, 2024



This book grabs your interest from the start and continues to be a good, compelling read. In fact, I read it twice! (Review by Caroline Smart)

The book is dedicated thus: “For anyone whose life has been affected by addiction”

This might put off some readers who think they are in for a homily on the dangers of addiction but Lesley Kara’s Who Did you Tell? weaves a young woman’s former addiction to alcohol into a gripping story.

Some of the chapters are prefaced by intriguing sections in italics which obviously represent the words of her perpetrator. This identity is only revealed at the end in the novel that is full of twists and turns and startling surprises.


Astrid is a former alcoholic who has now moved to live with her long-suffering mother in a small village where she regularly attends AA meetings under mother’s constant supervision.

Among the people she meets at AA are the seemingly-aloof Rosie and the ultra-friendly Helen who does not seem to be sticking to AA rules.

She has a chance encounter on the beach with Josh and there is an immediate attraction. Josh and his father employ her to revive her talent as a scenic artist and do a trompe l‘oeil at their new house. This brings her a revitalised lease of life and creativity. It also helps control her craving for alcohol. She keeps the information about her former addiction from Josh but knows she eventually has to pluck up the courage to tell him.

There is another secret that she only shared with her former boyfriend, Simon. Their relationship broke up when he chose to go sober but when they met again some time later, he went back on the booze and later committed suicide.

Astrid is troubled by another problem. A major one. She feels she is being shadowed. Is someone following her at night on her way back from AA? And who is leaving death threat letters at her home? There’s also the very disturbing smell of Simon’s aftershave. Who could know her dreadful secret? She and Simon swore never to tell anyone but someone must know. Hence the title of the book – Who Did You Tell?

She misinterprets a number of events which sends her tumbling down another troubled path. Kara gets the reader inside Astrid’s head so we follow her jumbled thoughts and stresses.

To reveal more would be to spoil the plot. This book grabs your interest from the start and continues to be a good, compelling read. In fact, I read it twice to follow Kara’s handling of the plot. – Caroline Smart

Who Did You Tell? is published in paperback by Penguin Random House. ISBN 9781787631014