Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Anything you do say

Anything you do Say by Gillian McAllister
Published by Penguin Books
January 2018

It's the end of the night. You're walking home on your own.
Then you hear the sound every woman dreads. Footsteps. Behind you. Getting faster.
You're sure it's him - the man from the bar who wouldn't leave you alone.
You make a snap decision. You turn. You push. Your pursuer tumbles down the steps. He lies motionless, face-down on the floor.
Now what?
Call 999
Wait for the police to arrive. For judgement, for justice, whatever that may be. You just hope your husband, family and friends, everyone you love, will stand by you.
Stay silent. You didn't mean to do it. You were scared, you panicked. And no one saw. No one will ever know. If you leave now. If you keep quiet. For ever.
Which will it be?

This book was recommended to me by a friend so I thought I would give it a whirl.  Whilst I don't think I loved it as much as she did, I did enjoy it and I think readers of my blog will to.  The synopsis is this - Joanna Olivia is in a bar with her best friend Laura.  She meets a man, has a bit of harmless flirting with him, moves on.  However the man in question is a bit more predatory than this, moves back for more interaction, grabs Joanna, is intimidating and sexual towards her. As a result Joanna and Laura leave and go their separate ways home.  Walking back through London to her flat containing husband Reuben, Joanna sees footsteps approaching behind her - red trainers that look identical to the ones worn by the guy in the bar.  He's running towards her now and getting nearer, Joanna is frightened he is going to attack her.  They come to a set of stairs and as he gets alongside her she reaches out a hand and pushes the man away.  He falls and lies at the bottom of the stairs motionless.   And this is where the book takes a twist - two different scenarios now pan out in front of the reader - the first where Joanna calls 999 and tells the operator what has happened, and the latter where Joanna turns around and returns home telling no one of what has occurred.  
It's an interesting read in that obviously both stories have different consequences throughout them in terms of how Joanna's life is led - in the first she is arrested for her actions, in the second she is constantly filled with guilt for what she did and this too has it's own effect on her behaviour.  Gillian McAllister does make you question what you would do in this situation because I guess you would aromatically call the police, but then what if that led to your arrest and possible later imprisonment?  Would you then wish that you could turn the clock back and walk away?  An interesting take on the human psyche and that actions have consequences that we must all face in one way or another.

Happy Reading

Miss Chapters x

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