What You Did
A vicious assault. A devastating accusation. Who should she trust, her husband or her best friend?It was supposed to be the perfect reunion: six university friends together again after twenty years. Host Ali finally has the life she always wanted, a career she can be proud of and a wonderful family with her college boyfriend, now husband. But that night her best friend makes an accusation so shocking that nothing will ever be the same again.When Karen staggers in from the garden, bleeding and traumatised, she claims that she has been assaulted—by Ali’s husband, Mike. Ali must make a split-second decision: who should she believe? Her horrified husband, or her best friend? With Mike offering a very different version of events, Ali knows one of them is lying—but which? And why?When the ensuing chaos forces her to re-examine the golden era the group shared at university, Ali realises there are darker memories too. Memories that have lain dormant for decades. Memories someone would kill to protect.

What You Did Details

TitleWhat You Did
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 1st, 2019
PublisherThomas & Mercer
ISBN-139781542007269
Rating
GenreThriller, Mystery, Fiction, Mystery Thriller

What You Did Review

  • Dita
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks Amazon Prime for this free book but I dislike everyone in it and it is sending me straight back to the refuge of some old favorites. DNF @ 40% because it is equal parts boring, loaded with characters I just can't connect with, and somehow self-righteous. It's hard to say exactly what it is but I just feel done.
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  • PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
    January 1, 1970
    I either have the worst luck choosing from Amazon Prime First Reads (free book of the month) or the books aren’t that good or both. The premise for WHAT YOU DID sounded interesting, the execution was not. Billed as a psychological thriller WHAT YOU DID felt like neither. At least I didn’t waste money on it.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    Rape. Affairs. Domestic abuse. This novel covers a range of sensitive issues but does so in a manner that does not make the reader feel uncomfortable. Instead, McGowan creates a thrilling, pulsating read that establishes a world that is becoming increasingly claustrophobic for the protagonist, Ali.I was immediately hooked by this book. The writer cleverly creates a non-linear narrative that means we, as readers, do not follow the chronological sequence of events on that fateful night that Ali's Rape. Affairs. Domestic abuse. This novel covers a range of sensitive issues but does so in a manner that does not make the reader feel uncomfortable. Instead, McGowan creates a thrilling, pulsating read that establishes a world that is becoming increasingly claustrophobic for the protagonist, Ali.I was immediately hooked by this book. The writer cleverly creates a non-linear narrative that means we, as readers, do not follow the chronological sequence of events on that fateful night that Ali's best friend, Karen, accuses Ali's husband, Mike, of rape. It's a nightmare for Ali and this is the catalyst of her seemingly perfect life beginning to fall apart. McGowan provides different perspectives on that night in question and this enriched the narrative as it felt like I was part of the police, and Ali's, investigations. Ali is determined to find the truth about her husband and is torn apart by loyalty to her husband and loyalty to her friend. Indeed, as the plot progresses, readers discover that there is more to this reunion of university friends on that disastrous evening; "friends" are not what they seem and there are hidden secrets, including one pivotal moment back from university. Accordingly, McGowan treats readers to not only the mystery of Karen's attack, but also the events leading up the murder of a student at university, during the Summer Ball - the night that Ali and all of her friends attended.Providing so many angles and different ideas thoroughly added to my enjoyment of this narrative. Whilst there are many sensitive topics at play here running through the story, McGowan's treatment of them is careful and does not make uncomfortable reading. The moral dilemma that Ali faces with regards to supporting her husband or friend over the accusations is particularly interesting because Ali works with victims of attacks with the police force. With the threat of career implications, Ali suddenly finds herself in a situation not too dissimilar to her clients. It also reminded me of the #MeToo campaign and the power of women's voices; not being afraid to stand up and be counted.Throughout the story, I really felt Ali's world closing in on her. The confusing emotions that she experiences are passed on to the reader and I felt like I also shared her panic and claustrophobia. As the fallout continues from Karen's accusations, Ali's family is also impacted in areas that she did not consider. McGowan carefully adds ambiguities to the narrative to keep the reader guessing and for me, I was definitely hooked right until the ending.Finishing the novel was exciting and surprising. I was not expecting the contents of the Epilogue and this reflects the plot in its entirety. The twists and turns added to the mystery that we are all trying to find answers to, and the further questions about the Summer Ball, also meant that I was constantly trying to read further into the motives of different characters.This was an excellent read and thoroughly enjoyable. Pacey and intriguing, McGowan does not prolong the narrative. For me, it did not finish too suddenly but instead, the plot reaches its natural conclusion. A fantastic piece of writing that was brilliant from start to finish.
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  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    At some point during this book someone tells the main character that she’s a f*cking idiot. And they’re right.
  • ABookwormWithWine
    January 1, 1970
    ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫 / 5NOTE: My full blog tour post can be found at https://abookwormwithwine.wordpress.c...What You Did by Claire McGowan is the ultimate page-turner that will keep you glued to the pages until the very last word. It is also not going to be for the faint of heart (see triggers for rape).What it's about: Ali decides to put together a reunion with her friends from university after twenty years. The six of them meet at Ali's home where she lives with her college boyfriend turned husband, and the ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 / 5NOTE: My full blog tour post can be found at https://abookwormwithwine.wordpress.c...What You Did by Claire McGowan is the ultimate page-turner that will keep you glued to the pages until the very last word. It is also not going to be for the faint of heart (see triggers for rape).What it's about: Ali decides to put together a reunion with her friends from university after twenty years. The six of them meet at Ali's home where she lives with her college boyfriend turned husband, and their two kids - Cassie and Benjamin. But what is supposed to be a fun reunion turns into a nightmare when Ali's best friend Karen stumbles inside from the garden saying Ali's husband Mike just sexually assaulted her. Mike claims it didn't happen, but Karen is sure it did. Ali doesn't know who to believe, and after things from their past start coming to light, things will never be the same again.I really, thoroughly enjoyed What You Did and I didn't want to put it down. The chapters were all pretty short, and that combined with different character viewpoints really kept me guessing and speeding through it. I really didn't like Mike, especially as the book goes on, but I found myself liking Ali a lot, even as she does things that are really dumb. I don't know what I would do if my husband were accused of sexual assault, but I would like to think that I would still believe my best friend if she said he did it. In other words, this book is really makes you think. What You Did felt like it had a little bit of everything and wasn't strictly just about sexual assault even though that was definitely a main theme. There is also a murder mystery aspect, and I really had no idea what was going to happen. McGowan manages to make you doubt every person in the book, and completely kept me guessing. I felt like there was something going on throughout the entire book which also made it a fast read for me. The end managed to give me chills because it was so unexpected and that is something I love in a book.Song/s the book brought to mind: Criminal by ZZ Ward. Final Thought: I wasn't really sure what to expect from What You Did, but I am so glad I read it. It looks like the reviews for this one are all over the place so I'm glad I liked it as much as I did. There wasn't really anything wrong with it at all, and I really enjoyed McGowan's writing style. Reading this makes me want to read more from her ASAP! Thank you to Damppebbles Blog Tours and the publisher for providing me with an advance review copy of this book!
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  • Ceecee
    January 1, 1970
    3 - 4 stars. This is one of two Amazon Prime First Reads for July and it seems to have divided people! I thought it was a bit like a driver who accelerates and decelerates for no apparent reason on a perfectly straight road! At times the book had some pace and then it slowed down and I lost some interest. The premise concerned who raped Karen on an old friends from university reunion weekend. I found their conversations on the night of the incident tedious but then events on the following days p 3 - 4 stars. This is one of two Amazon Prime First Reads for July and it seems to have divided people! I thought it was a bit like a driver who accelerates and decelerates for no apparent reason on a perfectly straight road! At times the book had some pace and then it slowed down and I lost some interest. The premise concerned who raped Karen on an old friends from university reunion weekend. I found their conversations on the night of the incident tedious but then events on the following days piqued my interest again. Although some of revelations seemed to involve musical beds and I wondered how people could be so blind to what was going on almost in front of them. It’s a book about deception including self deception, hypocrisy, delusion and illusion, pride and shame. It showed well how the ripples of rape spread wider than the poor victim to the families of all involved and the devastating consequences for all concerned. I thought the ending was good and that nearly pushed it to 4 star.
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  • Ilene
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 stars for predictabilityAs another reader stated earlier, the Amazon first reads are not usually great books so I didn’t have high expectations for this one and in that light, I wasn’t disappointed and could actually give this 3 stars for a fast read. However, I hated so many of the characters, guessed the killer/rapist half way through and didn’t understand people motivations. Why did Mike end up with Ali over Karen, couldn’t Karen, instead of Ali, have lied for him after Martha’s murder? W 2.5 stars for predictabilityAs another reader stated earlier, the Amazon first reads are not usually great books so I didn’t have high expectations for this one and in that light, I wasn’t disappointed and could actually give this 3 stars for a fast read. However, I hated so many of the characters, guessed the killer/rapist half way through and didn’t understand people motivations. Why did Mike end up with Ali over Karen, couldn’t Karen, instead of Ali, have lied for him after Martha’s murder? Why did Karen flunk her finals and never get a degree? That wasn’t ever explained other than that she and Mike were sleeping together. Huh? He managed to graduate... And didn’t he realize Jake was his son- why didn’t he help Karen out with some money, apparently she needed it, even if it was just as a friend.. Mike and Ali apparently had enough to lend to Callum. And what about Bill, he really couldn’t find lasting happiness because he still carried a torch for Ali 25 years later? And why did he, , when he had been so disappointed in her lying at uni to protect Mike. And based on that, why would he be so surprised, and disappointed, that she’d throw Karen under the bus and supported Mike after the rape? And hate that it is implied he’s come back to her at the end and all will be happy. And what with the rich kids, especially the boys, always being the spoiled, amoral antagonist in books these days- it’s such a cliche, even Aaron was a schmuck. Jack, who steals a knife and stabs his father (or was he going after Cassie? That is never really explained...) is really a decent kid, because he’s poor and misunderstood.If I read about one more person ‘tutting’ I would have screamed. And my last bitch here, couldn’t anyone have anything better to say about poor Martha other than that she was so lovely? Is that why her death was such a tragedy? Did she have any other characteristics o5er than white blond hair and a beautiful face?As mentioned, don’t expect much from an Amazon First Read so in that sense was pleasantly surprised that the book kept me reading till late in the night, but more like a big piece of supermarket cake, low expectations that tastes good while going down but really leaves you a bit mad at yourself afterwards for once again taking the easy way and not for just splurging on a real treat...
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  • Eva
    January 1, 1970
    Hoo, boy! Talk about a book you can’t put down!Six university friends meet up for a reunion after twenty years. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before in another book review but it bears repeating : reunions are bad! Nothing ever goes the way you think it will. We’re not just talking about people changing, having nothing in common anymore, petty jealousies and the like. Oh no, this reunion right here is a total disaster!It all starts when Karen staggers in from the garden, traumatised and bl Hoo, boy! Talk about a book you can’t put down!Six university friends meet up for a reunion after twenty years. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before in another book review but it bears repeating : reunions are bad! Nothing ever goes the way you think it will. We’re not just talking about people changing, having nothing in common anymore, petty jealousies and the like. Oh no, this reunion right here is a total disaster!It all starts when Karen staggers in from the garden, traumatised and bleeding, saying she’s been raped. Bad enough. But Karen claims her attacker is none other than her best friend Ali’s husband, Mike. Who should Karen believe? Her best friend who’s always been there for her? Or her husband who’s given her more than she ever could have imagined?I rather quickly came up with a theory but I was left to second-guess myself at every turn throughout the story. It didn’t help that I didn’t particularly liked Karen and was unsure whether I could trust her version of events. That seemed rather apt though, considering Ali’s standpoint. She works for a Women’s Refuge, has experience in the field of domestic abuse and dealing with rape victims and yet, it was fascinating to see her doubts, to see her almost go against everything she stands for because things are just so different when they involve people you know and love.To get a feel for the dynamics in these friendships, we are also taken back to the nineties, when the six friends were at university. But there are darker memories, things that suddenly look rather different now and an accumulation of bad decisions that may just come back to haunt Ali and her friends.Full of secrets, lies and deceit, my loyalties kept shifting. It’s just impossible to determine which one of these friends can be trusted. From the very first page, What You Did is extremely addictive and utterly compelling. Claire McGowan has delivered a truly clever plot and a fantastic page turner. This is definitely one to read in one glorious sitting, if you can! And just when you think it’s all over, there’s a delightful little sting in its tail. This is often such a tricky genre but I think Claire McGowan nailed it. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and I can’t wait to read more by her!
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  • Lynda Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    Well, this Kindle First book was an easy 5* !! Full of twists and secrets 'n' lies, just my sort of story. I was totally engrossed. I've never happened upon this author before, not quite sure why. Her Paula Maguire series sounds really good as well so I've put the first one of those into my wishlist a bit sharpish.And better still, I happened across ONE mistake, just one, the whole way through......let this be a sharp lesson to other authors, editors or proofreaders, it can be done. All one need Well, this Kindle First book was an easy 5* !! Full of twists and secrets 'n' lies, just my sort of story. I was totally engrossed. I've never happened upon this author before, not quite sure why. Her Paula Maguire series sounds really good as well so I've put the first one of those into my wishlist a bit sharpish.And better still, I happened across ONE mistake, just one, the whole way through......let this be a sharp lesson to other authors, editors or proofreaders, it can be done. All one needs is some pride in their work, and if they have this then they'll find it's well worth paying someone to do these jobs correctly. It matters so much to so many readers and can totally transform their reading experience of YOUR product !! So please think on and consider us a little more ! All she did was use tick just the one time and not tic....bravo from me.I made notations throughout this on my Kindle on what I believed was happening and how one particular puzzle might reveal itself and I was wrong every time, of course. Nothing new there. What it must be to have an imagination....hehehe......Oooh, I did notice, actually, that Cassie mentioned being old enough to "do it" so checked to see if the age of consent here in the UK has been dropped and it is still 16 so that was wrong.My favourite character was probably Bill, he seemed the most grounded and honest of the six of these university pals. There were a few humorous remarks in this as well, I especially chuckled at Jodi's description of "walking around with a bomb strapped to her" as she described her pregnancy. Thankfully, I've avoided this life's pleasure myself ! I tittered too at the acknowledgements where the author gave a nod to HER university mates.This is one I highly recommend, sadly it was all over and done with too soon.
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  • Fred Shaw
    January 1, 1970
    You and your husband host a party in your home for your best college buddies some 25 years after graduation. No one could have prepared you for what comes next, or what is revealed. Three couples, actually 2 married couples and 2 singles, consume massive of quantities of wine with dinner. A few pass out, others stopped drinking and went to bed. Then a scream pierces the night, and your best friend comes in the house from the backyard, bloodied and hysterical, accusing your husband of rape. Your You and your husband host a party in your home for your best college buddies some 25 years after graduation. No one could have prepared you for what comes next, or what is revealed. Three couples, actually 2 married couples and 2 singles, consume massive of quantities of wine with dinner. A few pass out, others stopped drinking and went to bed. Then a scream pierces the night, and your best friend comes in the house from the backyard, bloodied and hysterical, accusing your husband of rape. Your husband is sitting in the swing set in the yard, comatose from alcahol. I found the novel fast paced with ever changing events. New revelations come out as the story develops that are hidden affairs, illegitimate children and even murder during and since the good old college days. An excellent read for sure. The book will be released later this summer. My advanced copy Kindle format was complements of Amazon First Reads for Prime members. Highly recommended.
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  • Barbara
    January 1, 1970
    When six old college friends get together 25-years after they met, it's fair to say their lives have taken quite different directions. Mike and Ali have been married seemingly forever. He's a successful lawyer, she's involved with a rape victim support charity and they have two perfect children and a house that's got the potential to be everything Ali ever wanted. Callum and Jodi are finally having the baby they've waited so long for. Ali's best friend Karen is a single mum, living in relative p When six old college friends get together 25-years after they met, it's fair to say their lives have taken quite different directions. Mike and Ali have been married seemingly forever. He's a successful lawyer, she's involved with a rape victim support charity and they have two perfect children and a house that's got the potential to be everything Ali ever wanted. Callum and Jodi are finally having the baby they've waited so long for. Ali's best friend Karen is a single mum, living in relative poverty compared to her peers and Bill has returned from years of living in Sweden, newly single again. What could go amiss?After the group drink too much and remember their student days, Karen cries rape and accuses Ali's husband Mike and the whole can of contentment is opened to reveal lots of wriggling worms, some of them dating back more than 20 years.Ali's role at the charity is no longer tenable. How can she defend her husband against her best friend's accusations when she has spent years pushing the line that victims should always be believed? As the story progresses, layer upon layer of lies are revealed and Ali is left wondering how she was the only one of the six who seemingly didn't know what was going on. With each chapter, her cosy life is taken apart and thrown around.I found this book completely believable because I know these people. I'm 10 years older than the protagonists but I have plenty of old college friends who went on to marry and create these cosy lives. McGowan's descriptions of life in an Oxford college when you're from the wrong side of the tracks (Hull, no less!) rang completely true. By the time these characters went to Oxford, there were a lot more female students than when I went, but I recognised all the characters and events with an authenticity that's rarely found. I actually believed whilst I was reading about the night of the ball that it MUST have been my college since the descriptions fitted completely. That's how real this was.Do I believe that people can keep lies for 25 years? Absolutely. Do I also believe that one amongst the group can be so willfully ignorant of what's been going on? Again, completely.I guessed the 'baddie' but not until a few chapters from the end and then mostly by process of elimination so I'd say the author did a good job of playing with the readers' expectations and prejudices.I hadn't read Claire McGowan before but I would read her again on the strength of 'What You Did'.
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  • Joanne Robertson
    January 1, 1970
    Ooooo I REALLY loved this one! I’d been looking forward to it so much as well that it is such a relief to be able to say just how much I did enjoy it! Although maybe “enjoy” is too light and fluffy a word to use as this psychological thriller has a very dark, violent storyline that some may struggle to cope with due to its theme of rape. So I think Claire McGowan did an excellent job of keeping her plot tightly woven and her readers committed to discovering the truth about the night Ali’s world Ooooo I REALLY loved this one! I’d been looking forward to it so much as well that it is such a relief to be able to say just how much I did enjoy it! Although maybe “enjoy” is too light and fluffy a word to use as this psychological thriller has a very dark, violent storyline that some may struggle to cope with due to its theme of rape. So I think Claire McGowan did an excellent job of keeping her plot tightly woven and her readers committed to discovering the truth about the night Ali’s world falls apart. We are kept guessing as to which of her characters is lying and she managed this in a way that wasn’t overwhelmingly emotional or suggestive which could have happened due to the subject matter.An evening of drinking with old university friends ends with a shocking discovery when Ali’s best friend Karen is allegedly raped by Ali’s husband Mike. Ali’s loyalties are torn in two as both parties are convincing in their retelling of the events of that night. But within a few hours Ali’s life collapses around her as she has to decide who to believe whilst wondering if everything she thought she knew about those closest to her is a lie.I have to say that although the six university friends had a close bond between them, things did feel a bit off right from the start. None of them were particularly likeable people and I found a lot of their actions quite narcissistic and unnecessary! The way they all acted around the children was particularly shocking and I certainly didn’t expect some of the twists that started to come along thick and fast at one point. So it’s full credit to Claire McGowan that I actually cared about the outcome here and I’m pleased to say that she delivered on that account too!Whilst I have enjoyed the Paula Macguire series that Claire is better known for, I’m much more of a standalone psychological thriller kind of girl so I’m glad that Claire has gone back down this route for What You Did. The dark and often disturbing storyline gripped me within the first few pages and I knew that it was going to be a book that I would struggle to put down…and it was!One of my favourite books so far in 2019 and highly recommended by me!
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  • Barbara
    January 1, 1970
    I am a big fan of Clare McGowan's Paula McGuire series. It is a police procedural set in McGowan's native Northern Ireland. I read this free Kindle edition because I'm a fan. But unlike her Paula McGuire series, this book lacked well developed characters. Overall, there was nothing to like or admire about any of them with maybe the exception of Bill (Bilwar). It is a thriller that centers on a group of Oxford graduates, 25 years since they met.To call these people friends is a stretch. The story I am a big fan of Clare McGowan's Paula McGuire series. It is a police procedural set in McGowan's native Northern Ireland. I read this free Kindle edition because I'm a fan. But unlike her Paula McGuire series, this book lacked well developed characters. Overall, there was nothing to like or admire about any of them with maybe the exception of Bill (Bilwar). It is a thriller that centers on a group of Oxford graduates, 25 years since they met.To call these people friends is a stretch. The story centers on lies and deception. I wondered if McGowan held back on character development so she could just throw in outrageous plot twists. I didn't care about these people, even when things got really bad for them.Writers from Northern Ireland have difficulty getting away from the expectation that their novels will always center on the history, the sectarianism and connections to the Troubles. The novelist David Park has written 11 novels and only recently has he been able to write novels that don't have the Troubles somewhere in there. But McGowan chose to move to very foreign territory - wealthy Oxford graduates, living outside of and in London. Writers certainly can write about people and places that aren't their own, but they have to develop believable characters and settings. Thrillers are currently the best sellers in the mystery genre. I find too many of them lacking in the ways this novel does. They rely on springing twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. This was a 2.5 star read for me rounded up to 3 stars.
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  • Katie
    January 1, 1970
    Compelling read Good twists and kept me reading to find out what happened. I enjoy books with reunions of people many years later in which all is not as it seems.
  • Liz Barnsley
    January 1, 1970
    Review to follow
  • Julie Ann Tuck
    January 1, 1970
    Wow, what a page turner! Suspenseful and intriguing, leaving me wondering how it would end! Loved it!
  • M
    January 1, 1970
    Not a thriller. Well-written women’s psychological fiction with unlikeable characters. This is Amazon’s “psychological thriller” offering for July First Reads, but it is not a thriller, no matter that its pacing is good. In addition to a he-said/she-said rape accusation, there is a mystery—although the details are annoyingly hinted about for half the book, before it’s finally revealed. The storyline focuses on three forty-three yr. old women, detailing how each of their lives are upended after a Not a thriller. Well-written women’s psychological fiction with unlikeable characters. This is Amazon’s “psychological thriller” offering for July First Reads, but it is not a thriller, no matter that its pacing is good. In addition to a he-said/she-said rape accusation, there is a mystery—although the details are annoyingly hinted about for half the book, before it’s finally revealed. The storyline focuses on three forty-three yr. old women, detailing how each of their lives are upended after a reunion weekend. I had problems empathizing with both male and female characters who lie, cheat, blackmail, commit adultery, conceal evidence, drink to excess, lack morals, etc. Also, protagonist Ali Morris is ineffectual and too naive to be a believable character in this drama. The accusation of rape and an attempted murder results in life-changing and life-threatening consequences. Each woman is complicit in hiding important information when it suits, but revealing secrets lead to more personal and family upheaval, plus increasingly onerous criminal charges. Then the police dredge up a 1996 cold case murder at Oxford, when the women were students, as were their friends and their now-spouses. The denouement includes a final twist (which I found morally distasteful), but is complete without hanging threads. 3 stars for a solid, readable book.
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  • Yvonne
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars rounded up to 4Ali is a feminist; a women’s advocate; chair of the local women’s refuge centre. She understands the abuse of women; the ramifications and disbelief that accompany a rape allegation - particularly when the victim is drunk and knows her attacker. But when the victim is Ali’s best friend, Karen, and the accused is Ali’s husband, Mike- her children and friends are witnesses, and her home is the crime scene - Ali’s beliefs, morality, and entire world implodes. Facing a traum 3.5 stars rounded up to 4Ali is a feminist; a women’s advocate; chair of the local women’s refuge centre. She understands the abuse of women; the ramifications and disbelief that accompany a rape allegation - particularly when the victim is drunk and knows her attacker. But when the victim is Ali’s best friend, Karen, and the accused is Ali’s husband, Mike- her children and friends are witnesses, and her home is the crime scene - Ali’s beliefs, morality, and entire world implodes. Facing a traumatised and bleeding Karen and a horrified Mike, both of whom she has known, loved, and trusted for more than twenty years, who does Ali believe…who should she believe? Torn by conflicting loyalties and utterly bewildered, Ali’s determination to uncover the truth leads to two decades of secrets, lies, and betrayals being revealed. Then the police reopen a cold case from Ali’s time at university, where she met Karen, Mike, and their group of friends, and where a beautiful young fellow student died. Following a non-linear structure, flashing between past and present, the story is mainly told from Ali’s first-person perspective, interspersed with third-person viewpoints of the other characters, which gives additional insight into that fateful night, Ali’s group of friends, and their time at university. The characters are mainly all fairly unlikeable; selfish, spoiled, blinkered, privileged in various forms, and have highly questionable behaviours, but the emotions that drive the story and their actions can be understood, if not entirely sympathised with. The book is listed as a psychological thriller, but it isn’t; it’s a mystery, and although the format isn’t anything new, it is well-written and intriguing, with a good pace, and some very thought-provoking moments. By process of elimination, I did work out, about halfway through the book, what happened, although there are well-placed red herrings that ensure you question everything. In all, it isn’t a challenging read, but also not a light one with the issues and themes it explores, and is a good page turner, with a lovely, flowing writing style, and one I enjoyed reading.
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  • Darcia Helle
    January 1, 1970
    What is with this trend of unlikable characters? One or two is expected, but I don't want to spend my leisure time with an entire cast of intolerable people. I didn't like or empathize with one character here.I'm giving bonus points to the author for the way she handled the topic of rape. Her portrayal of the psychological aftermath and the topic as a whole was the only saving grace for me.Unfortunately, Ali, who is supposed to be a well known "feminist" advocate for rape victims, comes across a What is with this trend of unlikable characters? One or two is expected, but I don't want to spend my leisure time with an entire cast of intolerable people. I didn't like or empathize with one character here.I'm giving bonus points to the author for the way she handled the topic of rape. Her portrayal of the psychological aftermath and the topic as a whole was the only saving grace for me.Unfortunately, Ali, who is supposed to be a well known "feminist" advocate for rape victims, comes across as unreasonably weak and naive. None of the characters appear to have matured since college. They're all self-absorbed, deceitful, spoiled, childish brats. The book is being marketed as a "psychological thriller." It's not. This is more contemporary fiction revolving around two intersecting mysteries. The pace is far too slow to label this a thriller, and the psychological aspect is just a bunch of so-called friends who really despise each other yet decide to get together and party for a weekend.I finished the book because I wanted to see how things turned out, but I skimmed a lot of the drama.*This book was one of my Amazon First Reads choices for July.*
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  • Char
    January 1, 1970
    This was one of my Amazon First Reads picks for the month of July.Amazon First Reads are always hit and miss for me. Some have been pretty good. Others? Not so much. This one fell into the latter category. No matter what I did, I could not get into it. The writing was terrible, the dialogue was bad and I disliked every single character almost instantly. Not a likeable one in the bunch. I picked it because I thought it sounded interesting after reading the synopsis and I do like psychological thr This was one of my Amazon First Reads picks for the month of July.Amazon First Reads are always hit and miss for me. Some have been pretty good. Others? Not so much. This one fell into the latter category. No matter what I did, I could not get into it. The writing was terrible, the dialogue was bad and I disliked every single character almost instantly. Not a likeable one in the bunch. I picked it because I thought it sounded interesting after reading the synopsis and I do like psychological thrillers but this one just didn't do it for me. I got to about the 30% mark and decided to just skim over the last few chapters. After reading the conclusion, I am satisfied that I saved myself further torment. Let's hope my other pick isn't nearly as disappointing as this one was.
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    Read this in a day. One of those books I didn't want to put down. Review to follow for blog tour
  • Suze
    January 1, 1970
    What You DidThis is my First Read pick for July, it's listed as a psychological thriller - I think it should be called a psychological mystery.Basically six friends get together to reminisce after meeting at the university 25 years ago. It turns into a he said, she said situation - which is linked to an event from the distant past also. I love psychological thrillers, so I was disappointed in this book - although it is well written.
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  • ♛Primadonna♛
    January 1, 1970
    This month only (07/2019) Prime Members get to choose 2!!! books for the Prime First Reads programs.! I'm so thankful because I couldn't choose between They Could Have Named Her Anything and What You Did!!!
  • Helen Costello
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars - a good domestic mystery. A group of old uni friends get together for the weekend after 25 years. An incident after much alcohol on the first night changes everything though. Ali’s husband is accused of one of the most awful crimes but is it really that simple?As I was reading this I was suspecting everyone- I wouldn’t say I completely guessed the culprit but I definitely suspected. A book that I read in just a few days as I quickly became hooked. There was just a few small points abo 4.5 stars - a good domestic mystery. A group of old uni friends get together for the weekend after 25 years. An incident after much alcohol on the first night changes everything though. Ali’s husband is accused of one of the most awful crimes but is it really that simple?As I was reading this I was suspecting everyone- I wouldn’t say I completely guessed the culprit but I definitely suspected. A book that I read in just a few days as I quickly became hooked. There was just a few small points about the friendships and their behaviours that stopped me from giving this a 5*. I’ll be sure to seek out the author’snother books though.
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  • Alyssia Cooke
    January 1, 1970
    An interesting premise that is well written and explored. It's a book of lies upon lies upon lies that steadily unravel until the bitter finish. Of friendships dissolving in the wake of an unfathomable accusation, of betrayals and hurts that go back over twenty years. It's a surprisingly easy read considering the subject matter though.
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  • Lel Budge
    January 1, 1970
    Six college friends have a reunion 25 years later. When the alcohol flows they begin to reminisce but then Karen, battered and bruised, says Mike, married to Ali, raped her……..Ali’s life starts to unravel…..who does she believe…?The story jumps between the past and the present to gradually build a picture of what had happened …..just who is telling the truth ?What follows is a story of lies, denials and betrayals. Where old grievances and prejudices are brought into the open…..I have to say I di Six college friends have a reunion 25 years later. When the alcohol flows they begin to reminisce but then Karen, battered and bruised, says Mike, married to Ali, raped her……..Ali’s life starts to unravel…..who does she believe…?The story jumps between the past and the present to gradually build a picture of what had happened …..just who is telling the truth ?What follows is a story of lies, denials and betrayals. Where old grievances and prejudices are brought into the open…..I have to say I didn’t really find any of the characters particularly likeable…but I think that’s the point…so you can look at the story objectively and not side with anyone….it deals with tough issues so is not a light read, but is definitely compelling…..Thank you to The publishers, the author and NetGalley for a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.
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  • Connie
    January 1, 1970
    An awesome page turner! I usually avoid "thrillers" but this one grabbed me by the collar and wouldn't let go. This had to be the largest amount of deceitful people, in the same story, that I have ever encountered. How these "friends" betrayed one another was mind-boggling. The men were just as bad as the women. And just when I thought I had figured out the "real" bad guy, Miss Claire threw another monster into the mix! Well Done!!!
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  • lusty22
    January 1, 1970
    Loved It!!Thanks to Prime I got this book for free. Never heard of this author, but now that I have I'm reading another by her. Very good book. Suspenseful, good character development, a great mystery, the works. I really got into this, the story of the group as college students, as well as them as grown adults. Betrayal at its worst. Very emotional and real to me.
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  • Michael Macleod
    January 1, 1970
    The main character is unfathomably stupid and there's hardly a single likeable character in the whole book.If that's your thing then go wild, I guess.
  • Jennifer Robb
    January 1, 1970
    This was an Amazon First Reads pick for July 2019. (After my most recent review of another First Reads pick, I have to say I felt a bit hypocritical reading this one as more and more sins came to light.)**SPOILERS POSSIBLE-Read Review at your own discretion**Six college friends have a 25 year reunion. The book mostly focuses on Alison but there are forays into other points of view. The six friends are:Ali-now married to Mike and with two kids, has a platform on rape/domestic violence/harrassment This was an Amazon First Reads pick for July 2019. (After my most recent review of another First Reads pick, I have to say I felt a bit hypocritical reading this one as more and more sins came to light.)**SPOILERS POSSIBLE-Read Review at your own discretion**Six college friends have a 25 year reunion. The book mostly focuses on Alison but there are forays into other points of view. The six friends are:Ali-now married to Mike and with two kids, has a platform on rape/domestic violence/harrassmentMike-a lawyer now married to Ali. With three kids.Karen-Ali's best friend and mother to Jake. Bill-recently back from out of country and recently broke up with his girlfriendJodi-married to Callum and pregnant with her first childCallum-married to JodiThese six supposed adults carry on like they're all still college students. In fact, some of the kids seem more mature than these 6 do. They drink to excess and apparently do some drugs (well, not Jodi, and Ali only has alcohol, but the other 4 do.) It made me wonder how Cassie and Jake could take their parenting seriously--they are old enough to "get" what's going on--so how, as a parent, do you tell your kid to not do what they see you doing and have your kid take you seriously?Their world and friendships start to unravel when Karen accuses Mike of raping her. It comes out that Mike's been having an affair with her since their college days (and apparently everyone knew except Ali and no one told her) and that Jake is his son (it's never really stated that he knew Jake was his at the time or not--though it apparently is true since Jake was a match to donate part of his liver to Mike). Bill's apparently had a torch for Ali since college but hasn't acted on it since she married. The rape accusation also opens up the death of a classmate of theirs named Martha during their ball in college. Apparently Callum and Mike convinced Jodi, Karen, and Ali to lie. So apparently all 3 men had feelings for Ali. Callum was the only one she spurned--and she tries to pass that off as he was dating her friend, Jodi. Ali played Bill off Mike at least once, but she also threw Bill over when she had a chance to hold something over Mike that would keep them together. Honey, if you have to keep him with something like that, it's not love. The way the book was structured, it was a bit hard to figure out what really happened.I didn't quite figure out the last section in Jodi's POV. I couldn't tell if Jodi wanted Callum caught or out of the way--as long as she had her baby. That got a bit muddled.What I liked: When Bill saw that Ali was choosing Mike, he stopped pursuing her and he didn't act on his feelings for her after she married Mike. Benji trying to protect his father (even though he should have done the right thing and told an adult he found the clothing and where).What I disliked: Ali trying to hold on to Mike and eventually using the fact that she lied to cover up for him being a suspect to get what she wanted. Cassie keeping so many secrets from her parents (though it probably is age-appropriate). Selfishness--no one seemed to think about Martha and her family and how they felt about Martha's killer not being identified--they only cared about themselves and their group. Many lies and deceptions: Cover up around Martha's death, Ali keeps changing her story to the police, Mike lies about Karen, Karen lies about Mike. Jake stabbing Mike--he acts like Mike was exonerated when really he'd only been let out on bail and the trial was still to come. Bill sleeping with Ali while she's still married to Mike and while he's in the hospital. Callum blackmailing Mike. No one telling Ali about Mike's and Karen's affair.
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