What You Did – Claire McGowan

About the book:

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.

About the Author:

Claire McGowan grew up in a small village in Northern Ireland, and now lives in London. She also writes women’s fiction under the name Eva Woods.

You can find out more about Claire and her books at http://www.ink-stains.co.uk

My Review:

Ali lives a charmed life with a stunning new house, wealthy husband, two children and a career she’s proud of as Chair of a women’s refuge and advocate for domestic abuse and rape victims. When she arranges a reunion for her university friends to spend the weekend she didn’t expect her entire life to be turned upside down and her world to be shattered, but that is exactly what happens when her best friend Karen staggers into the kitchen, bruised and bleeding and accusing Ali’s husband of rape.

Ali now has to chose whether to stand by her husband or believe her best friend. Her instincts tell her that her husband would never harm another woman but her doubts begin to grow when she remembers an event at university 25 years ago.

This is a really tense, standalone, psychological thriller which kept me gripped and guessing throughout. It’s a dark and often disturbing story line and all six characters have secrets and pasts they would rather stay hidden, so there is added tension between the characters throughout the plot.

None of the characters are particularly likeable but this doesn’t detract from the book and possibly adds another level of suspense for the reader. Recommended to lovers of dark and twisty thrillers.

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