The Rumor by Lesley Kara

The Rumor: A Novel by [Kara, Lesley]

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine, Ballantine Books

Date of Publication: June 18th, 2019

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Where you can find The Rumor: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book synopsis:

A single mom discovers just how deadly gossip can be in this irresistible debut thriller inspired by a sensational true crime story, for fans of Big Little Lies, The Couple Next Door, and The Widow.

Joanna is desperate to ingratiate herself with a popular clique of mothers at her son’s new school. But when she tries to impress them by repeating a rumor she overheard at the school gates, there’s no going back. . . .

Rumor has it that a notorious killer, a woman who has been released from prison years after her brutal crime, is living under a new identity in Joanna’s seaside town. So who is the supposedly reformed murderer now living in their neighborhood? Suspicion falls on everyone.

Joanna becomes obsessed with the case, pawing through decades-old records in an attempt to name the killer. But her curiosity not only ostracizes her from the community, but exposes her son and his father to a heartless psychopath who has killed–and may kill again. 

How dangerous can one rumor become? And how far will Joanna go to protect those she loves from harm, when she realizes what she’s unleashed?

Joanna is going to regret the day she ever said a word….


First Line

It’s happening again.

The Rumor by Lesley Kara

I am guilty of judging a book by its blurb. When I read the blurb, I thought that it was going to be a run of the mill suspense/thriller/mystery. I thought that I would be able to figure out who the killer was by the middle of the book. Yeah, well, that didn’t happen. I was taken by surprise by The Rumor , and I loved it.

The murderer in The Rumor is based on a real crime. Mary Bell killed a four-year-old and a three-year-old in 1968. The author had Sally follow Mary’s path in life. I was chilled reading those parts of The Rumor. The question that burned in my mind as I was reading was, “What can drive a ten-year-old to kill?

The plotline in The Rumor was fast paced. There were no slow interludes. Everything that occurred in the book, happened within a few weeks of Joanna repeating the rumor. There was no lag, and there were no dropped or missing storylines.

Joanna became a hot mess during the book. The minute she repeated that rumor, she was on a fast track to collide with the killer. There were times where I wanted to shake her, though. Mainly with her personal life. I did feel bad for her at the end of the book. What she learned shocked me as much as it shocked her.

I was surprised at who the child killer was. When it was revealed, my mouth dropped open, and I said, out loud, “No effing way.” I was not expecting it to be that person. The author did a fantastic job of throwing out red herrings and pointing fingers at various people in the book. I loved it!!

The end of The Rumor was intense. Everything was revealed in a showdown that I can only describe as epic. I couldn’t put the book down because I needed to know what was going to happen. What chilled me was the last chapter. I got chills up and down my spine when I read it.


I would give The Rumor an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Rumor. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

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4 thoughts on “The Rumor by Lesley Kara

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