Title: Anything You Do Say
Author: Gillian McAllister
Publisher: Michael Joseph
Joanna is an avoider. So far she has spent her adult life hiding bank statements and changing career aspirations weekly.
But then one night Joanna hears footsteps on the way home. Is she being followed? She is sure it’s him; the man from the bar who wouldn’t leave her alone. Hearing the steps speed up Joanna turns and pushes with all of her might, sending her pursuer tumbling down the steps and lying motionless on the floor.
Now Joanna has to do the thing she hates most – make a decision. Fight or flight? Truth or lie? Right or wrong?
Another fantastic read from Gillian McAllister; it’s full of every emotion you can think of, all written spectacularly well. I couldn’t put it down!
I don’t want to give anything away so I’m going to keep this fairly succinct. What I will say is: don’t read Anything You Do Say if you have immediate plans – all you’ll want to do is stay in and race through this novel… which is exactly what I did!
The plot itself is just excellent, and presents a worryingly realistic situation. It’s every woman’s worst nightmare and whilst reading it I could imagine only too well how I might feel in Joanna’s place. Though I may not agree with everything she did, and at times her indecision was frustrating, but I really felt for her throughout the novel.
I absolutely loved the split storylines, titled ‘conceal’ and ‘reveal’, each showing what would happen if Jo had reacted in a different way, and how her life would have changed accordingly (and in some ways, dramatically!). It feels very realistic, and Gillian McAllister resists the urge to make everything tied up with a neat bow. It also made me really think about how unfair some aspects of just being a woman are! It provoked some strong emotions in me, which is always the sign of a great writer.
This is just a brilliantly constructed, convincing novel which I highly recommend. No doubt this will be on my best books of 2018 even though we’re only in January!
Many thanks to Michael Joseph UK and Netgalley for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.
Anything You Do Say is out in the UK on 25 January.