Publisher: Michael Joseph
Release date: 25 January 2018
Back cover blurb: 'I could run, or I could stay and call him an ambulance. Now it is decision time . . . ' 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. Coming fast. 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 you husband, family and friends, everyone you love, will stand by you. OR: Run 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. Forever.
Conceal/Reveal - what would you do?
Joanna is on a night out with a friend when she is harassed by a man in the bar they have a 'selfie' taken with. To the girls it was just a photo, but to him it was much more, and he wants to get to know Jo better.
When they leave the bar and go their separate ways, Jo is convinced that she is being followed, and she is convinced that it is him, the man from the bar. She is frightened and doesn't consider her actions as she panics and turns on the steps to push him away from her.
He falls and hits the ground. Jo is paralysed with fear, should she call 999 and wait for the police and ambulance to arrive, or should she run and try to forget that anything ever happened?
This novel has been compared to the film sliding doors in that the narrative after the event splits into two halfs. What happens if Jo calls the Police and what happens if she doesn't. That's where the similarities to the film start and end.
The novel is told in alternate 'Conceal' and 'Reveal' chapters as we are caught up in Joanna's battle (for neither option is easy) to regain a normal life after that fateful night. Her relationship with her friends and family are put to the ultimate test as the stories play out and we see a different side to her husband in each case.
This is the part of the novel that I found most interesting, Joanna is not an instantly likeable character, and makes some pretty terrible decisions in both scenarios, but it is her relationship with her husband that really brings out the emotional side of this novel.
I can't say too much more without giving anything away, but this novel is very clever and you should definitely read it for yourself.
Anything You Do Say is available from 25 January 2018
You can pre-order it now via Amazon online and all good book shops.
Thank You to the publishers who approved my request via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.