“Somebody is lying”
Thrilling Aussie noir. The Accusation by Wendy James will keep you guessing until the very end!
When Ellie Canning is found on the side of the road in a small country town her story explodes on the news and social media. Ellie is a young attractive blonde, and her story about being kidnapped and held hostage by two crazy women is fascinating.
At first it seems ridiculous when the local teacher, newcomer Suzannah Wells, is accused of kidnapping Ellie, but as the evidence begins to pile and things quickly begin to unravel, it suddenly doesn’t seem so unlikely.
I flip-flopped the entire way through this novel. Sometimes it seemed as though Ellie had to be telling the truth, sometimes it seemed impossible that it could have been kind Suzannah who had abruptly put life on hold to care for her elderly mother with dementia. I genuinely had no idea what the truth was until the very end.
I also really enjoyed the media/social media aspect of this novel. Wendy James has done a fantastic job at highlighting how things can be distorted by the media and will make you question everything you see online.
Eighteen-year-old Ellie Canning is found shivering and barely conscious on a country road, clad only in ill-fitting pyjamas. Her story of kidnap and escape quickly enthrals the nation: a middle-aged woman with a crazy old mother has held Ellie in a basement, chained her to a bed and given her drinks from an old baby’s sippy cup. But who was this woman and what did she want with Ellie? And what other secrets might she hide?
When the accusation is levelled at local teacher Suzannah Wells, no one seems more bewildered than Suzannah herself … to start with. The preposterous charge becomes manifestly more real as she loses her job and her friends. And the evidence is strong: a dementia-affected mother, a house with a basement, a sippy cup that belonged to her long-dead daughter. And Ellie Canning’s DNA everywhere. As stories about Susannah’s past emerge, even those closest to her begin to doubt she’s innocent.
And Ellie? The media can’t get enough of her. She’s a girl-power icon, a social-media star. But is she telling the truth?
A powerful exploration of the fragility of trust, and the power of suggestion, from the author of The Golden Child and The Mistake.
PRAISE FOR THE GOLDEN CHILD
‘The novel is cleverly constructed, the characters are extremely well-drawn, the use of social media as a plot device is very sophisticated, and the resolution is a genuine surprise’ Judges’ report, Ned Kelly Crime Awards, 2017
‘This is domestic noir at its most intelligent and sharp’ Sydney Morning Herald
‘It takes 48 hours to pulse through Wendy James’ rollercoaster 21st century story about parenting’ Australian Women’s Weekly
‘an engaging and intimate read that will appeal to fans of Liane Moriarty and Jodi Picoult, with nods to Lionel Shriver and Christos Tsiolkas’ The Slap . . . 4 Stars’ Books & Publishing
‘This book is utterly brilliant’ Nicola Moriarty’
Author: Wendy James
Published: May 20th 2019 by HarperCollins – AU
Read: Paperback, 352 pages, 2019