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Book giveaway: Accidents Happen by Louise Millar. Apply for free copy and post your feedback

(31 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 11-Apr-13 12:59:32

This week's book giveaway comes from Louise Millar who excels in creating gripping psychological thrillers based in seemingly innocent domestic settings.

Her first novel, The Playdate was well received by mumsnetters who accessed free copies last year and we now have 50 copies of her latest offering, Accidents Happen to giveaway.

Read more and apply for your copy and then come back to this thread and let us know what you think.

scottishmummy Sun 14-Jul-13 23:42:01

I really had initial high hopes or this book,it started at a good steady pace,building tension between Kate,Saskia and Kate parent in-law. initially, all beginning to emerge as a taut social and psychological tension.until, went literary tits up.Truly

Kate meets Jago,dashing scottish visiting maths professor at Oxford with interest in statistics and accidents .so far so semi-pausible. From this point on,it really deteriorated,I mean into realms of unresolved questions (what was significance of Magnus skulking about...why buildup to not resolve?)

A succession of really badly told tests of situations occur between Jago and Kate. All increasingly stupid,implausible and badly told. Especially the event in the highgate woods. reading it I was genuinely bemused thinking what the hell (not in a good gosh I was gripped way)

The reveal,is shockingly poor,badly written and in last 200pages Millar scrabbled about to create explanation,and tension. Frankly it was sub o-grade. Not well constructed,not really explaining anything. The reveal on Jago was risible, I mean shockingly so

Please don't waste time on this sub-standard effort

iwanttoscream Wed 19-Jun-13 15:03:49

Thaks for my free copy. Poor Kate,i thought that Hugo's parents were harsh, Jago seemed so nice. I really thought they would live happily ever after, luckily Jack saved the day. This book is a perfect holiday read. Will have to get the play date. Passing my copy of the Accidents Happen on to my sister.

BigGapMum Mon 17-Jun-13 21:33:19

I was very pleased to win a copy of this book. I had not read anything by Louise Millar before, and I enjoyed reading it.

I thought that the pace of the story was spot on, and the level of tension was credible.

Although I felt a lot of sympathy for Jack, I found many of the characters not quite believable. Kate, for example, had such extremes of attitude to life that transition from one to another seems implausible in the timescale indicated in the book. It really seemed unbelievable that Jago could convince her to do the things that he planned for her, but sure enough she did them anyway.
And while I realise that Jago had suffered from childhood, I found it hard to believe that anyone would go to the lengths he did to get revenge.

I found the short italicised chapters rather puzzling, especially earlier in the book, but they did make sense in the end ( well they would, wouldn't they?) and the ending of the book was a real surprise. I didn't see that coming.

Overall an enjoyable read.

Snoozy1 Fri 31-May-13 09:51:29

Just marking my place. Unfortunately, I have only just started reading this as I had just started another book when I received it and things have been quite hectic lately. Anyway, loving it so far. Have found it really easy to get into. Haven't read any of the other threads as I don't want to spoil it and will update as soon as I've finished.

mum2jakie Tue 21-May-13 20:37:55

Thanks very much for my free copy. It has taken me a while to complete the book - not because I didn't enjoy it all but simply because I found it a really tense read and one I could only read when I wasn't feeling tired and stressed myself.

I found the main character incredibly realistic and likeable. I could really empathise with her and the sense of tension was palpable. Likewise, the son's character was well written and plausible, which can be difficult to achieve.

I did have some reservations about the (sudden) relationship with Jago and found some of his behaviour odd so do think there were lots of hints there towards the ending but was happy with the twists and turns and found the ending totally gripping.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one and am definitely going to read the Playdate - just hope it lives up to this standard.

AnonYonimousBird Tue 21-May-13 10:26:37

Boo hoo, I clearly was not successful on this one!

nushcar Sat 18-May-13 12:37:44

I liked the description in parts and was really able to visualise everything in the book, however, it did not quite hook me in as other thrillers have done. I think there was overly long description of her journey around Oxford in the start of the book and I found it hard to relate to the main character Kate. That said, it was an easy read, so perfect train/beach material for an exhausted mum who needs a non-demanding, yet well-written story!

gailforce1 Sat 18-May-13 12:05:25

Thank you for my free copy which I will pass on to a friend to read. I found that Kate irritated me in the same way that the lead female character in Gone Girl did and I just did'nt get into it.

Weasill Fri 17-May-13 13:12:23

V. Pleased to receive a copy of this book, but slightly disappointed in it. Took a long time to get going I thought, but about a third of the way in, it finally caught my interest. Found it a bit far fetched that Kate would do all the things Jago suggested, but on the other hand, she infuriated me with her antics before she met him. It's the sort of book I would've bought, but on this occasion, I'm glad it was free!

Queenie72 Fri 17-May-13 07:58:01

Thank you for my free copy! This book just wasnt for me, far too creepy and I just didn't buy the characters. It was just too unnerving and implausible.

lasttothebar Thu 16-May-13 20:16:03

thanks for the free book i'm really enjoying it but I enjoyed her previous book the play date better I think but still a really good read

lolapops1 Wed 15-May-13 23:07:08

I absolutely loved this book,it had me hooked straight away.
What an amazing read this has been.
You couldn't guess where this was going,wonderfully written.
Have already passed this on, thanks Mumsnet!

Luckystar96 Wed 15-May-13 19:52:12

I've just finished Accidents Happen!
Really, really enjoyed it, didn't want it to end. But have just read the last few pages where it all unravels and Kate finds out the true identity of Jago and I thought it was all wound up a bit too quickly. I would have preferred the conclusion to have been a bit more drawn out.. (Just a minor thing though). Also, I agree with others that the things Jago got kate to do were a bit unbelievable and that she kept going along with it...?
And, why did Magnus let Jack go? that wasn't explained really was it?
Overall it was a great read. I did love the relationships between the characters and I was totally involved all the way through.
I will look out for other books by Louise Millar.

PetiteRaleuse Wed 15-May-13 14:45:07

I enjoyed the book but as someone upthread said, some of the characters aren't very likeable. Which is fine when you don't want us to like a character, but I'll admit to finding it difficult to empathise with Kate. Ys, she was vulnerable, but also not very intelligent sometimes. It was a good read though.

apatchylass Wed 15-May-13 14:33:06


Poledra I can exactly see why you found it difficult to sympathise with the heroine of Playdate. She was so vile I found it hard to believe we were suppose to side with her at the end. She sponged off others, tricked a man into thinking her child was his, lived in a slum of her own making, had no job and didn't care for her own daughter properly. She used her friend Susie all the time as unpaid childcare and cook, even when trying to distance herself from the woman and was secretly sleeping with Susie's husband.

After all this we are supposed to believe Susie is the unhinged one and the protagonist deserves a happy life? There wasn't a single redeeming feature about the woman. This would have been fine if the writing had suggested there was an irony in her being as sociopathic as Susie in her own way, but getting away with it.

releasethehounds Wed 15-May-13 14:27:28

Thanks for my free copy. This was a really easy read and it keeps you interested, so I read it over a couple of days in between the rest of life. I'm a big reader and I wouldn't class this book as one of my all time favourites but it's certainly gripping enough to recommend to a friend for a holiday read.

SPOILER - I enjoyed the way Jago's character was wrapped up at the end and his ultimate demise, but I think Kate's lucky moment was when the foreign accomplice (I forget his name now) let her son go rather that keeping him hostage. This allowed Kate to blackmail Jago, knowing that her son was safe.

I found some of the plot a little far-fetched, particularly the way Kate was led so easily by Jago in some of the 'therapy exercises', although, as others have mentioned, she was in a vulnerable state (and plenty of women in real life have been duped by charming, manipulative men in times of mental stress).

Overall though, I enjoyed it!

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Mon 13-May-13 09:18:48

I have to agree with everyone else, I found it hard to believe Kate would go along with jago's plan also I found his name really irritating, I understand why the author used it but what I didn't get was why Kate didn't realise it was a mix of her husband and sons names even when her sil pointed it out she didn't seem to click.

That said I enjoyed it and read it on my day off, have passed it on to my mum and will be ordering the playdate as I got hooked on the chapter at the back of the book.

BeerTricksPotter Fri 10-May-13 15:59:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TerraNotSoFirma Fri 10-May-13 12:14:04

Found the book fast paced, a one-day read.
I found the relationships between Kate, her son and in-laws relatable and well written.
As a sufferer of anxiety I found Kate's character very well described and her thought processes very believeable (worryingly so at times), I also had a problem with her relationship with Jago, I just couldn't accept that she would participate in those tasks.
I enjoyed the book, have passed it on and will look out for a copy of the playdate.

NancyBlacket Fri 10-May-13 12:00:29

Thank you for my copy of "Accidents Happen" I did enjoy reading it, but like others have said, Jago has some insane plans to help Kate. As the main character I didn't find myself believing in her. I can't imagine going along with Jago's crazy dates after the first couple!
Having said that I found the book fast paced and read it in a day. I'm going to look out for a copy of "The Playdate" next.

Poledra Wed 08-May-13 13:32:39

Oops, got interrupted during the post, and didn't realise I'd repeated 'I mean'. It's shameful, being so unimaginative when criticising someone else's writing...

Poledra Wed 08-May-13 13:29:23

I've read both of the books now (both got as MN freebies, strangely enough - thank you). This will contain spoilers, you have been warned!

It's a good light read but my god she writes unlikeable characters! In both books, I was not drawn to the principal protagonist at all. I could see that Kate had had terrible life experiences, but she was a complete fool to trust Jago. And, like racingheart, I found it incredible that she went along with the (increasingly more deranged) things he asked her to do. I mean, after the incident with the boys on scooters looking for her in the dark, I'd have kneecapped the bastard grin I mean, it's not like Jago sets himself up as shit-hot psychiatrist/psychologist/therapist - he's a statistician. I know lots of statisticians, and, lovely as they are, I wouldn't trust them with my mental health.

I need to go back and look at The Playdate again - I can't quite put my finger on why I find her heroines so unlikable but they really get on my wick blush

isitsnowingyet Sun 05-May-13 13:45:15

I was really pleased to have gotten a free copy of this book! I quite enjoyed it, and found it was worth reading until the end. As the writer used to be a sub editor there were a couple of glaring mistakes in the book that she should have noticed. On page 93 note the waitress suddenly has an auburn plait instead of the previously mentioned auburn ponytail (Petty - I know, but I used to be a sub-editor!!). Also sentence at top of page 305 makes no sense whatsoever.

The expoilts of Jago did get rather tiresome - especially when it got to the third evening out with him acting like a prat - but I guess the Kate was indeed vulnerable and may have fallen for him...

Basically it was somewhat far-fetched - but then again it's not exactly supposed to be in the running for the Booker Prize or anything - and I thought it was great for a quick holiday read or a lazy Sunday afternoon.

I'd certainly try her other 'The PlayDate' book - especially if someone offered me a free copy....grin

I'd even offer to subedit a copy if the publishers would like me to?

HandMini Wed 01-May-13 19:48:26

Easy to read and fast moving, but I didn't rate this book at all. The central character (Jago) and the things he tries to persuade Kate to do are so unbelievable that the book simply becomes frustrating as she continues to be in his thrall.

The family / in laws descriptions are pretty derivative of other books.

racingheart Sun 28-Apr-13 15:16:55

Just finished it. Original and fast paced. The central character's constant anxiety was well described. The dynamic between her and her family-in-law was well done too. Some of the language was really perfectly pitched, especially when describing her son. I have Dc of similar age and she got that cusp between childhood and adulthood nicely. Other bits (not often) felt rather clunky.

Hard to criticise without giving away key points in the plot, but I didn't quite believe she'd react to Jago the way she did. SPOILER ALERT. He was so creepy in his suggestions that I found it hard to believe she'd fall for him and even harder to believe she'd be that unfeeling towards the people she tricked - the lady with her dog - the old man and his boat. A more gradual build would have convinced me better. Overall the plot was too tidy for me. He had so many false trails, so neatly laid. I found it hard to believe someone would dedicate their lives to such a cause without coming over as a raging weirdo from the outset and without being discovered or suspected from time to time. Too much went conveniently his way. The deer in the road was way too lucky - anything could have happened.

At the end of the book there was the first chapter of The Playdate which I read and was gripped by. Brilliant descriptions of North London, and her friendship with Suzy was gripping. I was hooked, so will probably buy this on Kindle now.

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