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Book giveaway: Accidents Happen by Louise Millar. Apply for free copy and post your feedback(31 Posts)
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.
I would love to, but that link only leads to a narrative and a biog, no link that I can see.
Sorry Meltdown, try again now and you should be able to access the form.
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.
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.
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....
I'd even offer to subedit a copy if the publishers would like me to?
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 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
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...
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.
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.
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.
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!
SPOILER ALERT ABOUT THE PLAYDATE:
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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!
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.
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!
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