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Tell Me Why by Ruth O’Neill

Updated: Jan 23, 2021

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Publisher: Publish Nation

Publication Date: 28th Nov 2019

Review Date: 9th March 2020


Lauren Adams is just an ordinary single girl, until one split-second decision throws her life into crisis. When she meets the handsome and intriguing Max Davies during a girls’ weekend away, she can’t believe her luck. But it soon turns out to be her biggest mistake.

Max gets accused of murder, a murder that allegedly happened on the same night he and Lauren met. Is Max really the man she thinks he is? Is he really innocent of murder? And why does Lauren hear him late at night, building something in the basement – a basement he’s made clear is out of bounds?

Tell me why follows a woman who just wants to be loved, but who instead ends up in a tangled web of lies, deceit, and terror. A chilling read you won’t stop talking about.

My Review

Tell Me Why is a fast-paced psychological thriller with an addictive narrative that draws you in right from the very first page. Whilst the novel does have a linear structure for the main part, the first chapter is told as a flash-forward scene where we see the protagonist, Lauren, trapped in some kind of confined space. She is on the brink of death and whether she survives or not is revealed at this stage.

Chapter two then flashes back two years, where Lauren and her girlfriends – Chloe, Kate, Holly, and Lucy – have arrived at Butlins in Minehead for a girls’ weekend away. All five girls are the best of friends and are determined to have a good time; however, lurking in the shadows, Lauren has noticed a predator. Is it just a figment of her imagination? Or is there a stalker on the loose? The creepiness moves up a notch when Lauren becomes detached from her friends at the nightclub and decides to make her way back to the caravan on her own. Anybody who has ever stayed in a big caravan park will know how the maze of caravans all look the same in daylight, let alone in the dark, and to top it all Lauren drops her phone and can’t find it. When she hears a cry for help, she finds a man stooped over a body and both men are covered in blood. One of them is Max, and as he tells Lauren, it was a good job he happened to be there as the other man was following Lauren. Or was he?

Lauren soon falls for Max, her knight in shining armour, and even though he shows psychotic personality traits very early on in their relationship, she is so smitten she ignores all the warning signs, falling further and deeper for his bogus charm; completely oblivious as to just how dangerous he is.

The narrative is omniscient in parts but mostly focalises on the third-person perspectives of both Lauren and Max; where juxtaposition of Max’s narcissistic and creepy characterisation alongside Lauren’s trusting and naive personality will have readers gripping the edge of their seats as the story gradually reveals not only how Lauren ends up in the situation she is in at the beginning of the novel, but why.

I really enjoyed reading Tell Me Why and whizzed through the novel in just over a day. The antagonist is a really nasty piece of work and there is quite a lot of violent action as well as psychological suspense. I would place this novel somewhere between a domestic noir and a crime thriller and would recommend this book for anybody who likes Louise Jensen or A A Abbott.

About the Author

Ruth O'Neill grew up in the ancient Roman city of Bath England, a beautiful peaceful city whose locations are often referred to in her first book 'Sunshine & Tears'. Ruth has always enjoyed helping others and is very committed to her job as a Teaching Assistant where she supports young people with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities.

Her second book `Befriended` is a contemporary thriller. Her new release 'Tell Me Why' is a psychological thriller.

Thank you to the author for a Review Copy of this book.

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