Today it is my absolute pleasure to be taking part in the blog blitz for The Mistake, the latest release from K.L. Slater and Bookouture. My thanks go to Kim Nash of Bookouture for inviting me to be a part of this tour and for providing an advance copy for review. I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you all in just a moment, as soon as I’ve shown you what the book is all about.
The Official Book Blurb
You think you know the truth about the people you love.
But one discovery can change everything…
Eight-year-old Billy goes missing one day, out flying his kite with his sister Rose. Two days later, he is found dead.
Sixteen years on, Rose still blames herself for Billy’s death. How could she have failed to protect her little brother?
Rose has never fully recovered from the trauma, and one of the few people she trusts is her neighbour Ronnie, who she has known all her life. But one day Ronnie falls ill, and Rose goes next door to help him… and what she finds in his attic room turns her world upside down.
Rose thought she knew the truth about what happened to Billy. She thought she knew her neighbour. Now the only thing she knows is that she is in danger…
With certain authors, you know when you pick up one of their books you are going to be taken on a cracking journey, that the book is going to capture your attention and not really want to let you go. For me, K.L Slater is one of those authors and her latest novel, The Mistake, one of those books. I had every intention of reading this over a couple of evenings. I have been very busy at work of late and somewhat tired as a result. And there was no rush. Or so I thought. Wrong… so so wrong. Because as soon as I started reading this I was hooked. I couldn’t stop reading. It wasn’t a simple case of one more page it was one more book. No way this book was going anywhere until I was done.
Rose is a the very epitome of the mild mannered librarian. You know from the very beginning that something bad has happened in her life, something beyond the tragic death of her younger brother for which she feels ultimately responsible. Something which has made her nervous and overly suspicious of people around her. She struggles with anxiety and has a very small world in which she safely exists. Part of that world, her precious library, is under threat, something which only adds to her feeling of unease. But when she discovers something unexpected in the home of her neighbour and close family friend, her whole past is thrown into doubt and everything she thought she knew is now in question.
From the start of the book I was invested in Rose. I wanted to know more about her, to find out what it was that had made her so scared. It had to be more than the death of young Billy, as tragic as that was, and there were certainly hints dropped throughout of there being more to the situation than we knew. As the story developed it became clear where the tale was leading, but this didn’t stop if being compelling and if anything made me more determined to read on, willing Rose to open her eyes to the danger she was in. It was obvious to everyone else but her, especially the reader, but this just added an element of authenticity to the story.
As for Billy’s tragic story, it is clear from the outset what has happened, and that the suspect in his death is a man, someone Billy and the family both know. What follows is a gradual uncovering of suspects, any one of which could have reason to have hurt him, be it maliciously or otherwise. Everyone, from Rose and Billy’s father, to Rose’s boyfriend Gareth, even their next door neighbour, could be suspected of hurting Billy, but do they have the motive or the opportunity?
This is a difficult story to tell, one of domestic violence and control. KL Slater carefully explores the subject of emotional control and manipulation, making Rose a very sympathetic subject. Yes she is young and naive, but it is not simply this which makes her a suitable target. However, the big mistake she makes as a teenager has such far reaching repercussions for all of them that nobody could have foreseen at the start. None of it is played for shock factor, the reader being kept somewhat sheltered from some of the more unpleasant parts of the story. But you are still drawn in, still emotionally manipulated just as Rose was, being taken from shocked to angry to frustrated in the blink of an eye.
And how do I describe Gareth? Well, think of every depiction of a emotional abuser and you have this man right there. Charming when needed, he slowly isolates Rose from her family and friends until the point that emotional control is no longer enough. As a reader I just wanted to scream at my kindle, so frustrated by how blind Rose was to the truth. But then this is how someone like Gareth gains and maintains the control. They say that if something seems to good to be true, it probably is. That… That right there. That is this man, a loathsome character who from the very off makes the skin begin to crawl, he is so well written. Urgh. The thought of him still makes me shudder. Slime. Total and utter slime.
Did I have an inkling of what the absolute truth of this story would be? I’d be lying if I said that I was completely blindsided. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy the journey that the author takes us on as I really and truly did. And the ending… It is a two fold thing with Rose seeing complete resolution to all of the questions she has left to answer about Billy, as well as closure on a very traumatic part of her past. They say revenge is a dish best served cold. And boy was it. That part really did make me smile
Equal parts chilling, compelling and moving, I loved this book. The Mistake is available now from the following retailers:
About the Author
For many years, Kim sent her work out to literary agents but never made it off the slush pile. At the age of 40 she went back to Nottingham Trent University and now has an MA in Creative Writing.
Before graduating, she received five offers of representation from London literary agents which was, as Kim says, ‘a fairytale … at the end of a very long road!’
Kim is a full-time writer and lives in Nottingham with her husband, Mac.
You can follow Kim at the following sites:
For more reviews, make sure to check out some of the other blogs taking part in this blitz. They’re all fabulous.