Blog Tour: What Alice Knew by T.A Cotterell

Today I’m thrilled to be hosting the next stop on the What Alice Knew Blog Tour by T.A Cotterell. So, as part of the tour I have some exclusive content from the author interviewing Nell, Alice’s teenage daughter, along with my review. Don’t forget to check out all the other fab stops on the Blog Tour!

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Blurb:

How far would you go to protect someone you love? Would you lie to the police,
knowing your loved one is guilty as charged, or would you watch their life fall
apart because of a terrible accident?

Sometimes it’s better not to know.

Alice has a perfect life – a great job, happy kids, a wonderful husband. Until he goes missing one night; she receives a suspicious phone call; things don’t quite add up.

Alice needs to know what’s going on. But when she uncovers the truth she faces a brutal choice. And how can she be sure it is the truth?

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*Exclusive Author Content*

Interview with Nell:

  • What’s your earliest memory of your parents?

I have kind of a bad memory but the first thing I think I remember was when we went to visit granny at Highlands just before Arthur was born. I remember going on a walk with mum and dad and uncle Matt. It was so cold but I had a fluffy pink coat on and yellow duck wellies. Me and Uncle Matt were running so fast (or fast for a four-year old) holding hands and mum and dad were talking about adult things and dad waved but I don’t think mum saw us zoom past.

  • What’s your greatest fear?

I have a maybe irrational fear of being on my own. I know it’s weird, I’m not four anymore, but I just prefer it if I know someone’s in the house with me. Whether it be Arthur playing some mindless game or mum in her own world painting, I just feel much more at ease knowing there’s somebody there.

  • Do you get on better with mum, dad, or brother and why?

Probably my dad because although he’s always busy he tries to find time for us and if mum is ever away he always comes home early and makes whatever we want for supper. I love my mum. She loves to do girly things like shopping and taking my friends out for lunch. But when she’s on a painting she can be distant and get irritated easily. Arthur and I don’t always get on. Even before he starts to annoy me, he’s annoying me. It’s like, after all these years, I can anticipate what’s to come so I get ready to shout for mum or dad before he’s even started being annoying.

  • Have you ever kept a secret from your family?

I don’t tell them that much, especially not about my social life. Mum hears the odd thing, especially if something drastic happened at school. Sometimes she gets angry or takes something seriously and sometimes she doesn’t. Dad is more calm and predictable, so if I’m upset I probably would tell him. I don’t tell anything to Arthur ever since he ratted that it was me and my friend Eve who stole some wine before we went to Grace’s party. I got grounded for a week.

  • What did you think when your dad didn’t come home that night?

To begin with I wasn’t worried like he often comes back late if something’s gone wrong at work, but I was up on a group call with my friends till really late when suddenly I clocked it was almost midnight and neither he nor mum were home. I checked my texts and realised it was pretty weird they hadn’t let me know. It isn’t the kind of thing they’d forget (especially dad). I called him first but there was no answer, so I guessed he must be in an emergency. Then I called mum. I did get worried because there’s one thing about dad: he always does what he says he’s going to do.

  • Do you believe your mum when she says everything is fine?

I used to. But now I sometimes feel she says whatever is needed, like a white lie to keep us all happy, particularly if she’s painting and doesn’t want to be distracted. The night when dad didn’t come home I could hear some doubt or surprise in her voice even though she pretended there wasn’t. Maybe she thinks I’m too young to know. Which is ridiculous as I’m nearly 15. It might be true for Arthur though. That night she said it was all fine when it blatantly wasn’t so that’s when I got a bit worried.

My Review:

I really enjoyed this novel with its easy writing style, vivid descriptions and fully rounded characters who I were so unpredictable I wasn’t sure which direction the novel would take.

This novel takes you on Alice’s and Ed’s journey where a shocking secret bubbles to the surface threatening their lives which will alters their relationship and themselves.

I had no idea what to expect from this book but boy was I surprised! The author kept the truth hidden from the reader and also kept Alice’s true motives at bay until the very last moment which was very unexpected.

There are a number of themes in the novel including the question of morality and responsibility and the effect of living with a lie where much of the action in the novel centred around. I loved the change in Alice’s character as she slowly became more and more erratic which for me really showed the moral dilemma she was struggling to deal with.

I thought Ed was a very interesting character as he was someone who on the surface you thought you knew and trusted but underneath lay something else which I think was part of the charm of his character. By the end of the novel I found myself sympathising with him even though I knew it was wrong.

I won’t say too much more as I don’t want to spoil it for you but what I will say is this novel was full of tension and Alice’s claustrophobic world really made it feel like I was right there with her – I literally had no idea what she would do next and every time I thought I had her sussed out she turned round and surprised me again.

About the Author:

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T. A. Cotterell read History of Art at Cambridge University. He worked in the City before resigning to become a freelance writer. He is now a writer and editor at the research house Redburn. He is married with three children and lives in Bristol.

With thanks to Rebecca Hunter at Transworld Publishers, Penguin Random House for my advanced review copy.

This novel isn’t out until December 2016 as an E Book and Trade Paperback in April 2017 but the good news is you can preorder this book from Amazon just click here

To find out more about T.A Cotterell on Twitter at @TACotterell1.

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