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Little Rumours

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Three mothers. Three secrets. One missing child.In a small town, three mothers wave goodbye to their children at the school gates.Naomi has lived Exton Cross since she was born, and she knows everything there is to know about everyone.Aleema hates it here. It’s been three years and she’s yet to make a single friend. And she’s sure the other mums whisper about her behind he Three mothers. Three secrets. One missing child.In a small town, three mothers wave goodbye to their children at the school gates.Naomi has lived Exton


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Three mothers. Three secrets. One missing child.In a small town, three mothers wave goodbye to their children at the school gates.Naomi has lived Exton Cross since she was born, and she knows everything there is to know about everyone.Aleema hates it here. It’s been three years and she’s yet to make a single friend. And she’s sure the other mums whisper about her behind he Three mothers. Three secrets. One missing child.In a small town, three mothers wave goodbye to their children at the school gates.Naomi has lived Exton Cross since she was born, and she knows everything there is to know about everyone.Aleema hates it here. It’s been three years and she’s yet to make a single friend. And she’s sure the other mums whisper about her behind her back.Kelly is an outsider. New to the town, she arrives with nothing but her son – and a dark secret.By the end of the school day, one of their children will be missing. And rumours will swirl that one of them knows why…Secrets and lies will come to light with devastating consequences in this dark and twisty psychological thriller, perfect for fans of Big Little Lies and Adele Parks.

27 review for Little Rumours

  1. 5 out of 5

    Louise Wilson

    Naomi has lived in Exton Cross since she was born and she knows everything there is to know about everyone.Aleema hates it here, It's been three years and she's yet to make a single friend. And she's sure other mums whisper about her behind her back.Kelly is an outsider, New to the town, she arrives with nothing but her son - and a dark secret. By the end of the school day, one of their children will be missing.It's a bit of a slow burn to begin with, introducing each of the main characters and Naomi has lived in Exton Cross since she was born and she knows everything there is to know about everyone.Aleema hates it here, It's been three years and she's yet to make a single friend. And she's sure other mums whisper about her behind her back.Kelly is an outsider, New to the town, she arrives with nothing but her son - and a dark secret. By the end of the school day, one of their children will be missing.It's a bit of a slow burn to begin with, introducing each of the main characters and their backstory, but the pace has picked up by the middle. The story is told from Naomi, Aleema and Kelly's perspectives, this gives an insight into what the women are thinking. This is a twist filled read that's like no other missing child story that I've read. There is no obvious reason for a child to go missing or a suspect. This is a tense and emotional read. The characters are well developed and believable. It also covers abuse and bullying.I would like to thank #NetGalley #AvonBooksUk and the author #ByronyPearce for my ARC of #LittleRumours in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Gary

    Three women with three secrets and one missing child, sounds like a good start for a novel but unfortunately I failed to get into this book enough to truly enjoy it. It’s a shame because everything I read about this book pointed to my sort of read so was very disappointed at the result.I appreciate that my feelings for the book are in the minority but it didn’t quite gel with me and I failed to get absorbed like I normally do when reading.The book is told from the POV’s of the three women, Naomi Three women with three secrets and one missing child, sounds like a good start for a novel but unfortunately I failed to get into this book enough to truly enjoy it. It’s a shame because everything I read about this book pointed to my sort of read so was very disappointed at the result.I appreciate that my feelings for the book are in the minority but it didn’t quite gel with me and I failed to get absorbed like I normally do when reading.The book is told from the POV’s of the three women, Naomi, Aleema and Kelly. Naomi has lived in Exton Cross all her life and knows everyone. Aleema hates the place, has no friends and is paranoid that all the other mothers are talking about her and Kelly and her son who is new to the town.By the end of the school day, one of their children will be missing with rumours that one of them knows why.I would like to thank both Netgalley and Avon Books for supplying a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jannelies (on holiday; reading but not reviewing)

    I was intrigued by the idea of three very different women in a small village who are faced with the disappearance of one of their children. It was however a bit of a struggle to get into the story because of the many, many names and family relationships you read about in the first few chapters. I related best to Aleema, because she’s in the village for three years now and the other mums just ‘don’t want her’ because she is Muslim and comes from another country. She is very lonely and the fact th I was intrigued by the idea of three very different women in a small village who are faced with the disappearance of one of their children. It was however a bit of a struggle to get into the story because of the many, many names and family relationships you read about in the first few chapters. I related best to Aleema, because she’s in the village for three years now and the other mums just ‘don’t want her’ because she is Muslim and comes from another country. She is very lonely and the fact that she must take care for her mother-in-law isn’t helping. Naomi is sort of a Twitter-account because she is all over the place and knows everybody and everything. And Kelly, poor Kelly. I cannot imagine how much shame and fear she must deal with, not just for herself but also for her young son Joe. And then the other family members: one husband that’s away for work a lot, one husband who is torn between his wife and his family, and one husband who is… well, you can guess maybe from the blurb. The book sometimes reads very intense, for instance when the parents of the missing child first think she must be with a friend, but slowly discover she is not. She’s nowhere to be seen. It’s cold, it’s dark and they start searching frantically, getting help from other villagers. At other places it reads more slowly, and I noticed my mind kept wandering. I found the plot a little too complicated, but I enjoyed the way Bryony Pearce made it very clear how things can work in little villages. Not always as smoothly and friendly as you would think. Thanks to Netgalley and Avon Books for this review copy.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Karly

    Little Rumours is the first novel I have read by Bryony Pearce and I thought the premise of the book was very interesting. Three mothers each with their own story to tell or to hide, three children who are best friends by the end of the day one child won't make it home. Quite a chilling story of a missing child in a weird village that doesn't accept 'incomers'. The group of PTA mums that feel they own the community was kind of annoying and they got well in the way of the police, which I can actu Little Rumours is the first novel I have read by Bryony Pearce and I thought the premise of the book was very interesting. Three mothers each with their own story to tell or to hide, three children who are best friends by the end of the day one child won't make it home. Quite a chilling story of a missing child in a weird village that doesn't accept 'incomers'. The group of PTA mums that feel they own the community was kind of annoying and they got well in the way of the police, which I can actually see happening in real life. The story is told from three perspectives Kelly (a woman with a dark secret), Naomi (a woman who has never left the village and holds a lot of sadness) and Aleena (a Muslim woman who married a local and just wants some friends). I find this style very appealing and enjoyed finding out more and more about each of the characters. Spun throughout is a host of other characters that make you wonder who took this child. There were a number of red herrings along the way but ultimately I kind of guessed who did it but couldn't guess why which threw me off. For me there were some likeable characters (Aleena) and some very unlikable characters (Naomi and Fi)When I read the twist of who and why this child was taken it just seemed very convoluted and not very believable. While I enjoyed the majority of the story I felt it dragged on a bit and I wasn't a fan of the ending. I want to thank NetGalley, Avon Books UK and the author for an advanced copy for my honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Little Rumours from Bryony Pearce is the first book from the author that I have read.Three mothers live in small village call Exeton Cross in Devon. Where everyone knows your name. Naomi has always lived in the village and Aleema moved down from Manchester with her husband Noah but feels like an outsider and not made any friends and Kelly is the new mum in town. She is under witness protection as her husband killed and was convicted of murder.When Aleema’s daughter Mia goes missing there is mist Little Rumours from Bryony Pearce is the first book from the author that I have read.Three mothers live in small village call Exeton Cross in Devon. Where everyone knows your name. Naomi has always lived in the village and Aleema moved down from Manchester with her husband Noah but feels like an outsider and not made any friends and Kelly is the new mum in town. She is under witness protection as her husband killed and was convicted of murder.When Aleema’s daughter Mia goes missing there is mistrust between the mothers. Someone must know what happened to Mia? When they find out who Kelly is. They are first to point a finger to Kelly and her son Joe. The rest of the mom’s start a hate campaign against the pair. Even getting the media involved to say that they have taken Mia and angry that the Police are not arresting them for the crime.Thank you, Avon, for a copy Little Rumors. I like the premise of this story but, I found it hard to connect to the characters. I did not like them very much and after all went on I the ending was a bit disappointing.Three stars from me.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    This was a decent read, though I found that didn’t like or connect with any of the characters. 3 mothers in the same small town who aren’t friends but their kids are. When one goes missing, there are suspicions abound and secrets revealed. The book is told in alternating perspectives between the 3 women, which is a style I enjoy. The mystery itself was good and I found myself racing through chapters to see what happened. When all was said and done, I wasn’t super surprised at who the culprit was This was a decent read, though I found that didn’t like or connect with any of the characters. 3 mothers in the same small town who aren’t friends but their kids are. When one goes missing, there are suspicions abound and secrets revealed. The book is told in alternating perspectives between the 3 women, which is a style I enjoy. The mystery itself was good and I found myself racing through chapters to see what happened. When all was said and done, I wasn’t super surprised at who the culprit was but there were a couple twists. The whole theme of the book is around what mothers will do to protect their kids, and I mostly got it, but I did feel that some of what happened was a bit stereotypical. All in all, pretty good book but didn’t stand out all that much for me in a crowded missing kid genre. Thanks to Netgalley for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Julie Lacey

    3.5 starsThis is a good read. The story is told from three character’s perspectives and they are all women from the same village. They are all parents and each thinks their child can do no wrong. When Mia goes missing her parents are distraught and soon the village are out in force looking for her. There’s plenty of secrets in this book and each one is slowly revealed as you get further into the book. Not quite an edge of your seat read but an enjoyable read. Thanks to Avon Books and NetGalley f 3.5 starsThis is a good read. The story is told from three character’s perspectives and they are all women from the same village. They are all parents and each thinks their child can do no wrong. When Mia goes missing her parents are distraught and soon the village are out in force looking for her. There’s plenty of secrets in this book and each one is slowly revealed as you get further into the book. Not quite an edge of your seat read but an enjoyable read. Thanks to Avon Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ellie M

    The author could not find more random plots mixed all together. It would have been sufficient to either focus and deep dive in a woman who was married to a psychopath, a child's trauma of witnessing the killing, a missing girl or a Muslim Pakistani migrating to the UK and living in an all British town, but instead we get all of it and thus it becomes one big mess. The only character that is decently developed was Kelly. It was an extremely fascinating angle and I really felt for Kelly's and Josh The author could not find more random plots mixed all together. It would have been sufficient to either focus and deep dive in a woman who was married to a psychopath, a child's trauma of witnessing the killing, a missing girl or a Muslim Pakistani migrating to the UK and living in an all British town, but instead we get all of it and thus it becomes one big mess. The only character that is decently developed was Kelly. It was an extremely fascinating angle and I really felt for Kelly's and Josh's pain and what they have gone through. Nevertheless in some ways it was not very believable how anyone could commit any hideous crimes over a 2 hour break a few times a week. What if the jogger decided to return home sooner? Is 2 hours really sufficient? It could have been better explained if the book was not being distracted by unnecessary characters. There are many good books about Islam and Muslims but this book did not do the justice. Aleema's story was a bit forced and shallow. Migrating to a completely different country will always be a struggle if a person prefers to preserve his/her culture and tradition. Naomi was waste of pages because I am not sure why she was in the book to begin with. We barely get to know her and she added nothing to the story.There seems to be pressure from the publishers to be very PC and adding certain characters into the story without knowing how to develop them, and that ends up in this superficial soup that has no substance nor taste. Thanks Netgalley for the free copy in exchange of an honest review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Schultz

    When I finished Girl on the Platform, I was ready for the next novel by Bryony Pearce.Story is told from the POV of three mothers who live in the same Exton Cross community which is a small Devonshire town.Naomi Bennett has always lived in this community Kelly Marshall is new as well asAleema EvansTheir children Joe Marshall, Leon Bennett and Mia Evan are all eleven years old, go to the same school and are best friends. Story starts when Mia wants to go her grandmother’s after school. Aleema s When I finished Girl on the Platform, I was ready for the next novel by Bryony Pearce.Story is told from the POV of three mothers who live in the same Exton Cross community which is a small Devonshire town.Naomi Bennett has always lived in this community Kelly Marshall is new as well asAleema EvansTheir children Joe Marshall, Leon Bennett and Mia Evan are all eleven years old, go to the same school and are best friends. Story starts when Mia wants to go her grandmother’s after school. Aleema states she cannot stay for eat. That evening Mia vanishes from the park where she, Leon, and Joe gathered after school. Leon left first and then Joe.There is no doubt you will feel the tension and emotions. Ms. Pearce draws us in; the experience feels very real! Many readers gave this story a low rated; which I understand as it was not a fun read. I am a psychological thriller fan so was very curious, yet I feared the worst and really did not want to read anything disturbing. I could have finished last night but didn’t and of course was awake half the night thinking about it!! As a psychological thriller fan, I love trying to figure it out whodunit (as a Guidance Counselor, I took a lot of psychological courses, so this should be natural and easy for me ~ ha-ha.)However, in this case, my suspicion was correct ~ I just didn’t have the motive.I love reading the Author’s Acknowledgements and or/ Author Notes.In this case, Bryong Pearce explains this story covers many sad social issues ~ Abuse ~ physical and mental, Bullying, Kidnapping, Racism, and Loss ~ which is touched on in many ways. BTW: I liked the Devon Dictionary with the Devon dialect at the beginning of the book. It was mentioned that it was a bit unusual but I thought it was fun. Personal Note: Story reminded me a lot of Rachel Caine’s “Stillhouse Lake”.In this case Kelly and Joe are assumed of wrong doing once the villagers find out that they are related to William Addison a serial killer.We find out that Kelly’s name was Kayley Addison. Want to thank NetGalley and Avon Books UK - Avon for this eGalley. This file has been made available to me before publication in an early form for an honest professional review. Publishing Release Date scheduled for March 15, 2022.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Krista crone

    Little Rumours’ setting is in a small town where everyone knows everyone and everything about each of the residents, or so you are lead to believe! Boy is that so wrong! Overall, I enjoyed reading this slow burn. The premise of the book is great but it was rather confusing in the beginning due to multiple POV. I usually love multiple POV but this time it was to much. It wasn’t until around 30% into the book that it really captured my attention and that’s at the point where the little girl goes m Little Rumours’ setting is in a small town where everyone knows everyone and everything about each of the residents, or so you are lead to believe! Boy is that so wrong! Overall, I enjoyed reading this slow burn. The premise of the book is great but it was rather confusing in the beginning due to multiple POV. I usually love multiple POV but this time it was to much. It wasn’t until around 30% into the book that it really captured my attention and that’s at the point where the little girl goes missing. With that said, the pace really picked up from there and I really enjoyed the rest of the book. Every time I thought I had figured out who took the little girl, I was so wrong. You will not see the ending coming or the twists and reasons for the kidnapping. I was so surprised!As the beginning did not capture my attention and due to the slow build, I am giving this a 4 star rating.***** Many thanks to Avon Books UK, Bryony Pearcy, and NetGalley for the gifted copy as it was provided to me in turn for my honest opinion.

  11. 5 out of 5

    RK_reads

    An angst ridden plot that has undertones of loss, loneliness and grief interspersed with secrets and intrigue. Naomi, Kelly and Aleema reside in the same community where Naomi is a local and, Kelly and Aleema are incomers. While their 11-year old kids, Leon, Joey and Mia are thick friends, the three women have next to nothing in common amongst themselves. But when one of their kids go missing, they have to come together to help protect their children from an unknown danger that hides amidst them An angst ridden plot that has undertones of loss, loneliness and grief interspersed with secrets and intrigue. Naomi, Kelly and Aleema reside in the same community where Naomi is a local and, Kelly and Aleema are incomers. While their 11-year old kids, Leon, Joey and Mia are thick friends, the three women have next to nothing in common amongst themselves. But when one of their kids go missing, they have to come together to help protect their children from an unknown danger that hides amidst them. The book is off to a slow start, introducing each protagonist and their backstory, while deftly threading in strands of suspense, enough to keep one hooked. Each character - be it self-righteous Naomi, guarded Kelly or agonised Aleema - has been so well-crafted, that even when their words and actions seem rash and selfish, they tend to be justified. Having said that, Naomi was my least favourite character. The author has thrown in a melange of tropes to churn out this fine thriller - missing child, coercive control, racism, homophobia, etc. Despite all this, the identity and motive of the kidnapper is obvious quite early on. The plot hurtles to an adrenaline packed climax after about 60%. The denouement seemed fitting - not a clean ending, but rather a hope for a better future for each of them. Overall, an engrossing read. Thanks to Netgalley and Avon Books for providing a digital copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Connie

    I was sent a copy of this book from Avon Books, in exchange for my honest review. This gift has not impacted my review. Three women whose children are best friends. Three women with their own secrets. Three women who don't get along like their children. Kelly is running. From her past. From her husband. From everything. Her son Joe is tired of constantly moving, changing his last name and pretending he isn't who he is. Naomi has grown up in Exton Cross, she knows everything about everyone and I was sent a copy of this book from Avon Books, in exchange for my honest review. This gift has not impacted my review. Three women whose children are best friends. Three women with their own secrets. Three women who don't get along like their children. Kelly is running. From her past. From her husband. From everything. Her son Joe is tired of constantly moving, changing his last name and pretending he isn't who he is. Naomi has grown up in Exton Cross, she knows everything about everyone and she can't see herself ever wanting to leave, but when her husband begins to hint at wanting to move she becomes resentful and wants to hold on to the home she has always known. Aleema hates it here. Three years ago she and her family moved to Exton Cross to take care of their sick mother-in-law, but now shes recovered, Aleema wants to go back to Manchester. When the three mothers say goodbye to their children, they have no idea that one of them won't make it home that night and after that, everyone's secrets are fair game. I really enjoyed this book. I feel for a while, thrillers as a genre became a bit oversaturated, especially thrillers involving missing children and often, it's pretty obvious what has happened. I did pick up on the outcome of this book pretty early on, figuring out who was behind the disappearance of one of the kids (view spoiler)[ it's Mia who's missing (hide spoiler)] but I don't feel that it necessarily ruined the immersion in the story because I couldn't work out the motivation behind it. The start of this book is horrifying, with baby Joe being rooted to the spot by something his "monster" of a dad is doing in the back garden, and as the book goes on we find out his father is a serial killer who murdered 6 women. The population believe that Kelly (or Kayley as is her birth name) was directly involved, however, that wasn't the case, and that's why Joe and Kelly have to move so often. When Naomi finds this out, she spreads it throughout the village causing Kelly and Joe to become the prime suspects in the disappearance and labelled as murderers and psychopaths. I don't care what her motivations were, Naomi is a bitch and I will stand by that. (view spoiler)[ I'm glad her perfect best friend got done for kidnapping and endangerment. I'm glad her perfect little world shattered around her. She deserved it. She was an awful person and an even worse mother. (hide spoiler)] But outside of that, I think this was a great thriller and if like me you like to read thrillers on holiday, this is an excellent one.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Courtney (caffeinereadrepeat)

    Shut The Coffin! 😯😳🤯😳Whhhoooaaa!! What a crazy, twisted ride of insane proportions! This novel unraveled amazingly well & smoothly and I couldn't put it down. I desperately needed to keep reading to find out the suspect and just what the ending held!Naomi, Kelly, & Abi are all mothers to sons in a village, Exton Cross. Aleema's daughter, Mia, goes missing one evening and then chaos ensues. Joe & Leon were best friends with Mia and immediately Kelly & her son, Joe, are the suspects since they're Shut The Coffin! 😯😳🤯😳Whhhoooaaa!! What a crazy, twisted ride of insane proportions! This novel unraveled amazingly well & smoothly and I couldn't put it down. I desperately needed to keep reading to find out the suspect and just what the ending held!Naomi, Kelly, & Abi are all mothers to sons in a village, Exton Cross. Aleema's daughter, Mia, goes missing one evening and then chaos ensues. Joe & Leon were best friends with Mia and immediately Kelly & her son, Joe, are the suspects since they're newish to the village. The secrets they hold of their past, soon become public knowledge and amps up the villagers suspicions. Things escalate so quickly. Will Mia be found? What could have happened? Who knows what's really happening and what lengths does a mother go to for her child?Even though I had an inkling to the "who" I never saw the "why" or "what" coming at all! I thoroughly devoured this dying to know what happened! So darkly twisted & leaves you wanting to know more & read faster. You need to find out. Pearce knows how to write one heckuva suspenseful thriller!Thank you to NetGalley & Avon Books UK for this DARC.Release date: March 31, 2022I give this 4.5 / 5 Bouquets! 💐

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nancy W.

    The story is told from the perspective of three women living in a small town. Naomi has lived in Exton Cross her entire life, Aleema has moved there with her husband and daughter to help care for her husband’s ailing mother, and Kelly who arrives to town with her son and a huge secret. The children of the 3 mothers are best friends. One of the children goes missing and everyone starts pointing fingers at Kelly and her son, as her secret is revealed. The author did an excellent job of portraying The story is told from the perspective of three women living in a small town. Naomi has lived in Exton Cross her entire life, Aleema has moved there with her husband and daughter to help care for her husband’s ailing mother, and Kelly who arrives to town with her son and a huge secret. The children of the 3 mothers are best friends. One of the children goes missing and everyone starts pointing fingers at Kelly and her son, as her secret is revealed. The author did an excellent job of portraying a small-town mentality. I felt a lot of empathy for the children who just wanted to be best friends, but bigotry, ignorance, and bullying from the other parents got in the way. The characterization of the children was well done, and I found them relatable. I thought the ending was very satisfying and was shocked as the perpetrator was revealed. If you are a fan of the missing child trope, you will love this one!Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my e-ARC.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sarah-Grace (Azrael865)

    This is my first read from Bryony Pearce, and it is an outstanding story. The characters are written so realistically. None are perfect, they are flawed and real with histories that have shaped them to be the individuals who make the decisions that they do throughout the story. This story shows how quickly a small community can be gripped by mob rule from making judgements of what they 'think' they know about another person. How quickly that mob mentality can become dangerous. This is fast pac This is my first read from Bryony Pearce, and it is an outstanding story. The characters are written so realistically. None are perfect, they are flawed and real with histories that have shaped them to be the individuals who make the decisions that they do throughout the story. This story shows how quickly a small community can be gripped by mob rule from making judgements of what they 'think' they know about another person. How quickly that mob mentality can become dangerous. This is fast paced and exciting, I will be looking to read more of Byony Pearce's other works. Thank you to Netgalley and Avon UK for the opportunity to enjoy this e-ARC.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.I really enjoyed how this story started off and the different woman’s perspectives you get throughout the book. Each of them are dealing with their own problems and past trauma and it seems easier to divert the attention to others than to look within yourself. The writing style kept me engaged the entire time, I only gave it 4 stars because the ending felt predictable to me and I was hoping it would be a little more complex. Definitely a nice little ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.I really enjoyed how this story started off and the different woman’s perspectives you get throughout the book. Each of them are dealing with their own problems and past trauma and it seems easier to divert the attention to others than to look within yourself. The writing style kept me engaged the entire time, I only gave it 4 stars because the ending felt predictable to me and I was hoping it would be a little more complex. Definitely a nice little distraction if you’re into mysteries that revolve around multiple female leads.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Suzi

    My first read of 2022, and starting the year off with a bang! “Little Rumours” by Bryony Pearce knocked my socks off! This is the story of a small Devon village, close knit and insular, where everyone knows everyone and “incomers” are decidedly unwelcome. Told through the eyes of three women who see each other daily at the gate of the village school and have little in common, but whose children are the best of friends. Naomi is the PTA president, Aleema is a Muslim mom whose daughter is the only My first read of 2022, and starting the year off with a bang! “Little Rumours” by Bryony Pearce knocked my socks off! This is the story of a small Devon village, close knit and insular, where everyone knows everyone and “incomers” are decidedly unwelcome. Told through the eyes of three women who see each other daily at the gate of the village school and have little in common, but whose children are the best of friends. Naomi is the PTA president, Aleema is a Muslim mom whose daughter is the only child of color in the village, and Kelly is an incomer with a dark secret to hide. When Aleema’s daughter Mia goes missing, the villagers band together to search for her but also turn against each other as “little rumours” start flying and the secrets and agendas that were once hidden start coming to light. This novel is a tightly-woven, tautly-paced thriller that also delivers some meaningful lessons about bullying, intolerance, abuse, and inclusivity. The characterization is on point, nuanced and sympathetic, with even unlikeable characters being relatable. This novel grabbed me from the very first chapter and didn’t let go until the satisfying epilogue. It may be cliché to say I couldn’t put it down, but I tore through this book in about a day, it’s just that good!If you liked “Big Little Lies”, then you will LOVE “Little Rumours.” Many thanks to NetGalley and Avon Books UK for providing me the opportunity to read an advance copy of this fantastic book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Simone Cameron

    2.5 starsLittle Rumours has an interesting synopsis. 3 Women, with secrets....and by the end of the day, one of their children will be missing. The book is told from the POV's of each woman, Kelly, who hides her true identity from everybody, Aleema, who feels like she never fits in, being a Muslim woman, with no friends....and Naomi, resident know it all who has lived in Exton Cross all her life. As sad as Kelly's life was, the most interesting part of the book was about her history....I would h 2.5 starsLittle Rumours has an interesting synopsis. 3 Women, with secrets....and by the end of the day, one of their children will be missing. The book is told from the POV's of each woman, Kelly, who hides her true identity from everybody, Aleema, who feels like she never fits in, being a Muslim woman, with no friends....and Naomi, resident know it all who has lived in Exton Cross all her life. As sad as Kelly's life was, the most interesting part of the book was about her history....I would have loved to have read more about that. The story really dragged out for me and I found the characters really unlikeable. I do think the reason the child went missing was quite interesting, but it just took so long to get to that point for me.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Siobhan

    Thanks to Netgalley and Avon Books UK for the advance read publishing 31st March 2022. It took me a while to get into this book and I feel I didn't really warm to any of the characters till very close to the end. I liked the friendship the three children had. I thought it was a good ending. 3 stars 🌟 Thanks to Netgalley and Avon Books UK for the advance read publishing 31st March 2022. It took me a while to get into this book and I feel I didn't really warm to any of the characters till very close to the end. I liked the friendship the three children had. I thought it was a good ending. 3 stars 🌟

  20. 4 out of 5

    Beryl Weller

    This book started off a bit slow for me and I nearly didn’t carry on but I’m so glad I persevered. It turned out to be really good and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Carol Rogers

    I really enjoyed this book. It was an easy read and well written. The second half kept me gripped and I couldn't put it down. I can't wait for another by this author I really enjoyed this book. It was an easy read and well written. The second half kept me gripped and I couldn't put it down. I can't wait for another by this author

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lyubomira

    Thank you to the author and Netgalley for providing me with an ACR of this book.I was very excited to start reading Little Rumors - the premise sounded intruiged me straigh away and I imagined Big Little Lies only darker. In reality, I found Little Rumors a very hard read that I kept on pushing away. I didn't want to go back to it because I couldn't handle the inner monologues of the three main women that the story revolves around. Instead of making the crime aspect of the book more exciting, Br Thank you to the author and Netgalley for providing me with an ACR of this book.I was very excited to start reading Little Rumors - the premise sounded intruiged me straigh away and I imagined Big Little Lies only darker. In reality, I found Little Rumors a very hard read that I kept on pushing away. I didn't want to go back to it because I couldn't handle the inner monologues of the three main women that the story revolves around. Instead of making the crime aspect of the book more exciting, Bryony Pearce gives us hunders of pages of the women's same thoughts over and over again. At first, this made me understand and connect with the characters but after 100 pages of it, it made me loose interest. The ending didn't help either. It was obvious who was responsible for the dissapearance of Mia; what wasn't obvious and never really became that clear to me is why. The reasons were given in the form of a mediocare conversation, they just never made sense to me.I don't like giving books such low scores and I hope most people love the book when it comes out. I just have very high expectations when I'm pormised a dark whodunit story.

  23. 5 out of 5

    McBreakneck

    I was really looking forward to this one after enjoying The Girl On The Platform.When I saw it was a 'missing child' plot I was a little more hesitant, as there's been so many of them...A small Devonshire town, a close-knit community suspicious of outsiders. The main characters are connected through their children's friendships at the village primary school.Two of the main characters are outsiders, Aleema, the Muslim mother of Mia "the only brown-skinned child in fifty miles", and Kelly, mother I was really looking forward to this one after enjoying The Girl On The Platform.When I saw it was a 'missing child' plot I was a little more hesitant, as there's been so many of them...A small Devonshire town, a close-knit community suspicious of outsiders. The main characters are connected through their children's friendships at the village primary school.Two of the main characters are outsiders, Aleema, the Muslim mother of Mia "the only brown-skinned child in fifty miles", and Kelly, mother of Joe, relocated due to a family involvement in a serious crime.The characterisation is simply superb, rich and full of depth and detail, not least in their relationships with family members, friends and with the community.The plot develops brilliantly, with growing suspicions, desperation and deterioration in various character's wellbeing and ability to think clearly. The tensions are very real and maintained and increased throughout the book.This is one of the very best 'missing child' books I've ever read, and as a deeply emotionally involving character-driven novel I would put this on a level with some of my favourite authors in this style including Gillian McAllister, Lesley Kara and Belinda Bauer, which is about the very highest praise I can give.Bryony Pearce is now firmly on my must-read asap authors list.Thanks to Netgalley and Avon Books UK

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jenny (Bookbookowl)

    Thank you so much to Avon Books for providing me with a copy of this book, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review!Kelly and her son Joe have been living under an assumed identify since Joe discovered his father was a psychopathic serial killer. Mia’s family are the only Muslim family in the area. Leon is Joe and Mia’s best friend. Together the friends try to navigate their somewhat difficult lives, until the day Moa goes missing. Now the whole town needs to pull together, but the devast Thank you so much to Avon Books for providing me with a copy of this book, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review!Kelly and her son Joe have been living under an assumed identify since Joe discovered his father was a psychopathic serial killer. Mia’s family are the only Muslim family in the area. Leon is Joe and Mia’s best friend. Together the friends try to navigate their somewhat difficult lives, until the day Moa goes missing. Now the whole town needs to pull together, but the devastating situation brings out the worst in too many people.Little Rumours was an addictive mystery thriller that packed a lot of themes and information into one book. Kelly and Joe’s struggles with hiding their identity, Joes post traumatic stress from what he witnessed his father doing, abusive relationships, social media mob mentality, difficulties fitting in due to religious beliefs, parent heartbreak when a child goes missing and more. The sheer terror felt my Mia’s parents could be felt coming off the page and I was absolutely riveted for most of the story.  Watching the secrets and gossip unravel was incredibly interesting and although I guessed the ‘who’ part way through (but not the motive), it was still very enjoyable getting there!If you love dark twisty thrillers, I’d recommend checking this one out!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sarah W 🍂🍁🌧🌬

    An enjoyable, twisty and fast paced thriller with three narrators with distinct voices. I enjoyed this and it touched on a lot of themes especially bias and how we make assumptions about people. These themes managed to be conveyed in the midst of a storyline about a missing child which was engaging with a satisfying conclusion. Really enjoyed reading this book

  26. 4 out of 5

    Giulia

    Unfortunately, I am in the minority reviewing the book, Little Rumours by Briony Pearce. I found it too wordy and the three backstories from Kelly/Naomi/Aleema that were woven together just did not click with me. It seemed more like a patchwork quilt that was forced together then something that was meant to be related. I was able to finish because I did want to find out just what happened to the missing child. My opinion, the ending was not satisfactory and too convoluted for my taste. I wish I Unfortunately, I am in the minority reviewing the book, Little Rumours by Briony Pearce. I found it too wordy and the three backstories from Kelly/Naomi/Aleema that were woven together just did not click with me. It seemed more like a patchwork quilt that was forced together then something that was meant to be related. I was able to finish because I did want to find out just what happened to the missing child. My opinion, the ending was not satisfactory and too convoluted for my taste. I wish I had liked it more but it may appeal to people who are hungry for a unique story that runs a little long.Thank you to NetGalley and publisher for the chance to read and give an honest review.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lesley

    4.5⭐️ Described as a dark twisty psychological thriller. Three mothers, three secrets one missing child in a small village Exton Cross Kelly has a son Joe, an incomer with a dark secret. Naomi is a local and knows everything there is to know about everyone. Aleema is an incomer who is married to a local, and desperately lonely. I love the easy going writing style, I enjoyed the Devon dialect. The characters are really well created, they feel ordinary, but fully fleshed so that you get to know th 4.5⭐️ Described as a dark twisty psychological thriller. Three mothers, three secrets one missing child in a small village Exton Cross Kelly has a son Joe, an incomer with a dark secret. Naomi is a local and knows everything there is to know about everyone. Aleema is an incomer who is married to a local, and desperately lonely. I love the easy going writing style, I enjoyed the Devon dialect. The characters are really well created, they feel ordinary, but fully fleshed so that you get to know them well. I engaged with the 3 main characters each having their own problems. The emotion and angst at the missing child is very palpable, and feels very real. The tension really ramps up as the book progresses. It maintains a good pace throughout. I was desperately trying to do my Miss Marple to see if I could find the culprit. I was right in my suspicion of who but not why. Fav quote ‘she’s the only brown-skinned child in 50 miles’I like the inclusion of the Devon dictionary. I loved this book, and highly recommend it.

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