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I Dare You by Sam Carrington


I Dare You by Sam Carrington
Published in: 2019
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Rating: [★★★]

This ARC was provided by Avon Books UK (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

At what point does the childish game of knock down ginger (or knock knock ginger as it’s known in this book) become something more?


Mapledon, 1989
Two little girls were out playing a game of dares. Only one returned home.
The ten-year-old told police what she saw: village loner Bill ‘Creepy’ Cawley dragged her friend into his truck and disappeared.
No body was found, but her testimony sent Cawley to prison for murder. An open and shut case, the right man behind bars.
The village could sleep safe once again.

Anna thought she had left Mapledon and her nightmares behind but a distraught phone call brings her back to face her past.
30 years ago, someone lied. 30 years ago, the man convicted wasn’t the only guilty party.
Now he’s out of prison and looking for revenge. The question is, who will he start with?

Book Worm’s Thought – After my recent heavier reading I was in the mood for some escapism and this book provided that.

What I enjoyed about this book was that it was so relatable, probably because I am a similar age to the characters, I can remember the days when kids would roam the neighbourhood with no mobile phones entertaining themselves with games that kids today would roll their eyes at and say “you did what, where was the X-box?”. Even Creepy Cawley was familiar there was always one odd adult around that the kids used to terrify each other regardless of the fact that the adult in question had actually done nothing wrong, thankfully as part of the aging process I have come to realise that a little understanding goes a long way.

As this is a thriller I can’t really say much without giving away spoilers all I will say is that any violence towards children is very much off screen and hinted at rather than explicitly detailed which I appreciate.

The book also looks at the effect the death/disappearance of a child has on a community one quote that particularly struck me is:

“Now Anna came to think of it, there did seem a disproportionate number of single women in the village from her mother’s age group. Perhaps it was all linked to Jonie Hayes’ death – all the families struggled in the aftermath of her abduction and the parents’ relationships crumbled when she was never found.”

It also looks at memory and perception and how something that as a child may appear to be the gospel truth is not quite the same when viewed as an adult. As a child parents are infallible but what if they make bad decisions? what impact does that have later in life? And from a parents point of view, how far would you go to protect your child?

Who would like this? I would recommend this to anyone who likes small village settings and the character dynamics this creates; who doesn’t want in your face violence and anyone who likes mysteries that are unfolded over different time lines (past and present).

We want to hear from you! Have you read this book? What did you think? 


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