Anything You Do Say by Gillian McAllister

Anything you do say

Penguin |25 January 2018|358 pages|Paperback|3*

This is a very short post about Anything You Do Say, the second of Gillian McAllister’s books. Walking home alone late one night Joanna is sure the man following her is the man who wouldn’t leave her alone in the bar. She turns to face him and panicking she pushes him away. He falls down the steps leading to the towpath alongside a canal and doesn’t move. What should she do? Should she face the consequences – phone the police and ambulance and wait for them to arrive and  or just leave him there, lying in a puddle and walk away?

Both decisions have consequences and from that point on the book explores what would happen if she revealed or concealed her actions.

At first I found it a bit confusing keeping the two stories separate in my mind, but that soon passed as the chapters are clearly headed Reveal or Conceal.  It’s a dilemma and Joanna is an indecisive character who in both scenarios regrets choosing both reveal and conceal. I really wanted to like this book and although I think it’s well written and the characters, although in the main not very likeable, come across as believable, I found Joanna’s lies and deceit became tedious and the stories dragged on too much for my liking. I think the structure of the book made it seem artificial, more an exercise in morality than a tense thriller or a mystery. 

I prefer her other books that I’ve read –  Everything But the Truth, No Further Questions and The Evidence Against You.  They are all standalone books, so can be read in any order. 

This is on of my TBRs and also one of my 20 Books of Summer books.

4 thoughts on “Anything You Do Say by Gillian McAllister

  1. Thanks, as ever, for your candor, Margaret. I’ve heard a lot about this one, and the premise is intriguing. I can see how it could be made into a gripping story. Sorry to hear it didn’t work the way you’d hoped it would.


  2. I like that story structure too – either this or that. However, I’m a bit weary of the unreliable, unlikable protagonist characters right now. Take a break from them. Will keep this in mind for the future at some point. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


  3. A challenging structure and difficult to get right – well for me it is since I find it hard to keep two narratives in my head at any time


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