It’s my pleasure to be joining the blog tour for the latest thriller by Samantha Downing, He Started It. With thanks to Sriya Varadharajan at Penguin for inviting me to take part.
This is a story about three siblings. Like any family, sometimes they don’t get along.
It’s a story about a secret that they’ve all kept since they were children.
It’s a story about lying. A story about murder.
It’s a story where only one can win.
I was a huge fan of Samantha Downing’s first novel, My Lovely Wife, so I jumped at the chance to read her second. He Started It is more of a slow-burner, but it is still an ingenious, twisty tale which delivers shocker of an ending that made me hold my breath. Samantha delves into the lives of her characters as she takes them on a journey that will have a huge impact on their lives.
A road trip is the type of holiday that would never appeal to me. I can’t stand the idea of being stuck in a car for hours on end. But Beth, Portia and Eddie are going on a road trip for a very different reason. Their grandfather has passed away, and he has left them his estate worth many millions of dollars which he plans to divide among the three of them. But this is on condition. His grandchildren must complete a planned road-trip, copying one they took with their grandfather many years ago. He wants them to scatter his ashes in the desert right at the end of the trip. It is clear that neither of them are keen to go on the trip and they find the whole scenario creepy, but they are all desperate for cash and are willing to carry out their grandfather’s wishes.
I became totally immersed in Samantha Downing’s latest novel. I wondered how Beth, Portia and Eddie were going to cope on the trip, especially as they haven’t seen each other for years. It is also clear that they don’t all get on; this is certainly the case with their partners who are also accompanying them. Tension simmers in the background as the trip goes ahead, and it mounts when the group become aware of a vehicle that appears to be following them.
I became more and more intrigued by their grandfather. You can see that he wasn’t liked at all, and some very serious accusations are made against him, which doesn’t paint him a very good light. The road trip also shows that he had a very controlling personality. It appears that he still wants to hold control over his family beyond the grave. If he wants his ashes scattered in a particular place, he could have told his grandchildren to take any form of transport, a plane, for instance. I didn’t think for an instant that he wanted to remind his grandchildren of happier times by sending them on this road trip.
Samantha Downing has created another compelling and creepy psychological thriller. I wanted to know what was going to be waiting for them at the end of the trip, and Samantha delivers an explosive finale. Brilliant stuff!
Publication date: 30th April 2020
Print length: 382 pages
He Started It is available to buy:
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