What You Did by Claire McGowan – Review

Title: What You Did

Author: Claire McGowan

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Publisher: Amazon Publishing UK

Publication Date: 1st August 2019


Rating: 3/5


A vicious assault. A devastating accusation. Who should she trust, her husband or her best friend?

It was supposed to be the perfect reunion: six university friends together again after twenty years. Host Ali finally has the life she always wanted, a career she can be proud of and a wonderful family with her college boyfriend, now husband. But that night her best friend makes an accusation so shocking that nothing will ever be the same again.

When Karen staggers in from the garden, bleeding and traumatised, she claims that she has been assaulted—by Ali’s husband, Mike. Ali must make a split-second decision: who should she believe? Her horrified husband, or her best friend? With Mike offering a very different version of events, Ali knows one of them is lying—but which? And why?

When the ensuing chaos forces her to re-examine the golden era the group shared at university, Ali realises there are darker memories too. Memories that have lain dormant for decades. Memories someone would kill to protect.


For some reason I find books that are in part about fractured friendship groups being brought back together really fascinating. What You Did is based around a pretty horrifying situation. We mainly follow Ali, whose best friend accuses Ali’s husband of raping her. It is an unthinkable thing to consider and the ramifications of this accusation shape the rest of the book.

There is a lot going on in this book. The relationships between all these characters are convoluted and more complex than they first appear. The reader also gets to hear different points of view which further dirties the water and calls into question just what is going on. I think What You Did started off pretty well and had me intrigued rather quickly. I also think it brings up the crucially important issue of acquaintance rape which is not something often spoken about, and awareness is always a good thing.

However, despite it’s promising start and compelling premise, What You Did kind of fizzled out for me. To be honest, the vast majority of the characters are very difficult to like or really empathise with in any way. That is not necessarily a problem, I’ve enjoyed plenty of books with unlikeable characters but in this case it just didn’t work for me. The story took some odd twists and turns which also didn’t totally come off.

Despite not loving certain aspects I have to admit I did still found What You Did very readable. It’s a bit of a hit or miss in my opinion. There were some interesting plot points which hooked me in but there was too much that didn’t quite work for me to really love it.


I received this e-arc through Netgalley. My review is my own honest opinion. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s