BOOK CLUB: The Accusation

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Author: Wendy James
ISBN: 9781460752388
RRP: $29.99
Publication Date: 20 May 2019
Publisher: Harper Collins
Courtesy of the Publisher

After reading The Golden Child last year I was keen to read Wendy’s latest offering. This story is quite bizarre – a young girl is found in a disheveled state, wearing only pj’s and claiming that she has just escaped from being kept captive in a basement.

Susannah Wells is a drama teacher at the local school and lives with her mother who is in early stages of dementia. Its hard work but they cope, until the world falls apart around them.

This girl Ellie, claims that Susannah and her mother are the ones that have kept her imprisoned and drugged in their basement – only problem is that Susannah has never seen or met this girl, yet the descriptions of her imprisonment and its surroundings exactly describe the basement in her house.

Ellie becomes somewhat of a celebrity because of her “abduction” and Susannah is arrested. Someone is lying – but who?

This book kept me turning the pages and the plot was interesting and had me questioning ‘who did it’ many times whilst reading. The author wove a very intriguing plot which I believe was based on an actual case from years ago. How easy it was to manipulate people and situations and make them totally believable to the outside world – quite scary in fact

This guest review was submitted by Janine, one of our Beauty and Lace Club members. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us Janine.

The Accusation is available now through Harper Collins and where all good books are sold.

Thanks to Harper Collins 15 of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading The Accusation so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.

13 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The Accusation

  1. Thankyou Beautyandlace and Harper Collins for the opportunity to read The Accusation by Wendy James.
    Apparently taken from a case many years ago this story shows how revenge and careful planning could completely ruin someone’s life.
    The story centres around Suzannah who after a successful career now finds herself teaching while looking after her mother who is battling alzheimers, she makes few friends being a little isolated by her living circumstances but is drawn into a friendship with Honour.
    Honour is friendly with a school friend Chip who becomes attracted to Suzannah and finds that Suzannah ‘s mother Mary, although difficult at times ,can be a likeable character and they tend to get on well as Suzannah and Chips friendship deepens.
    Strange thing then start to happen and Suzannah and Mary are accused of a serious crime and there is copious evidence of their guilt.
    What is happening will keep the reader turning pages quickly.
    Definitely recommend this book to mystery lovers.

  2. The Accusation is a modern tale inspired by an infamous eighteenth-century English mystery dubbed as the Canning Affair. A bizarre case of a teenager who is held captive by two very unlikely suspects that turns the town into a media frenzy with the attention the case attracts.

    From the beginning it seems like we know what happened, but the question remains why? What truths are uncovered as the story unfolds? Not all adds up and it is hard to determine who is telling the truth.

    Wendy James will have you hooked from the start as you try and guess this very strange turn of events. The book isn’t fast past but a very intriguing page turner indeed. I am happy to recommend and keen to try out more of James’ novels.

    Thank you Beauty and Lace Book Club and Harper Collins Publishers for the reading and reviewing opportunity.

  3. The intriguing book ” The Accusation” by Wendy James starts with a young teacher who simply adores her work. After this young teachers has a break-up and her mother’s problems arise too she then moves with her mother to a town. While there the young teacher obtains work at the school.
    At this time as well, the young teacher meets with her interesting neighbours, including one who used to be a celebrity TV Star and is now a social media and agent for celebrities. After her experiencing a relationship that had failed, “Susannah” the young teacher also meets her landlord, “Chip”, and where do things go from there? It’s so good I won’t tell you.

    The Accusation by Aussie author Wendy James is founded on an 18th century English criminal case where the innocence or guilty is truly a mystery. This is such an intriguing and captivating story of betrayal. A web of dark secrets will unravel in this book that offers a complete thrill. Absolutely, I highly recommend you to read this mesmerising book.

    Thank you Beauty & Lace for the opportunity to read this great book.

  4. Thank you Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to review The Accusation by Wendy James. This is Wendy James eighth novel.

    The story revolves around eighteen year old Ellie Canning. On the 1st of August 2018 Ellie is found barely conscious on a country road by a dairy farmer. Ellie says she has been held captive and chained to a bed for a month by two women.

    Somehow local teacher Suzanne Wells becomes involved and goes through a lot of unecessary trauma. Suzanne has moved to Enfield Wash recently with her mother who needs to be cared for. Suzanne soon becomes involved with her neighbor Chip and makes another friend Honour.

    This is a fascinating novel of revenge and betrayal with an ending I never saw coming. I love this novel and highly recommend it to everyone. I will definitely be reading more of Wendy James books.

  5. I enjoyed reading this book as a stand alone story with its intrigues and twists. However as it I had already been intrigued by the actual story of Elizabeth Canning, a maidservant who disappeared in 1753, for me this did add a different dimension to reading Wendy James’ modern take on this . Personally I would have preferred the ending to leave the reader still questioning the “mysterious”nature of the disappearance. Filling in the gaps of this real life mystery which was never clearly resolved with a “modern day fantasy” did not really leave me satisfied. Nevertheless I admire the author,s ability to create a well written scenario from what has remained a mystery since 1753.

  6. What a wonderful, twister, gripping, psychological thriller by our own Australian author Wendy James. The story is based on an 18th-century case of an English maid who claimed to have been held captive by two older women

    A young girl is found in a shepherd’s hut claiming to have escaped from the basement of a farmhouse where she was held captive for a month. The girl identifies herself as Ellie Canning, she tells her story to the media of being abducted and held captive by a middle-aged woman. She was chained to a bed for a month, forced to drink from a child’s cup, and taunted by the woman’s dementia-affected elderly mother.

    A local school teacher, Susannah Wells and her elderly mother, Mary Squires are identified by the girl, as being her abductors. Suzanne is a well-respected teacher and all her students love her, the accusations are unbelievable but evidence amounts as Suzanne has a basement and lives with her mother and Ellie’s DNA is everywhere. The media digs deeper, and uncovers stories about Suzanne’s past, she loses her friends and her job. Meanwhile, Ellie Canning becomes a media star and attracts so much public interest but is she telling the truth?

    This book is full of deception, betrayal, defamation and distortion. You won’t want to put it down until the truth is told! I highly recommend reading this book

    A big thank you B&L and HarperCollins Australia for providing me with a copy of this book to review

  7. Who can you trust? The Accusation by Wendy James forces the reader to contemplate this question. James tells the story of Suzannah, Honor and Ellie with chapters written from each of these characters perspectives at different times through the “Ellie Canning Story”. When Ellie claims she’s been kidnapped and all signs point to Suzannah it is a shock, though equally shocking to believe the alternative – was she really set up? And why?

    This was a thrilling read and I especially loved Mary. Thank you HarperCollins and Beauty and Lace for the chance to read and review.

  8. The Accusation by Wendy James follows a young girl Ellie who is found in a hut on a property in pjs who claims she has been abducted and held captive. A local teacher and well respected lady in her community Suzanne Wells is blamed and all evidence points in her direction to being behind the abduction.

    There is twists and turns around every corner and the book is very hard to put down. It is easy to follow and very hard to stop reading!

    Thank you Beauty and Lace and HarperCollins for the opportunity to read and review this book. I enjoyed every page!

  9. Thank you Beauty & Lace Harper Collins & especially Wendy James for the opportunity to read & review this exceptional book.

    This story revolves around Young Ellie who has been found after being held captive Suzannah a local teacher & her mother who suffers from dementia.

    A real whodunnit with lies deceit & intrigue but who do you believe?

    This book will keep you guessing to the end and I highly recommend if you like good thrillers

  10. Thank you Beauty & Lace and Harper Collins for the opportunity to read/review Wendy James ‘The Accusation’.

    This novel centers around eighteen year old Ellie Canning’s alleged abduction and kidnap resulting in an escape. Suddenly Ellie is thrust into the life of a social media star, icon and inspirational figure to her generation.

    In contrast, Suzannah Wells, a local drama teacher finds her life is turned upside down, both as a live-in carer for her Mum Mary who suffers from dementia and both she and her Mother at the centre of alleged claims they were behind the abduction and entrapment of Ellie. There are many characters depicted in the book, Honor, Chip, Sally but none more endearing and at times very colourful than Mary, Suzannah’s Mother.

    So much deception and mystery, reading along you really wonder who is telling the truth, but it all becomes clearer the more you read.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this ‘whodunnit’ and highly recommend it to readers who enjoy mystery and intrigue . Wendy James’ depiction of each character makes it very easy to imagine them and their perspective. It is also interesting to note that this book was inspired by an eighteenth century case called the ‘Canning Affair’ which still remains a mystery to this day.

  11. I have been so excited to review ‘The Accusation’, it arrived on Friday and I could not put it down, thank you so much Beauty and Lace and Harper Collins for providing me this book to review.

    Wow, where do I start, the book centre’s around the main female characters: Suzannah, her mother Mary, Ellie, the young girl found huddled in an abandoned shepherd’s hut and Honor, Suzannah’s new friend who pops in and shares meals and a couple of glasses of wine with Suzannah and her mother.

    Suzannah has recently moved to Enfield Wash along with her mother who suffers from dementia, to take up the role of drama teacher at the local school, and buys the original homestead on Chip Gascoyne’s sub divided property on the outskirts of town.

    The story is told in three parts with each chapter titled one of the central women characters and a timeline, which as the story unfolds you realise how crucial these dates are, along with a scattering of documentary production notes: – Abducted: The Ellie Channing Story.

    As the story unfolds Suzannah’s life crumbles around her as she and her mother are accused of abducting Ellie and holding her captive in their basement, whilst Ellie is catapulted into an overnight internet global media sensation, a world full of fame, and notoriety, appearing as the latest celebrity on all the morning talk shows, overseas holiday’s to exclusive resorts with her hot new reporter boyfriend Jamie, and all under the carefully orchestrated watchful eye of Honor, the publicity agent, who had taken on Ellie as her client.

    In a small town, people are always very quick to take sides, make assumptions, falsely accuse, and all of Suzannah’s past, her previous role as ‘Gypsy’ in ‘Beachlife’ her failed marriage, the loss of her baby daughter Stella, all surface to muddy the waters. Meanwhile poor Ellie is handling the juggernaut of instant fame, the red-carpet appearances, all in her stride, she is a natural.

    The story is loosely based on the Elizabeth Canning story of a maidservant who disappeared in 1753, returning later claiming she’d been held against her will, by two women, one of the women named Suzannah Wells the other Mary Squires, centuries later, this story still remains an unsolved mystery.

    This was a great read, full of secrets, lies and intrigue, with plenty of twists and turns, complete with a love story thrown in the mix, I really enjoyed Wendy James writing style and am looking forward to reading more of her books.

  12. Thrillers are my jam and this was a great read with lots of twists and turns. This story is based upon the apparent abduction of Ellie who when found/escaped is thrust into the spotlight…. Suzannah lives with her aging mother and is, the police knock on her door with questions? Did she do it ? Why would she do it? A captivating read full of twists and turns..loved it!!

  13. The Accusation by Wendy James is a book you can’t put down once you start reading. It had me hooked and intrigued right from the word go.
    The story is about Ellie, who is abducted and found captive and Suzannah a local drama teacher who is caring for her mother is accused of the crime. Needless to say her world is turned upside down. Did she do it? Is Ellie telling* the truth? This is definite whodunnit , that will keep you guessing till the end.
    I really enjoyed this book and have already recommended it to others.
    Thank you Beauty and Lace and Harper Collins for giving* me the opportunity to read and review this book.

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