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Accidents Happen Paperback – 11 Apr 2013

4.2 out of 5 stars 97 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Main Market Ed. edition (11 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330545019
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330545013
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 204,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

Praise for Louise Millar

‘Millar is a genius at capturing the complicated emotions of parenthood, and her taut, suspenseful plot makes this an unputdownable read’ Marie Claire

‘Like the best thrillers, it is quietly creepy and expertly crafted. Add it to your book club reading list now' Stylist

'A well-paced psychological thriller with more than a hint of Minette Walters about it' Sunday Express

'A thought provoking, taut and suspenseful thriller that you won't forget in a hurry' Easy Living

‘Creeping paranoia, nail-biting tension and fiendishly clever plotting . . . I couldn't put this down’ Lucy Diamond

‘Taut, chilling, utterly brilliant; my thriller of the year’ Lisa Jewell

‘There is nothing more chilling than feeling comfortable about a situation only to realise that your trust has been dangerously misplaced . . . a genuinely brilliant book’ Elizabeth Haynes

‘Some great twists and turns. One of my favourite books of 2012’ Mark Edwards

‘Possibly my favourite book of the year!’ Louise Voss

'I started reading and couldn't stop . . . a must-read that will tap into every mother's primal fears' Sophie Hannah

Book Description

What if the one in a million is you?

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought 'Accidents Happen' as I really enjoyed 'The Playdate' by the same author. Unfortunately this is nowhere near as good. The book started off very promisingly but after the first few chapters it became more and more unbelievable until it decended into a complete farce. I actually laughed out loud as the truth was revealed! It may be worth buying a second-hand copy or borrowing from the library purely for the entertainment value - but I wouldn'trecommend paying full price.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Even better than the playdate, a real page turner keeps you gripped till the end with a few twists along the way
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'd like to have given three-and-a-half stars to this, if Amazon would let me. If you're looking for a page-turning psychological thriller to read on holiday, you could do worse than Louise Millar's Accidents Happen - if SJ Watson's Before I Go To Sleep is your kind of thing, perhaps. Don't, however, turn to this one for gritty realism: it's not strong on plausibility.

The protagonist of Accidents Happen is Kate, an affluent middle-class widow who, after losing first her parents and then her husband in tragic circumstances, has been left convinced that she is 'cursed' and suffering from an anxiety disorder somewhere on the obsessive-compulsive spectrum, constantly running through statistics and probability sums in her head in order to reduce the risk inherent in everything she or her 10-year-old son Jack does. As her anxiety spirals so far out of control that her wealthy in-laws are concerned for Jack's welfare, Kate meets Jago, a professor of maths who has recently published a book about risk in the 'popular science' genre. Jago is certain he can help Kate to overcome her problems with a sort of immersion therapy, encouraging her to carry out what amount to grown-up dares to re-accustom herself to minor risk-taking, and his approach seems to be working. Yet Kate still has a nagging doubt that someone or something may be gaining access to her house, and Jack seems to share the same fear. Are they so consumed by Kate's neuroses that they are seeing dangers where none exist? Or could this be the one and only time when Kate and Jack really are in danger?

The basic premise of Accidents Happen is an original one, and one that captured my attention right from the start.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The idea for this book was good, and it was certainly tense, but, Oh, the tedium of reading details of " The Pranks". I almost gave up, which would have been a shame. Too much of the book was taken up in descriptions of what, on the face of it, were childish stunts. Luckily I skipped through to find a fairly satisfying end.
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By Lincs Reader TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 April 2013
Format: Paperback
This is a dark, sinister and at times, downright scary read. Kate's life has been a succession of terrible events. Her parents died in a car accident and her husband Hugo was killed five years ago. Kate is convinced that she is cursed and will do anything possible to ensure that she and her son Jack are safe. Kate and Jack move from London to Oxford, to be near to Hugo's parents and sister. Kate is completely obsessed with statistics, she can't make any decisions without thinking about the 'numbers' that creep into her brain.

You have 55% chance of dying if you are hit by a car at 30 miles per hour.
40% of catering staff do not wash their hands after going to the toilet.

Kate knows the statistics for everything and this is preventing her and Jack leading normal, everyday lives. By trying to protect Jack, she's harming him. Jack is an unhappy little boy, gentle and sensitive, he hates the way that his mother pretends to be carefree, he can see in her eyes that she is faking it.

Hugo's family are at the end of the line with Kate, they are grieving too but they cannot bear to see how unhappy she is making little Jack. The battle lines are drawn and Kate really has to prove to them that she is a good mother.

When Kate meets Jago, a Scottish University professor by chance one day, she is amazed to find that he understands her, and can help her to overcome her fears.

The cleverest thing about this story is that the reader knows that Kate's fears are actually real. Although Kate's paranoia is totally over the top, Louise Millar has ensured that the reader can empathise with her. Only we know that danger is lurking, that Kate's fears are real, she's not going mad at all.
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Format: Kindle Edition
An interesting tale of deceipt, obsession and grief.
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By Beadyjan TOP 500 REVIEWER on 25 April 2013
Format: Paperback
Having absolutely adored this authors debut novel The Playdate I eagerly anticipated her next book and when I spotted it I nabbed myself a copy - fast. I knew her first book was going to be a hard act to follow ... I'm relieved to say this didn't disappoint.

Accidents happen is another startlingly complex look inside a deeply traumatised mind and a mixture of flawed and complex characters. I found it quite hard to follow at the beginning but this is the authors deliberate attempt to build a sense of suspense and an atmosphere of strangeness and all does become clear if you stick with it.

It's clear from the very beginning that Kates behavior is a little bit peculiar, she is strange and emotionally disturbed, she believes that life is out to get her and that bad things which occur must be more than mere coincidence and she obsesses about facts and figures pertaining to the probability of accidents. Unable to accept that accidents ARE merely coincidences, as her background is revealed we begin to understand her habits better as we realise she has had some truly awful things happen, which would make any of us begin to freak out.

Since she was widowed in one of these dreadful past events, she has made her son Jack her main priority, but in her bid to insulate him against life's knocks she has become an overprotective Mum who can be an embarrassment to a ten year old boy. Her in laws try and act as a buffer but their bewilderment at her increasingly bizarre behaviour begins to cause greater rifts in this fractured family.
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