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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 4 November 2014
A woman reacts to a series of hideous events in her life by arming herself with statistics and extrapolating them as a basis on which to live her life, to the horror of her son and family. She meets her ideal man, who attempts to 'cure' her while establishing himself as dream boyfriend material.

This gets better as it goes on. I found it very hard to warm to the central character over the first half of the book, but there is genuine peril established, especially in the elements that involve home invasions. It does suffer slightly from the hackneyed plot device of family members dismissing legitimate events as paranoia, with the result that the central character becomes isolated and is removed from the types of safety net that would exist in reality.

There is a sense of the ITV drama mini-series going on here, right down to the 'rational' explanation which emerges from the characters' past, but it is better than most in this sphere.
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on 20 May 2013
wanted a book to get my teeth into & this did not fail. I'm not the kind of person who goes for books with long winded words & explanation that I don't understand but this book is written in a very easy to understand/read way.I really liked kate & can fully understand her protectiveness towards her son. I loved all the twist & turns this book takes you on & was a real page turner-the only thing that lets the book down (very slighty) is theres a build up to the finish & it all seems to happen very quickly. I was neverly at end of book & wondering when everything was going to unreel-it seems to unreel within about 2-3 chapters. I would of liked it to be drawn out a bit more,but dont let this put you off- very enjoyable read.will be buying "play date" now. love her style of writing. am just reading "close my eyes" by sophie mckenzie. really enjoying so far-will write a review when finished-but so far would recommend.another great read.
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on 7 May 2013
Kate is a brilliant character who has had so many tragic disasters in her life that you really feel for her and want her to be happy. Her parents were killed in a Road accident on the night of her marriage to the wonderful Hugo, who in turn was murdered a few years later. Kate and Hugo's son, Jack, is a great character too and is much older than is years, due, in some part, to all the anxieties Kate suffers from. Magnus is the extremely creepy next door neighbour with a distinct sense of menace.

I was completely hooked by the story and didn't know where it was going as I thought it was a very well written, absorbing book if not slightly implausible with a lot of holes in the plot. Just read this and enjoy and don't over analyse the plot!

I will be reading The Playdate at some point, as I loved the psychological twist this story had.

Recommended.
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on 17 October 2015
A completely ridiculous story that romped along at a fair old pace making it very readable.
I really coudn't suspend enough disbelief to allow myself to be sucked into plot, however I did quite enjoy it.
A couple of things jarred. I doubt that anyone suffering such a deep seated neuroses as Kate could recover as quickly as she did.
Also at around the halfway point a lot of the characters seemed to undergo a complete change of character and personality which was odd.
I iked Jack and loved the way the author wrote about him. She really got nicely into his head. I felt very sorry for him being surrounded by such a bunch of loonies. I was also intensely irritated by the way Saskia kept calling him Snores.A silly and unnecessary affectation .
On the whole though an enjoyable bit of nonesense.
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on 17 April 2013
Having enjoyed Millar's first novel, The Playdate, I looked forward to reading Accidents Happen.
Kate is a 35-year-old mother of 10-year-old Jack. Both have experienced tragedies in their lives so far: Kate's parents were killed in a car crash on her wedding day; then her husband Hugo was murdered after having his expensive car stolen by a gang. Kate and her son moved from London to Oxford after the murder to be near her in-laws, but since then the house has been burgled twice.
Using a technique common to some other psychological thrillers, the narrative is interspersed with short passages describing the thoughts and feelings of an unknown child which appear to be unrelated to the story.
Kate has resolved to do something about her seemingly irrational, though understandable fears, which manifest in an obsession with accident statistics and household security, as they are obviously having adverse effects on Jack. Although her in-laws have become fed up with her anxiety and extreme safety measures, the reader gradually becomes aware that she does indeed have something to worry about in the person of her creepy neighbour Magnus.
After a failed attempt at counselling, Kate meets Jago, an Edinburgh University professor who has written a book called Beat The Odds And Change Your Life, which presents the very statistics Kate has become obsessed with. As their relationship develops, Kate really feels he is helping her to change her life and move on.

I did trust my instincts here, though there were still some surprises by the end of the book. I found this gripping and easy to read and will definitely look for future books by Louise Millar.
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on 28 April 2013
First in a long time that I couldn't put a book down until I finished it. I haven't given it 5 stars as I found the beginning to the middle a little silly and farfetched but the second half of the story was excellent. I certainly hadn't expected the twist halfway through and raced through the rest of the story to find out what happened...will look forward to Louise Millar's next novel! If you are a fan of thrillers with a twist then you must read this book!
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on 17 June 2014
Although the ending lets it down in my opinion, the book is fast paced and the main character interesting in her quirks and faults. The mental illness theme is handled expertly and without sentimentality, giving readers the chance to make up their own mind. And whereas at times it is difficult not to scream at the page in frustration, I found it quite easy to warm to Catherine and her desperate attempts to fight incredibly unfavourable odds and salvage her relationship with her son. Ending is disappointing and far fetched but, unlike other books, it did not spoil it for me.
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on 22 March 2015
This is a brilliantly written thriller. The intricate plotting is excellently done, with at least one astonishing twist, characterisation and dialogue are totally convincing, and the chill factor is right up there with the best. My only small reservation was about the interleaved chapters in italics about the 'snake house': it eventually became clear what they were all about, and they did feed into the plot, but for most of the time they were an irritation that distracted from the main story - so not a total success, but a minor detail in an otherwise splendid novel.
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on 7 July 2013
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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on 18 August 2013
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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