Review: Scared Yet? by Jaye Ford

 

Title: Scared Yet?

Author: Jaye Ford

Published: Random House Australia March 2012

Synopsis: When Liv Prescott fights off a terrifying assault in a deserted car park, the media hails her bravery, friends and colleagues congratulate her – but an anonymous admirer tells her she should be more careful. As police search for her attacker, her ‘admirer’s’ advice turns to warnings, delivered to her home. Brave is not what she feels now: she’s wary and suspicious and fearful – is it the assailant from the car park? Is it the man who found her there? Is it her ex-husband? Soon her family is drawn into the stalker’s focus – first her dying father, afterwards her young son – and she’s not just scared, she’s ripped apart by fear. Then her stalker makes the choice simple – to fight, or die. Are you scared yet, Liv? Read an Excerpt

Status: Read from March 02 to 03, 2012 — I own a copy {Courtesy Random House Australia}

My Thoughts:

Jaye Ford’s newest release Scared Yet? came highly recommended on the heels of her successful debut, Beyond Fear. In this psychological thriller, Ford introduces her protagonist Livia Prescott, who is the victim of a terrifying assault. Though she is able to successfully thwart her attacker, who disappears in to the night, shortly afterward she becomes the focus of a disturbing and sustained campaign of harassment. When the man who assaulted her is captured, Liv is stunned that the harassment doesn’t stop, in fact, the anonymous threats escalate and the unknown stalker begins to target her friends and loved ones. Liv is scared but with everyone she knows a suspect, who can she trust and what will happen when she trusts the wrong person?

Ford has created an admirable character in Liv who readers are immediately able to relate to. It has not been a good year for Liv, her once strong and stalwart father is dying, she is embroiled in a bitter relationship with her ex-husband and the business she owns with best friend Kelly, is teetering on the brink of collapse. Yet Liv doesn’t give in when she is attacked in the carpark after a long day at work, she fights back, making use of her pent up anger and frustration, and the boxing skills learnt from her father. The description of the attack is harrowing, for most women the possibility of an attack lurks in the back of your mind when you cross a deserted car park and it is all too easy to imagine yourself in a similar situation. You can’t help but cheer Liv on as she blackens the attackers eye and then draw in a pained breath as he slams her head into the car boot. In the aftermath of the assault, Liv relies on her anger to hold the fear at bay, declaring she wasn’t scared in a media interview, until the notes begin arriving, delivered to her work, placed under the windshield of her car and even hand delivered to her son. Liv responds practically to the implied threat, informing the police and making her home more secure which is a relief, since all too often authors rely on their protagonists making inane choices to put them in even more danger. Despite Liv’s precautions her stalker is determined to breach her defenses by targeting her friends, continually taunting her with notes asking “Are you scared yet, Liv?”
Of the secondary characters, I am wary of saying anything much for fear of accidentally revealing who is, and who isn’t, a viable suspect. I did feel that Ford did a credible job in fleshing out the supporting cast, while ensuring they retained the necessary ambiguity. The only real flaw for me in the story was the behaviour of Jason, I just didn’t think it fit with what we are told about him and his history with Liv. It’s a difficult point to articulate without a a spoiler but had there been some sort of past related incident, his actions would have made more sense to me.

The careful plotting ensured I was kept guessing, though when the identity of the stalker was revealed I wondered why I hadn’t seen it. It’s to the author’s credit that I was suspicious of almost everyone at one point or another.
Ford builds the tension masterfully as the situation escalates and the pool of suspects widens. The final confrontation between Liv and her stalker is explosive and the conclusion is satisfying.

Scared Yet? is a taut thriller that places an ordinary woman in extraordinary circumstances. I turned the pages compulsively and read the entire book in a little more than three hours (despite it being 454 pages long and 2am when I finished). My copy of the book is adorned with a money-back guarantee sticker from the publisher but I would be shocked if anyone made use of it. Scared Yet? is just what it promises, a stellar read – a fast-paced, entertaining and engrossing novel of suspense.

I am thrilled that Jaye Ford agree to let me ask her a few questions and my Q & A with her will appear on Book’d Out tomorrow. Don’t miss the chance to learn more about her.

Scared Yet? is available to purchase

Australia: @Random House Australia I @ BoomerangBooks I @Booktopia I @Readings

International: @Amazon {Kindle} I @BookDepository (e-format)

Also by Jaye Ford

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15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Angela (Ms LiteraryMinded)
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 14:22:30

    Sounds gripping, and freaky!

    Like

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  2. Denise Imwold
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 16:13:43

    Hi Shellyrae, This sounds like a great thriller. It’s so frustrating reading all these reviews and not having the time to read as many books as I’d like.

    Like

    Reply

  3. Brenda
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 16:29:38

    Makes me so keen to read my copy after a brilliant review like that!

    Like

    Reply

  4. Kailana
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 16:51:25

    I have never even heard of this author before. I will be adding her to my wish list, though!

    Like

    Reply

  5. Judith
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 18:03:07

    I love a page-turning thriller like this. Especially the idea that you can’t trust anyone. I once got a card from a friend, but it wasn’t signed and I suspected just about anyone around me. It was a nice card, but the suspense! It’s amazing how I could think up a reason for almost anyone I knew to have sent the card. I’m sure with threats like this it’s even worse – you can’t trust your own cat anymore! 🙂

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  6. The Australian Bookshelf
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 18:50:55

    This sounds like an amazing read with a solid protagonist and ample suspense!

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  7. 1girl2manybooks
    Mar 07, 2012 @ 21:48:03

    This sounds like something I should read during the daytime! I’m a bit of a sook probably because my husband works nights all the time and can be away for a couple days at a time as well and I’m at home alone at night a lot!

    I do love a book that keeps you guessing until the end, so I think I’m going to have to check this one out. Great review Shelleyrae, will be checking back for the Q&A 🙂

    Like

    Reply

  8. Teddyree
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 12:37:51

    I love taut thrillers so I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for this one. Thanks for great review Shelleyrae 🙂

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  9. Paula
    Mar 15, 2012 @ 09:20:13

    I just finished reading it yesterday and have to agree that it is a page turner. I also have to agree about Jason – it came out of nowhere and didn’t really “fit in”. But I guess it was to make you think twice and suspect anyone. I too am usually good at picking up who the perpetrator is, but not on this occasion – I have to admit to thinking along the same lines as Rachel! A fantastic read that I couldn’t put down either.

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  10. deborahb
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 20:06:39

    Can’t wait to read this one! Thanks for the review.

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    Reply

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