Review & Giveaway: Where Have You Been? by Wendy James

@ Goodreads

Title: Where Have You Been?

Author: Wendy James

Published: UWA  Feb 2010

Synopsis: Susan and Ed Middleton are perfectly content with their lives. Two kids, two cars, a solid brick bungalow in a respectable Northern beaches suburb. But when Susan’s older sister, who vanished as a teenager, reappears to claim an inheritance, everything is set to change.

Status: Read from December 06 to 07, 2012 — I own a copy {Courtesy the Author}

My Thoughts:

Earlier this year I read The Mistake by Wendy James and promptly added her backlist to my wishlist. Where have You Been? was long listed for the Ned Kelly Award in 2010, and is a gripping psychological thriller.

When Susan was just eight her adored teenage half sister, Karen, disappeared on her way to her school formal, and was never found. More than twenty years later Susan is shocked to discover her mother’s will divides her sizable estate between Susan and her missing sister. Though legally required to conduct a search, Susan does not expect anything to come of it and is stunned when her mother’s lawyer announces that a woman claiming to be Karen, now known as Carly, has come forward. Though initially skeptical, Susan is thrilled to have found her sister and with the support of her husband Ed Middleton, welcomes her into her family.

The premise of Where Have You Been? hinges on the identity of Carly, a woman who vaguely resembles Susan’s missing sister and is able to provide just enough information to convince Susan, and Ed, that she is genuine. As Carly insinuates herself into Susan and Ed’s life, James skilfully exploits the ambiguities of the situation, the inconclusive DNA test, Carly’s reticence in revealing her past, to keep the reader off balance. Tension continues to build as Carly’s behaviour becomes increasingly disturbing and relationships begin to fracture under the strain of the reunion.
The characters are intriguing, Carly’s presence exposes weaknesses in Susan and Ed that would likely have remained hidden had she not crossed their path. Yet by obscuring Carly’s true identity, James is able to evoke some sympathy for her, at least until her secrets are revealed. Through alternating perspectives we are privy to Susan’s growing frustration of Carly’s refusal to answer her questions and Ed’s infatuation with his exotic sister in law, while Carly reveals to the reader her glee at corrupting their comfortable suburban existence.

Much like with The Mistake, Where Have You Been? builds to a startling conclusion that took me by surprise, but didn’t quite answer all my questions. Where Have You Been? is an intriguing suburban thriller that kept me enthralled and I recommend it to fans of writers such as Honey Brown, Jaye Ford and Caroline Overington.

Available to Purchase

 @BomerangBooks I @Booktopia I @Amazon Kindle

via Booko


Thanks to Wendy James you can win

I of 2 print editions

of Where Have You Been?

(Sorry – Open to Australian Residents only)

Click Here To Enter

Entries close December  23rd  2012

Winner drawn via

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bri
    Dec 12, 2012 @ 19:19:17

    The click here to enter link isn’t working : (



  2. bernadetteinoz
    Dec 13, 2012 @ 09:03:37

    Nice review Shelleyrae and I will enter as I haven’t yet tracked this one down though it has been on my wishlist since I read The Mistake



  3. Pris Gormley
    Dec 14, 2012 @ 23:03:43

    I follow some of your reviews here and in the Reading Room. You have a way of capturing the essence of a book, which helps me to decide what to read. I choose most books from my extensive public library, and can request just about anything. Thanks for your input so far.



  4. Mary Preston
    Dec 17, 2012 @ 15:37:52

    WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? looks like such a great read thank you.



  5. Teddyree
    Dec 17, 2012 @ 21:27:54

    Great review Shelleyrae, I’m definitely up for a “gripping psychological thriller”



  6. Trackback: Review & Giveaway: The Lost Girls by Wendy James | book'd out

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