I Dare You, Sam Carrington: Book Review

I Dare You by Sam Carrington is the author’s best thriller to date, from my point of view. It is one not to be missed.

The plot:

Mapledon, 1989

Two little girls were out playing a game of dares. Only one returned home. The ten-year-old told police what she saw: village loner Bill ‘Creepy’ Cawley dragged her friend into his truck and disappeared. No body was found, but her testimony sent Cawley to prison for murder. An open and shut case, the right man behind bars. The village could sleep safe once again.


Anna thought she had left Mapledon and her nightmares behind, but a distraught phone call brings her back to face her past.

Thirty years ago, someone lied. Thirty years ago, the man convicted wasn’t the only guilty party. Now he’s out of prison and looking for revenge. The question is: who will he start with?

An engrossing thriller which I’d highly recommend

I’ve read a couple of books by Carrington before and they’ve been good, but there was just something missing, but it looks like the author’s pulled out all the stops for I Dare You.

It’s edgy and filled with lots of twists, in an edge-of-your-seat manner. There’s a highly gripping prologue, and even with some slow-burning chapters, you know it’s there to build the tension and have you questioning. The author does well to feed you certain information at certain points.

The topics that are covered are daring and twisted, and even more twisted when you think it’s over and then Carrington hits you with another plot twist.

I don’t get along hugely with chapters jumping between characters and multiple timelines generally, but it still flows – I just found I couldn’t pick up one particular voice. A part of me wished it was split into two parts, 2019 and then 1989 to find out the whole truth, but then the book wouldn’t have ‘inceptioned’ you as it did. Chapters were short, often 1-2 pages at a time which added to the quick pace of the book.

I guessed one aspect, but it’s a small part to a big picture. I wouldn’t even necessarily say this book is about all the twists, it’s how Carrington has built up this image of a cult-y community filled with lies, I genuinely didn’t trust each character. It’s realistic in a sense that small-knit communities still exist, and news does travel, and people do stick together… but those plot twists will still get your eyebrows raised.

It’s also quite a scary concept, because as a child you may have been told to avoid a certain street or person, be back before the street lamps turn on and don’t talk to strangers, let alone run up to their front door and play Knock Down Ginger.

An engrossing thriller which I’d highly recommend.

I Dare You, Sam Carrington, RRP £7.99 (paperback); Book Depository 

Pages: 399

Publisher: Avon

Genre: Thriller

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