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Dorothy Koomson is an award-winning, global bestselling author whose novels include the Sunday Times bestsellers The Friend, That Girl from Nowhere, The Ice Cream Girls, The Woman He Loved Before, The Chocolate Run and My Best Friend’s Girl. Her books have been translated into more than 30 languages with sales that exceed 2 million copies in the UK alone. Dorothy’s books are powerful, thought-provoking and compelling ‘emotional thrillers’ where moral dilemmas are central and where the complex emotions of family and friendships are explored. Her third book, My Best Friend’s Girl, was selected for the Richard & Judy Summer Reads of 2006, and her novels The Ice Cream Girls and The Rose Petal Beach were both shortlisted for the British Book Awards in 2010 and 2013, respectively. A TV adaptation loosely based on The Ice Cream Girls was first shown on ITV1 in 2013. Her novels have all been Sunday Times Top 10 bestsellers including That Girl from Nowhere, When I Was Invisible, The Friend and Tell Me Your Secret.
Dorothy recently featured on the 2021 Powerlist as one of the most influential Black people in Britain and appeared in GQ Style as a Black British trailblazer. She uses her platform to support new writers and recently launched ‘The Happy Author’ podcast and is a Judge for the 2021 Grazia and Women’s Prize for Fiction First Chapter competition. This year she also contributed to the World Book Night collection, Stories to Make You Smile, to the Feminist Book Society’s This Is How We Come Back Stronger and to a collection of love stories by women of colour, Who’s Loving You.
Passionate about the importance of reading and literacy, Dorothy is a regular speaker in libraries and supports the work of the National Literacy Trust, an independent charity that transforms lives through literacy www.literacytrust.org.uk and Little Green Pig www.littlegreenpig.org.uk, a Brighton and Hove based charity that offers free writing workshops for young people in need. Dorothy lives in Brighton (well, Hove, actually) and the city is an ever-present character in her novels.
Hugely entertaining and addictive, this psychological thriller presses all the klaxon alert buttons from the get-go. The diary of a murdered woman who had been monitoring her neighbours in Brighton holds some very dangerous secrets. Dorothy Koomson is such a consistent writer, her books are oh-so readable, smart and stimulating, and range from family drama and relationship right through to suspense and thrillers. This read is full of suspense and intrigue as it explores family, friendship, and just how well we really know each other. Different characters, all neighbours, head chapters with relevant dates, each person speaking in their own very distinctive voice. These are people who slowly reveal their secrets, and as an added lure the diary secrets are also gradually revealed. I was as hooked as a hooked thing can be as the tension increased, and the explosive ending was just fabulous. This would make a perfect summer read, and though you can just throw yourself in and let go, there are also some thought-provoking themes too. I Know What You’ve Done is a proper page-turner, you may never look at your neighbours in the same way again! Dorothy Koomson is our Summer 2021 Guest Editor. Click here to learn more
Stop here to discover a terrific new voice in mystery and suspense, a voice owned by an established and truly eloquent author. Within a period of three weeks in 1993 the body of a young woman is discovered on the beach by teenagers Nell and Jude, then Jude disappears, twenty-five agonising years later Nell begins to uncover the truth. If you already love Dorothy Koomson, then you’re in for a real treat as she has combined her wonderful ability to observe human relationships with mystery and shivery suspense. The change in direction is beautifully subtle as her previous books have been moving this way and existing fans can still feel her unmistakable touch, yet she has opened the door to a whole new audience. Each short chapter remains very much in its moment as the story swings between the past and present. As I read and peeled each layer by exquisite layer I found surprises waiting to snare me, to make me exclaim and sit up. The characters are individual, fascinating (even when displaying hideous character traits), and Nell is an absolute delight to get to know. The Brighton Mermaid is a compelling, fabulously readable story full of energy and tenacity - highly recommended.
April 2017 Book of the Month. An absolute page-turner of a novel, at times uncomfortable, yet powerful and oh so compelling. Roni and Nika meet when they are 8 years old, as the years pass their relationship changes, yet in their thoughts they remain as entwined as ever and a particular torment lives on. Dorothy Koomson sends us backwards and forwards in time, this isn't an easy ride, and it isn't meant to be. The jagged, almost serrated feel to the change in time lines meant I was alert and at times apprehensive as I watched events unfold. The story is so commanding it keeps you firmly in the moment, so aware of the pain and fear, waiting with bated breath yet still shocked as more revelations occur. Resolute, heart-rending, thought-provoking, and so beautifully compassionate, ‘When I Was Invisible’ left me with a tear in my eye and touched my heart. One of our Books of the Year 2016. Head to our 'Black Lit Matters' list to find more must-read novels by black writers.
April 2016 Book of the Month. What a terrific and powerful book, I reckon it is her best yet. It covers race, adoption, rejection and even murder (or does it?). Our hero, Smitty, a black girl, white adopted parents, white long-term boyfriend, discovers her biological family in Brighton. Naturally there are secrets in the cupboard but you certainly don’t see the details coming. With a jealous and bitchy cousin and a demanding, and frankly most unpleasant ‘birth’ grandmother both making unreasonable requests, this is, as I’ve said, terrific, especially when the final twist hits you in the stomach. Click here to view Dorothy Koomson's new novel, When I Was Invisible, due out on 5th May 2016.
'I'm looking for that perfect blend of flavours; the taste that used to be you.' It's been 18 months since my husband was murdered and I've decided to finish writing The Flavours of Love, the cookbook he started before he died. Everyone thinks I'm coping so well without him - they have no idea what I've been hiding or what I did back then to protect my family. But now that my 14-year-old daughter has confessed a devastating secret, and my husband's killer, who was never caught, has started to write to me, I know it's only a matter of time before the truth about me and what I've done will be revealed. My name is Saffron Mackleroy and this is my story.
August 2011 Book of the Month. The old proverb 'marry in haste, and repent at leisure' is given a darker mysterious and obsessive twist in Dorothy Koomson’s latest page turner. Worried her widowed husband never really loved her Libby uses his, now dead, wife’s diary to discover more… perhaps too much more….
Shortlisted for the Galaxy Popular Fiction Book of the Year 2010. The Ice Cream Girls is an utterly gripping, thought-provoking and heart-warming slice of life that will make you wonder if you can ever truly know the people you love particularly when secrets from a tragic event in the past are unburied and revealed to those who knew those secrets and to others who didn’t. A living hell for those involved.
A gripping and emotional read about friendship, betrayal and forgiveness from Sunday Times bestselling author DOROTHY KOOMSON 'Please don't ignore this. I need to see you. I'm dying.' On Kamryn's thirty-second birthday she receives a card from Adele, the woman who betrayed her and she vowed never to speak to again. Adele has contacted Kamryn because she is desperate - she needs someone to take care of her precious daughter, Tegan, and she's running out of time. Kamryn loves Tegan, but can she really put aside all the hurt and pain of the last few years to rescue Adele when she needs her most? Readers love Dorothy Koomson: 'An enjoyable, easy read that might even make you shed the odd tear' Star 'Koomson just gets better and better' Woman & Home 'Witty, with bits to make you cry and laugh' Real
A heartbreaking page-turner about love, loss and friendship from the Sunday Times bestselling author DOROTHY KOOMSON 'It's the ones you love the most that can lift you in an instant, and destroy you without trying.' Nova would do anything for her closet friend, Mal. So, when he asks her to be surrogate mother for him and his wife, Steph, she agrees - despite her fears about what it could do to their lives. Eight years later, Nova and Mal no longer speak, Nova is bringing up Mal's son Leo, while Mal's marriage to Steph continues to fall apart. Now Leo is critically ill in hospital, Nova must decide whether to tell her family the truth about the surrogacy - and if she can allow Mal back into her life before it's too late. Readers love Dorothy Koomson: 'Movingly documents the heartbreak and emotional reshuffling of family and friends coping with love and loss' Daily Mail 'A superior cautionary tale' Good Housekeeping 'You'll need tissues' Heat
A tense, thrilling read from Sunday Times bestselling author Dorothy Koomson Is it an affair . . . or something much worse? Tami's husband, Scott, has just been arrested for a terrible crime - and his accuser is her closest friend. Who should Tami believe? The father of her two daughters? Or her trusted best friend? Torn and desperate to find out the truth, Tami makes her choice - with shocking consequences . . . SHORTLISTED FOR THE SPECSAVERS NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR POPULAR FICITON 2012 Readers love Dorothy Koomson: 'Cleverly told by three female narrators, this is a complex tale of a terrible crime . . . I was gripped from the start and desperate to uncover the truth' Woman 'If you only do one this weekend, read this book. It's another utterly brilliant psychological thriller' Sun
What secrets would you kill to keep? After her husband's big promotion, Cece Solarin arrives in Brighton with their three children, ready to start afresh. But their new neighbourhood has a deadly secret. Three weeks earlier, Yvonne, a very popular parent, was almost murdered in the grounds of the local school - the same school where Cece has unwittingly enrolled her children. Already anxious about making friends when the parents seem so cliquey, Cece is now also worried about her children's safety. By chance she meets Maxie, Anaya and Hazel, three very different school mothers who make her feel welcome and reassure her about her new life. That is until Cece discovers the police believe one of her new friends tried to kill Yvonne. Reluctant to spy on her friends but determined to discover the truth, Cece must uncover the potential murderer before they strike again . . . From the bestselling author of That Girl from Nowhere and When I Was Invisible comes a thrilling new novel that will have you questioning the line between right and wrong.
'The very definition of a page-turner, it's suburban noir at its finest' HARRIET TYCE Do you have any idea what the people you know are capable of? Bestselling author of All My Lies Are True, Dorothy Koomson, asks how well you can really know your neighbours. Fans of Lisa Jewell and Louise Candlish will rip through the pages of this addictive new thriller. What if all your neighbours' secrets landed in a diary on your doorstep? What if the woman who gave it to you was murdered by one of the people in the diary? What if the police asked if you knew anything? Would you hand over the book of secrets? Or ... would you try to find out what everyone had done? I Know What You've Done is the unputdownable thriller from the Queen of the Big Reveal. Readers love Dorothy Koomson: 'Koomson just gets better and better' Woman & Home 'An instantly involving psychological thriller' Daily Telegraph 'This is devastatingly good' Heat 'The suspense was on another level' Black Girls Book Club 'Written with verve and insight' Stylist 'We just couldn't put it down' Closer 'The author plays a blinder' Sun 'The novel simmers with tension' Daily Express 'You'll be gripped by this tense, twisty thriller' Fabulous
'This is devastatingly good' Heat From the bestselling author of The Ice Cream Girls comes a gripping emotional thriller of love and obsession and the nature of coercive control. 'The author plays a blinder' says the Sun. Verity is telling lies... And that's why she's about to be arrested for attempted murder. Serena has been lying for years. . . And that may have driven her daughter, Verity, to do something unthinkable... Poppy's lies have come back to haunt her . . . So will her quest for the truth hurt everyone she loves? Everyone lies. But whose lies are going to end in tragedy? Praise for Dorothy Koomson: 'If you only do one thing this weekend, read this book. . . utterly brilliant' Sun 'Immediately gripping and relentlessly intense' Heat 'An instantly involving pschological thriller' Telegraph 'Koomson just gets better and better' Woman & Home
A powerful, thought-provoking emotional thriller from Sunday Times bestseller Dorothy Koomson. Previously published as THE FLAVOURS OF LOVE. Would you protect your husband's killer? It's been 18 months since that day when Saffron's husband, Joel, was murdered. Everyone in her life believes she is coping well. And no one suspects the mother-of-two knows who killed Joel. But now her daughter has confessed a life-altering secret, and Joel's killer seems to be stalking Saffron's every move. Saffron is faced with a stark choice - risk her family's safety by going to the police or keep quiet and protect her husband's murderer? Readers love Dorothy Koomson: 'A powerful read that will have you hooked unitl the end' Bella 'A darkly invetive and thought-provoking thriller. Switch of your mobile phone (yes, really) and get immersed in the mystery' Heat 'A pschological thirller where the suspense and fear comes from the protagonist rather than events that surround her, and the action takes her on a jouney to redemption' The Lady
The new emotional thriller from the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Ice Cream Girls, My Best Friend's Girl and The Brighton Mermaid. Dorothy Koomson, 'Queen of the big reveal', is back with a gripping page-turner full of twists and turns. Pieta has a secret. Ten years ago, Pieta was kidnapped by a man calling himself The Blindfolder who said he wouldn't kill her if she kept her eyes closed for 48 hours. She never told anyone what happened to her, vowing to move on with her life. But when The Blindfolder starts hunting down his past victims, Pieta realises she may finally be forced to tell her deepest secret to stay alive . . . Jody has a secret. Fifteen years ago, policewoman Jody made a terrible mistake that resulted in a serial killer known as The Blindfolder escaping justice. When Jody discovers journalist Pieta survived an attack by him, she realises she may finally have found a way to catch him. But that would mean endangering at least two innocent people . . . They kept quiet to protect themselves. Will telling all save or sacrifice each other?
'All the stuff in the papers was lies. We were never The Ice Cream Girls' Serena and Poppy were teenagers when they were branded as the Ice Cream Girls. When they were accused of murder, one of them was sent to prison while the other was set free. Now, 20 years later, one of them is doing all she can to clear her name and the other is frantically trying to keep her secrets. Which Ice Cream Girl is desperate enough to kill to get what she wants? A gripping, emotional thriller from the Sunday Times bestselling author Dorothy Koomson
The quirky, heart-warming debut from Sunday Times bestseller Dorothy Koomson There's something special about Ceri . . . Meet Ceri. She's giving up her life and job in London to follow her heart in Leeds. But Ceri has a bad habit of unintentionally inspiring other people to follow their hearts too - then desperately trying to solve the resulting problems. When she arrives in her new city it's not long before chaos ensues. Will Ceri stick with her vow to not get involved or will she be forced to do what she does best and act like modern-day Cupid? Readers love Dorothy Koomson: 'Hilarious' OK's Hot Stars 'A page-turning romantic comedy and a must for every woman's handbag' Spirit & Destiny 'A laugh-out-loud, feel-good page-turner' She
A gripping tale of redemption, hope and finding love in unexpected places from Sunday Times bestselling author DOROTHY KOOMSON 'They're not your children . . . It's nothing to do with you' Kendra has run home to England from Australia to escape the mess she created in Sydney. Unfortunately for her, she seems to have arrived into an even bigger mess involving her new landlord, single father Kyle and his two children. Despite her best efforts, Kendra is slowly sucked into being another parent to Kyle's children. But just as life seems to settle down, the reasons why she originally disappeared to Australia catch up with her. Is it time for Kendra to run away again? Readers love Dorothy Koomson: 'Will make tears run down your face, but leave you feeling that whatever happens, there's always hope.' Heat 'A poignant page-turner.' Closer 'Seeringly painful but ultimately hopeful, this book is a riveting read from start to finish' Woman
A warm, funny and irresistible read from Sunday Times bestselling author DOROTHY KOOMSON 'I didn't mean to, honest to goodness . . . It just happened.' When Amber wakes up in bed with Greg, one of her best friends, she's sure it's a one-off mistake - Greg is a commitment-phobe and Amber loves being single. When they keep sleeping together, though, they finally admit their true feelings. But their plan to keep the affair secret from Amber's closest friend, Jen, creates unexpected problems when Jen reveals Greg made a pass at her. Amber is horrified - is Greg going to break her heart? Or is there a bigger, more shocking motive lurking behind what Jen has confessed . . . ? Readers love Dorothy Koomson: 'A fantastic blend of love, friendship and laughs' Company 'What makes The Chocolate Run such a winning read is that Koomson's characters develop in a believable way' Heat 'Perfect if you want to have a good weep. . . Great stuff' Metro
The gripping emotional thriller about thin line between love and obsession from Sunday Times bestselling author DOROTHY KOOMSON 'If you're reading this, it's likely I'm dead. Probably murdered' After a car crash leaves Libby close to death, she starts to question everything - especially if her husband, Jack, has ever really loved her. Stuck at home recovering from her injuries, Libby starts to obsess over the untimely death of Eve, Jack's beautiful, perfect first wife. When Libby finds Eve's diaries, though, she discovers 'perfect' Eve had a secret. And now Libby knows that secret her life may be in serious danger, too... Readers love Dorothy Koomson: 'It had us all gripped from start to finish' Woman 'Social conflict, deception, the nature of marriage itself are all themes in this multi-tiered and satisfying mystery story' Daily Express 'A must-read that will have you gripped *****' Heat
Random House presents the audiobook edition of The Brighton Mermaid by Dorothy Koomson, read by Pippa Bennett-Warner and Vivienne Acheampong.Brighton Beach, 1993Teenagers Nell and Jude find the body of a young woman and when no one comes to claim her, she becomes known as the Brighton Mermaid. Nell is still struggling to move on when, three weeks later, Jude disappears.Twenty-five years on, Nell is forced to quit her job to find out who the Brighton Mermaid really was - and what happened to her best friend that summer.But as Nell edges closer to the truth, dangerous things start to happen. Someone seems to be watching her every move, and soon she starts to wonder who in her life she can actually trust...Fast-paced and thrilling, The Brighton Mermaid explores the deadly secrets of those closest to you.
Will your past always catch up with you? Tessa Dannall is excited and happy when her daughter, Nia, arrives at their family's tropical beach resort to get married. Tessa is also trying to forget the last time she went to a wedding on this beach and how that day changed her life for ever. But as the big day draws near, Tessa realises she must face the deadly ghosts from her past - or they may ruin her daughter's future... Praise for Dorothy Koomson: 'Terrifically addictive' Good Housekeeping 'Beautifully written' Closer 'Koomson just gets better and better' Woman and Home
Random House presents the audiobook edition of The Friend by Dorothy Koomson, read by Jennifer Saayeng, Angela Griffin, Christina Cole, Shelley Conn, Susy Kane and Sam Dillon.What secrets would you kill to keep? After her husband's big promotion, Cece Solarin arrives in Brighton with their three children, ready to start afresh. But their new neighbourhood has a deadly secret. Three weeks earlier, Yvonne, a very popular parent, was almost murdered in the grounds of the local school - the same school where Cece has unwittingly enrolled her children. Already anxious about making friends when the parents seem so cliquey, Cece is now also worried about her children's safety. By chance she meets Maxie, Anaya and Hazel, three very different school mothers who make her feel welcome and reassure her about her new life. That is until Cece discovers the police believe one of her new friends tried to kill Yvonne. Reluctant to spy on her friends but determined to discover the truth, Cece must uncover the potential murderer before they strike again . . .From the bestselling author of That Girl from Nowhere and When I Was Invisible comes a thrilling new novel that will have you questioning the line between right and wrong.
From the bestselling author of The Ice Cream Girls, The Woman He Loved Before and My Best Friend's Girl, an emotional story about love, identity and the meaning of family. 'Where are you coming from with that accent of yours?' he asks.'Nowhere,' I reply. 'I'm from nowhere.''Everyone's from somewhere,' he says. 'Not me,' I reply silently. Clemency Smittson was adopted as a baby and the only connection she has to her birth mother is a cardboard box hand-decorated with butterflies. Now an adult, Clem decides to make a drastic life change and move to Brighton, where she was born. Clem has no idea that while there she'll meet someone who knows all about her butterfly box and what happened to her birth parents. As the tangled truths about her adoption and childhood start to unravel, a series of shocking events cause Clem to reassess whether the price of having contact with her birth family could be too high to pay...
Libby has a nice life with a great job, a gorgeous husband and a big home by the sea. But she's becoming more unsure of Jack's feelings for her - and if he is over the mysterious death of Eve, his first wife.When fate intervenes in their relationship, Libby decides to find out all she can about the man she hastily married and the seemingly perfect Eve.Eventually Libby stumbles across some startling truths about Eve. As she begins to unearth more and more devastating secrets, Libby becomes frightened that she too will end up like the first woman Jack loved. . .
As teenagers Poppy Carlisle and Serena Gorringe were the only witnesses to a high-profile murder. Amid heated public debate, the two seemingly glamorous teens were dubbed "e;The Ice Cream Girls"e; by the press and were dealt with by the courts-Poppy headed to prison after being convicted for murder and Serena was set free.Years later, after having led very different lives, Poppy is keen to set the record straight about what really happened. The only problem is she has no one to turn to and no clue where to begin her hunt for Serena.Meanwhile, Serena is married with children and wants no one in her present to find out about her past. Constantly looking over her shoulder, Serena knows she should come clean to her husband, however, she can't seem to find the words.With Poppy determined to salvage what's left of her reputation, Serena may not have a choice in reopening a can of worms that may threaten both their lives...again.
Reviewed on Richard & Judy on 26th July 2006.A real tear jerker but with a good helping of feel good moments too. It's great, read it.