Author: Suzy K. Quinn
Publication date:11th July 2019
Goodreads rating: 4.30
I won a copy of this book through a competition HQ Stories ran in January. Being a part of the blog tour, if I hadn’t had won a copy of Don’t Tell Teacher, I would have been given a #gifted copy. All opinions are my own and aren’t influenced by receiving a copy of this book in any way.
I would like to thank the HQ Stories team and most importantly Suzy K. Quinn for providing me with a copy of this book.
*Trigger warnings – This book does come with white a few trigger warnings to be aware of such as: childhood sexual abuse, gaslighting, abusive relationships, substance abuse, drugs, violence, adultery, sexual assault, gbh, child abuse and manipulation. Please read with caution if you’ve been affected by any of these issues.*
School should have been the safest place…
For Lizzie Riley, switching her six-year-old son Tom to the local academy school marks a fresh start, post-divorce. With its excellent reputation, Lizzie knows it’ll be a safe space away from home.
But there’s something strange happening at school. Parents are forbidden from entering the grounds, and there are bars across the classroom windows.
Why is Tom coming home exhausted, unable to remember his day? What are the strange marks on his arm? And why do the children seem afraid to talk?
Lizzie is descending into every parent’s worst nightmare: her little boy is in danger. But will she be able to protect him before it’s too late?
Overall opinion of the book:
Don’t Tell Teacher was an interesting book, with an ending that completely shocked me! As the synopses suggests, it follows mother and son, Lizzie and Tom, on their new start at life. Having gone through a tough break up and relationship, Lizzie wants the best for her son, but the school he’s attending isn’t all it seems to be and she fears for her son’s safety.
Overall, I thought the plot was an interesting concept and I’ve not read any thrillers similar to this before. The characters were engaging and I enjoyed the multiple narrative as it allowed me to have an insight into many characters in the book, not just Lizzie, but her ex partner Ollie, mother and social worker too.
Although Lizzie is the main character, my favourite character was her social worker Kate. She’s eager to do what’s best for others, but the pressure of Social Work weighs down on her, and her colleagues seemingly set her out to fail before she’s even began. Having no experience of working in this particular job, I can’t comment on how accurate its depiction is, but it certainly gives an insight into what being a social worker is like if it’s accurate! It’s quite worrying if social workers do have that many children assigned to them and are under that intense amount of pressure to close cases that may still need investigating. It was interesting to see the effects the involvement of Social Workers has on the children in the book. I particularly felt for Lloyd and his family, but also Tom too.
In terms of the plot and book as a whole, it is a slow burner and did take me a little while to get into. It’s interesting throughout, but the second half of the book definitely has a quicker pace when compared to the first half. There are a lot of twists and turns, most of which I didn’t see coming, and I loved the dark and sinister undertones throughout. The best way to describe Don’t Tell Teacher would be unsettling. Now I don’t mean that in a negative way, I mean it in a good way. For me, it’s a sign of a great thriller if it makes you feel somewhat uneasy!
The writing was great, I loved the descriptive language Quinn uses and she has created detailed and intriguing characters. Though there are many characters in the book, they all have depth to them. I did find the writing became a little repetitive at times when reading Lizzie’s chapters, but I think that’s to reiterate Lizzie as a character, and her worrying over her son. I wasn’t a big fan of Tessa, Kate’s coworker to begin with. She was rude, obnoxious and doesn’t treat Kate well at all. Although by the end of the novel, I have to admit – she did grow on me!
Mr Cockrun was a character written brilliantly. He was creepy and manipulative, and the thought of him being given the role as Headmaster gave me chills whilst reading. The whole plot surrounding the school and unravelling what was going on there was my favourite part of the novel and intrigued me a lot. While I enjoyed the ending of the novel and thought the loose end were tied up well, part of me did want to find out more about the school and Mr. Cockrun in general. I felt more could have been explored with the idea of the school not being all as it seemed, especially in regards to the teachers interactions with the head teacher, and the treatment of the pupils.
Overall, I enjoyed Don’t Tell Teacher. While it initially took a little while to get into, I loved the unsettling atmosphere it created and the ending was a shock to me! The whole concept of the book was interesting and left me second guessing all of the characters and their true motives.
If you’re a fan of thrillers I’d recommend giving Don’t Tell Teacher a read! It was intriguing, eerie and has a lot of interesting and complex characters.
Don’t forget to check out the other blog posts written for this blog tour too! 😊
You can keep up to date with the latest news and reviews of Don’t Tell Teacher using the hashtag #DontTellTeacher on Twitter too.
If you’d like to purchase a copy of this book, you can do so here:
Amazon – The paperback is only £3.99 at the moment – bargain!
Have you read Don’t Tell Teacher yet? Will you be adding it to your TBR? Let me know in the comments below! 😊