Happy UK #PAPERBACK publication to #HeStartedIt by the wonderful @smariedowning #ProvidedForReview @michaeljbooks @sriya__v

Today I am re-sharing my review for a book I LOVED to help celebrate the paperback publication date for He Started It by Samantha Downing.

Happy Book Day!

Samantha Downing has been an author who I’ve been meaning to read for ages now – I have read FANTASTIC review after fantastic review for her debut novel – My lovely wife. And even though I have the book I still haven’t made the time to sit down and read it. Mistake. Because after being wowed by He started it I am sure Samantha Downing will become an auto-buy author for me.


No-one knows you better than your family.

They know the little things that make you smile. Your proudest achievements. Your darkest secrets.

Sure, you haven’t always been best friends.

But if it seemed as though someone was after you, that you might be in danger, then you’d be on each other’s side.


So gripping you won’t stop reading.

So twisty that you won’t know who to trust.

And so dark that you’ll realise something truly chilling:

No-one is more dangerous than the ones who know you best.

I loved it. It was dark, edgy and full of twists.

He started it – was a family road trip with a dark difference. It was a road trip around America and also down memory lane – it was a story of three adult estranged siblings travelling together to revisit a road trip that was a big part of their childhood. And when they reached the end they were planning on standing together and spreading the ashes of their late grandfather – the road trip and the ashes were part of a cryptic final message and a necessity if they wish to inherit a substantial inheritance. But it also one complicated mess. And not everyone made it out…

There are no nice characters – Beth, Portia and Eddie Morgan, as well as their spouses, have ALL got secrets and some rather disturbing stories. The road trip was a slow revealing of some very tense sibling rivalries and some dark pasts. The writing was good, but it was the characters that kept the story following and although the story was one big journey, the surrounds and setting all felt similar. The American tourist setting served as background noise for the characters thoughts, plots and devious behaviours.

The first quarter of the book was quite slow but then the pacing picked up and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to find out what was happening. I was confused. I felt a bit lost at times – but it all worked! I loved every pit stop, every argument and every hidden deception. And Downing did a great job at creating a claustrophobic atmosphere that didn’t let up – I was glad to be along for the journey but very glad I wasn’t in that car or part of that VERY dysfunctional family. And…

Wow – What an ending!

For me He started it by Samantha Downing was ALL about the ending, it genuinely left me open-mouthed. The ending surprised me. Totally surprised me. And that doesn’t happen often!

He started it was a TENSION filled and utterly, utterly gripping page-turner of a read. It won’t be a book I forget anytime soon.

I received a copy of He started it by Samantha Downing for review from the publisher, via the NetGalley – Thank you.

Have you read He started it? Or have you read her first book, My lovely wife?

And tomorrow (2nd October) the eBook will be reduced to 99p! A BARGAIN.

2 thoughts on “Happy UK #PAPERBACK publication to #HeStartedIt by the wonderful @smariedowning #ProvidedForReview @michaeljbooks @sriya__v

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