Cover Image: The Assistant

The Assistant

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Member Reviews

The Assistant is a twisty kind of story. The kind that makes you question everything and everyone. I think the inclusion of technology really added an intriguing edge and actually helped to add an extra menace to proceedings. Especially as in most homes you have some form of technology to help or aid in everyday life. It might make you think twice about getting that extra help to make your life easier! 

There was a secret at the heart of this book and I was definitely intrigued to find out what it is along with looking forward to seeing where this book would take me. You definitely get that feeling of tension as the main character is pulled deeper into a nightmare situation. Along with making me question what is actually happening. Is everything as it seems to be? Is there more to it? Let's just say that I was very intrigued to discover what was actually happening! It's safe to say that these questions kept me turning the pages to discover the truth. There is a menacing edge to the story and this in a way helps to offset the slow build up. There were dips in the plot where the pace lessened however I think on the whole it still works well and kept my interest. A twisty, dark and tense story!
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Thank you for allowing me to discover such a good new author for my repertoire! Great plot line, interesting characters, I will recommend to friends and family.
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Unfortunately this book was archived before I was able to download it. I have the Ice Twins in paperback so was interested in reading another by this author. I may buy and rewrite this review in future.
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I have heard about this book so much I was almost afraid to dive in. Afraid I would be disappointed. Oh hell no I wasn't. Very scary read as electronic "assistants" take over our lives. Who hasnt been talking about a subject only to have your phone then bring up ads on the subject? It's scary, but we love our toys.

Maybe not so much after this book.

Highly, most highly, recommend.
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This was an interesting premise that gives food for thought. These days, with our increasing reliance on technology, who knows who is listening in?  WIth many of us having devices in most rooms in our homes, there's no escape!

It was obvious there was going to be someone human behind the errant tech; it's not quite a story of robotic rebellion. Instead it twists and turns, and is insidious, making the reader nearly as paranoid as the protagonist, Jo. 

It's well-written, instilling fear in the reader, although I found the ending/reveal a little disappointing.
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Jo Ferguson is recently divorced and has moved into her best friend’s gorgeous apartment in Camden. Her friend is wealthy and has numerous electronic home assistants that take care of the lights and the electricity. Sometimes it will be the only voice Jo converses with all day and she sees the assistants as friends. Until one night Electra says ‘I know what you did!’ Jo is hiding secrets but surely an electronic device doesn’t know what they are right? Jo starts to question whether she is going mad or is there someone out to get her? And who could it be as only 2 people know the truth?! ✨ This was such a creepy and slow read, but I felt it built up the suspense. It will make you realise how reliant we are becoming on these devices in the home.
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After a slow start I was hooked several chapters in and soon racing towards the end. Such a brilliant twist which I didn’t see coming!

4 stars, will recommend to others.
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Do you have Alexa in your home? Do you use Siri every day? Are they safe? I can't give too much away here because the spoilers would completely ruin your reading of this amazing first book by SK Tremayne!

Who is tormenting Jo? Will you look at your assistant differently? I do!
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To begin, I’d like to thank HarperCollins UK for sending me an ARC of this book, and to NetGalley for facilitating. And a huge thank you to S.K Tremayne for this awesome read! 

No spoilers as usual in this review.

Well, I’m going to start by saying that when I started this book... a few pages in, I didn’t think I was going to like it. I had highlighted a few lines that I disliked. The general tone at the beginning annoyed me. I didn’t like Jo, and the dating profile at the start was dragging a bit. Then suddenly, just a few more pages on - there it is. It got my attention perhaps as it did Jo. This is actually a quick book to get off the ground. In no time at all I was completely hooked. And I really didn’t expect that. The synopsis sounded like an interesting concept but not something I would normally read so I was expecting mild entertainment. Very mild. But I was genuinely on the edge of my seat. 

I want to say I liked the characters but I didn’t, they were mostly quite unlikeable. But I think (hope) that was intentional.... But I liked the way they were written. They were interesting even if I didn’t like them as “people”. 

And for probably the third time in my life, I didn’t solve the mystery before the big reveal. Once the who was revealed I instantly knew the why, but I didn’t piece it together first. Which to me is always a joy because it keeps the element of surprise rather than just constant confirmations of “yes, I was right then”.

It really was very tense in places, complicated, dramatic, confusing, thrilling, sad, and yes - at times far fetched but surely if anyone reads the synopsis you’re prepared for the boundaries to be stretched a little. 

As a reader it would have been better (I feel) if Jo had been more likeable - just because I would’ve felt more invested in her welfare. This book made me feel many emotions but I didn’t feel much sympathy for Jo and it perhaps would have been better if I had.
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Rating: 3.5 stars

Started off quite slowly, but builds into quite the creepy thriller. I think the plot could have sped up a little more, especially in the beginning, I found myself a little bored. But once it started, it grew more suspenseful. Jo was kind of a frustrating character, she was very much having a bit of a pity-party for a while, and just moping in the beginning, and then fell headfirst for Electra's taunts. 

It was a good read! Thrilling.
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A lovely style of writing, intelligently phrased and it absorbed me until the assistant made me feel that the story was too far fetched for my taste. Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Collins.
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Journalist Jo, recently single, gratefully accepts an offer to share the luxury flat of Tabitha, her more successful friend. Tabitha and Jo go way back, and T spends most of her time these days staying over at the home of her rich IT mogul boyfriend.
Jo tries to write to keep the money coming in but becomes unnerved when the ‘assistants’ who control the flat’s environment start to make unsolicited and increasingly sinister comments, focusing on unsavoury secrets of Jo’s past. Increasingly disturbed, she must decide if the machines, or their controllers are out to get her, or if she is losing her mind.
The Assistant is the first of S K Tremayne’s books I have read, and possibly not the best one to start with. While the plot appears unlikely, it is still perfectly possible today, the writing is good and there are plenty of IT savvy suspects in the frame. The problem lies with the vague and sketchy characters, the most central of whom make some very strange decisions. Who needs an ex like Simon I say, not much help there, and I found the mother thing unpleasant.
I can’t decide if the denouement was clever or contrived. This just missed being a spine-chilling experience for me, but still unsettling and thought – provoking.
With thanks to HarperCollins UK and Netgalley
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I will never look at my 'home assistants' in the same way again. 

A taut thriller - you're never quite sure what's real and what isn't. I'm sure I'm probably meant to say something about the sins of our fathers  and our youth continuing to haunt us but I feel this book is more than that - Modern tech and how it's taking over our lives, for good and bad. Mental illness - how that is perceived amongst friends and strangers, social media and everything that comes with it, set admist a background of Plath, her writing and her life and London. 

I enjoyed this book and was genuined quite frightened at times - I'll be asking google to skip that Sigur Ros song next time....
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A novel for the internet age that everyone who finds it  creepy that after discussing something with a friend finds that same thing popping up on their Facebook page.   This was certainly a page turner which kept me entranced to the wee small hours with just one more chapter.  

Although I did have some reservations hence four rather then five stars The Assistant is a winner and highly recommended.
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This was the first book I’ve have read by this author and I really enjoyed it. Definitely worth reading
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Freya thinks she has fallen on her feet when she is offered an upmarket flat to rent In Adder House for a pittance. Her life couldn’t have been worse recently so she decides to grab this opportunity and moves in with her daughter. Who are the mysterious Dr and Audrey Marsden living downstairs and who occupied the apartment where Freya and her daughter now live? An intriguing mystery if not a little unbelievable
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Now as soon as I read the premise of this book I was immediately on board.
I read The Turn Of The Key by Ruth Ware earlier in the year, where smart apps and tech were behaving in a seriously creepy way and I really loved how this added to that story. But sadly it was not the same with this book.
Even though the Electra device and then even Jo's smart phone, emails, lights, television, heat, etc. were making her feel like she was going crazy and operating without her doing anything, the way that Jo reacted wasn't how I would expect anyone to. 
It was still unsettling and makes you think about having these smart devices in your home but sadly Jo wasn't all that likeable and that made it difficult for me to truly care what happened to her.
Ultimately it was too slow for me and certainly didn't live up to my expectations.
The concept was brilliant but sadly the execution wasn't quite up to par.
Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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This is the third S. K. Tremayne thriller I have read and it was my least favorite.  It managed to give me the creeps several times but then had my eyes rolling other times. What creeped me out were the little Alexa-like devices that controlled the luxury apartment where Jo, our protagonist, lived with her friend Tabitha.  In no time the devices, here known as Electra home assistants, were controlling Jo as well, not to mention her smart phone, laptop, emails,  television, and the lights and heat -- and not in a good way.  The playing of videos and speaking to her in other voices, even her own, were all pretty clever ploys to build a story around.  Unfortunately, what didn't work for me was Jo's reaction to all that was thrown at her.  We are told how smart Jo is, yet repeatedly she acts irresponsibly and just plain stupid at times.  She did not come off as smart.

Either Jo is losing her mind as her father did before her, or someone is doing an excellent job of convincing her of it through the home devices.  I raced through the chapters to see what was going on. 

If you are a fan of Tremayne's and able to accept naive protagonists, you will enjoy this one.  I was given a free ebook by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I devoured The Assistant by S K Tremayne in a very few days. It’s compulsive, scary and, in parts, a horribly plausible psychological thriller. The divorcee Jo, whose online sexting relationship proved the catalyst for her failing marriage, is struggling when her best friend Tabitha throws her a lifeline of a spare room in her high tech flat in Camden. Jo is made up but the flat is controlled by smart tech courtesy of Electra through which the heating, lighting and, as it transpires, so much more is facilitated. The mix of AI, casual drug abuse and mental health is a toxic one and it’s not long before Jo doesn’t know who she can trust as her past comes back to haunt her and she becomes a social pariah watching, seemingly powerless, as her life disintegrates before her eyes. Great characterisation and insights into the omnipresent world of AI make for a good though often sad read and certainly kept me engrossed. While I didn’t guess the protagonist I did find Jo’s happy ending slightly predictable. Thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins for the e-book.
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A slow start for this book. Although there were lots of twists in the story it didn't grip me as much as the previous ones by this author. Only an OK read
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