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Accidents Happen: A Novel Paperback – June 25, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Emily Bestler Books; Original edition (June 25, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 145165670X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451656701
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #567,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Kate Parker’s extraordinarily bad luck—both parents killed in a freak traffic accident on her wedding day, her husband murdered at home five years later—has left her wary about everything and overprotective of her 10-year-old son, Jack. Even her concerns about such warning flags as recent burglaries and a creepy neighbor’s behavior are considered just skittish Kate’s overreactions, especially by her in-laws, who threaten to raise Jack themselves. Kate’s sole and virtually obsessional solace lies in finding statistics showing the probability of danger in everyday life. So she’s instantly attracted to the book Beat the Odds and Change Your Life, left casually in a juice bar, and to its author, Jago Martin, an Edinburgh professor guest-lecturing at Oxford, who offers to help Kate deal with her anxiety. The risky activities Jago proposes actually make Kate feel alive again—the unlikely result of a pathological plan fueled by revenge. Fans of Millar’s accomplished debut, The Playdate (2012), won’t be surprised to find that things are not always what they seem here and that paranoia may indeed be just increased awareness. As Millar makes truth elusive and builds suspense, she is establishing herself in the top tier of writers of psychological thrillers. --Michele Leber

Review

"A deliciously disturbing read, with paranoia seeping from every page." (Alex Marwood)

“Taut, chilling and utterly brilliant- my thriller of the year.” (Lisa Jewell)

"As Millarmakes truth elusive and builds suspense, she is establishing herself in the toptier of writers of psychological thrillers." (Booklist (starred review))

"Louise Millar’s Accidents Happen is everything I hope forin a suspenseful read – chilling, complex and intense. Millar’s riveting novel,with its frightening premise and twists and turns kept me frantically turningpages late into the night." (Heather Gudenkauf New York Times bestselling author of The Weight of Silence)

More About the Author

Louise Millar grew up in Scotland, and now lives in London with her husband and two children. Before turning to fiction, she spent 20 years working in magazines and newspapers, starting as a freelance sub-editor on entertainment titles such as the NME, Kerrang!, Empire and Smash Hits, before crossing over into women's magazines and becoming a senior commissioning editor at Marie Claire. In 2006, she left Marie Claire to start a business writing 'ordinary people's memoirs while writing freelance features for magazines and newspapers, and starting work on her debut novel, The Playdate. Her second novel, Accidents Happen, will be published in 2013.

Customer Reviews

I enjoyed the characters, and the plot was intriguing.
S. Richardson
I regret forcing myself to read as far as I did and I'm sure I'll just be less kind to ACCIDENTS HAPPEN if I keep going.
Liviania
Unfortunately, as the book went on, it had way too many inconsistencies to work for me.
Cathe

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Pink Amy on June 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Kate, a thirty-something widow suffers with an anxiety disorder and OCD. She constantly checks the odds of a catastrophe happening since the break-in and murder of her husband five years ago. Jack, her almost-eleven year old son appears to mimicking her fears and developing his own anxieties. But, Kate and Jack do have a phantom intruder, their next door neighbor who enters crawling through a hole he's carved straight into Jack's closet! In the interim, Kate finds herself attracted to Jago, professor and writer of a book about odds and statistics. She also has to contend with her in-laws threats to take Jack.
Unlike Millar's first novel, PLAYDATE, ACCIDENTS HAPPEN didn't grab me. I wasn't on the edge of my chair and I was able to put the book down. I think PLAYDATE set high expectation for Millar's sophomore novel. I liked, but didn't love this novel. I felt like Millar could have easily created more tension by capitalizing on Kate's anxiety disorder, but instead of describing all the body's responses to panic, she glossed over this. Still, I enjoyed this novel and I give it a lukewarm recommendation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Annie Michelle on August 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Well, accidents do happen and sadly this book is one of them...
I thought at first I had a winner on my hands, then towards the end I was like, really?
I was ready to throw this one down towards the end, as it is just way, way, to implausible.
The story starts out with Kate, a woman who has literally the worst luck in the world. Everyone from her parents to her husband have died tragically and consequently Kate is extremely paranoid, waiting for her and her sons life to end at any moment.
Her paranoia drives her son crazy as well as her husbands parents who think maybe its time for grandma and grandpa to take over the raising of their grandson, this of course further drives Kate Into desperation.
There are some interesting characters in this book, a really creepy neighbor that raises all kinds of red flags, a sister in law I would like to pop upside the head and a new boyfriend who gets Kate out of her shell with exciting new activities that might or might not be illegal and getting her to think there might actually be a future again for her, this is one book you have to read to believe...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cathe VINE VOICE on June 20, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book started out promising--a woman whose parents and husband dies thinks she's cursed and becomes paranoid and obsessively overprotective of her son, but is it really all in her mind??? Unfortunately, as the book went on, it had way too many inconsistencies to work for me. One minute, she's scared of her own shadow and the next she's running all over the place with this mysterious man leaving her son every chance she can. And when the truth comes out . . . well, it was just too far-fetched for me. The book was readable and fast moving and if there's nothing else around, an enjoyable-enough read . . . but there are better thrillers out there.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By she treads softly on July 5, 2013
Format: Paperback
In Accidents Happen by Louise Millar, Kate Parker is a woman under siege. After her parents were killed in a freak accident on her wedding night and her husband was brutally murdered five years later, Kate, understandably, is concerned about accidents happening. She just wants to keep herself and her 10 year old son safe. As she also battles depression, Kate obsessively has the statistics concerning the frequency and circumstances of various accidents happening running through her head. But not only is Kate suffering from her constant worrying, so is her son, Jack. It appears that her in-laws are concerned enough about her actions that they might soon try to take her son from her.

Then Kate meets Jago Martin, a mathematics professor who has written a book about the odds of everything. Kate is immediately drawn to the handsome statistician, who challenges her to stop thinking about the odds and just enjoy life. He begins to set up a series of challenges aimed at helping her do just that. In the meantime, unknown to Kate, there is some real cause for alarm with the creepy neighbor next door who is watching her every move.

Set in Oxford, England, Accidents Happen is a psychological thriller with an original premise. Kate's obsession with the odds of various accidents happening is believable. As the story unfolds, Millar slowly provides additional information and widens the picture to reveal more and more of what is really happening. The beginning did start out slow for me, but the suspense continued to slowly build with each chapter until the nail-biting end when the plot twist is revealed.

I thoroughly enjoyed Accidents Happen, but it did require accepting some improbabilities and just going with the story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tatyana on August 13, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In "Accidents Happen", the central character, Kate, seems to attract bad luck whenever she goes. Her parents are murdered on her wedding day, her husband become a victim of thieves, her in-laws are concerned about her paranoia and want to take her only son, Jack, away from her. If all of these won't drive a woman crazy, then what will? Then she meets a handsome Scottish stranger and starts relaxing, just for a moment. But let's remember, if you are Kate, you can't relax even for a moment.

This is yet another excellent plot by Louise Millar. Her writing is amazing, she really grasps her characters, and makes them real to her readers. I am only amazed that Kate didn't start seeing a shrink much, much earlier in her marriage and later, right after her husband's death.

Hopefully, Hollywood wouldn't butcher a film based on this novel.
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