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Scared yet? by Jaye Ford
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Scared yet? (edition 2012)

by Jaye Ford

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531,436,638 (4.17)None
Member:austcrimefiction
Title:Scared yet?
Authors:Jaye Ford
Info:North Sydney, N.S.W. : Random House Australia, 2012.
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:Crime, Australia

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Scared yet? by Jaye Ford

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SCARED YET? is the second, standalone, psychological thriller from Jaye Ford. In this outing, readers are introduced to a woman who suddenly finds herself in a fight for her life against an unknown assailant for an unknown reason. When things escalate to her friends and loved ones, Liv doesn't know who to trust.

There is a lot that's not going well in Liv's life, and somewhere within all those problems, is the answer to who and why the harassment steadily ramps up. Because of the maelstrom surrounding her there are a lot of possible suspects. A bitter relationship with her ex-husband is the starting point, a knight in shining armour that shows up on the scene surprisingly quickly, the husband of her best friend and business partner. Then there's the business itself - teetering on the edge of failure, there seems to be secrets that her best friend Kelly is holding back. All in all, about the only person that seems to be 100% on Liv's side is her dying father, he of ex-boxing fame, and hence her own physical ability to fight back during that dreadful moment in the carpark.

There's quite a bit to like about Liv, particularly as there's a refreshing lack of fem-jep behaviour. Instead, there is the ever increasing sense of terror and tension that builds as the stalker continues to taunt with his little notes, and as whoever it is widens his threats to her friends and family.

The plot is carefully constructed around that build of tension, and whilst the final identity of the stalker is telegraphed, there's more than enough going on around that to really make the reader wonder, along with Liv, who to trust and where to turn. Part of the success of the book is that there is a real ability for readers to connect, and empathise with Liv. She's very believable and somebody that lots of people are going to be cheering loudly for.

SCARED YET? is a good thriller, fast-paced, peopled with believable characters who do believable and very real things in response to unreal circumstances. It's a chillingly frightening scenario that is all the more threatening because it feels exactly like something that could happen to ordinary people. The empathy comes from the reader's awareness that anybody could suddenly find themselves dealing with the unexpected, looking for a way to cope and fight back. Liv's reactions and behaviour feel exactly like something, in the heat of the moment, you'd hope you would have a red hot go at for yourself.

http://www.austcrimefiction.org/review/scared-yet-jaye-ford ( )
  austcrimefiction | Nov 21, 2012 |
It is unusual for me to read two novels by the same author back to back but I only finished Jaye Ford's first novel BEYOND FEAR last week.

There are similarities between the two novels: both describe a woman's reaction to intimidation and fear. Both develop suspenseful scenarios, and I think Ford does this very well, even though I found each book a little long. Both kept me up reading well into the night.

It seems at first that the assault on Livia Prescott is a random mugging, but Liv soon comes to the realisation that she is being targetted and that her friends and family are also in danger, but what is it that her stalker wants?
With her, the reader tries to work out who is attacking Livia, who among those around her can be trusted. ( )
  smik | Nov 10, 2012 |
Jaye Ford's newest release Scared Yet? came highly recommended on the heels of her successful debut, Beyond Fear. In this psychological thriller, Ford introduces her protagonist Livia Prescott, who is the victim of a terrifying assault. Though she is able to successfully thwart her attacker, who disappears in to the night, shortly afterward she becomes the focus of a disturbing and sustained campaign of harassment. When the man who assaulted her is captured, Liv is stunned that the harassment doesn't stop, in fact, the anonymous threats escalate and the unknown stalker begins to target her friends and loved ones. Liv is scared but with everyone she knows a suspect, who can she trust and what will happen when she trusts the wrong person?

Ford has created an admirable character in Liv who readers are immediately able to relate to. It has not been a good year for Liv, her once strong and stalwart father is dying, she is embroiled in a bitter relationship with her ex-husband and the business she owns with best friend Kelly, is teetering on the brink of collapse. Yet Liv doesn't give in when she is attacked in the carpark after a long day at work, she fights back, making use of her pent up anger and frustration, and the boxing skills learnt from her father. The description of the attack is harrowing, for most women the possibility of an attack lurks in the back of your mind when you cross a deserted car park and it is all too easy to imagine yourself in a similar situation. You can't help but cheer Liv on as she blackens the attackers eye and then draw in a pained breath as he slams her head into the car boot. In the aftermath of the assault, Liv relies on her anger to hold the fear at bay, declaring she wasn't scared in a media interview, until the notes begin arriving, delivered to her work, placed under the windshield of her car and even hand delivered to her son. Liv responds practically to the implied threat, informing the police and making her home more secure which is a relief, since all too often authors rely on their protagonists making inane choices to put them in even more danger. Despite Liv's precautions her stalker is determined to breach her defenses by targeting her friends, continually taunting her with notes asking "Are you scared yet, Liv?"
Of the secondary characters, I am wary of saying anything much for fear of accidentally revealing who is, and who isn't, a viable suspect. I did feel that Ford did a credible job in fleshing out the supporting cast, while ensuring they retained the necessary ambiguity. The only real flaw for me in the story was the behaviour of Jason, I just didn't think his behaviour fit with what we are told about him and his history with Liv. It's a difficult point to articulate without a a spoiler but had there been some sort of past related incident, his actions would have made more sense to me.

The careful plotting ensured I was kept guessing, though when the identity of the stalker was revealed I wondered why I hadn't seen it. It's to the author's credit that I was suspicious of almost everyone at one point or another.
Ford builds the tension masterfully as the situation escalates and the pool of suspects widens. The final confrontation between Liv and her stalker is explosive and the conclusion is satisfying.

Scared Yet? is a taut thriller that places an ordinary woman in extraordinary circumstances. I turned the pages compulsively and read the entire book in a little more than three hours (despite it being 454 pages long and 2am when I finished). My copy of the book is adorned with a money-back guarantee sticker from the publisher but I would be shocked if anyone made use of it. Scared Yet? is just what it promises, a stellar read - a fast-paced, entertaining and engrossing novel of suspense. ( )
  shelleyraec | Mar 6, 2012 |
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'You were lucky this time, Livia.' When Livia Prescott fights off a terrifying assault in a deserted car park, the media hail her bravery. And after a difficult year watching her father fade away, her business struggle and her marriage fall apart it felt good to strike back for once.… (more)

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