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The Rival

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A gripping psychological thriller, perfect for fans of The Whisper Network and Liane Moriarty

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Charlotte Duckworth


Anything you can do she can do better…

Living in her home in the countryside Helena is a career woman with no job and a mother without a baby. She blames Ashley for destroying her life. But is what happened really Ashley’s fault?

When Helena hires Ashley to work with her, she’s startled but impressed by her fierce ambition. They form a dream team and Helena is proud –maybe this is the protégé she’s always wanted to have? But soon Helena realises that nothing will stand in the way of Ashley’s drive to get to the top. And when Helena discovers she is pregnant, she quickly realises how vulnerable her position is, with devastating consequences.

The Rival is an addictive psychological suspense about ambition, female rivalry, mental health and motherhood and how far you’d ever go to get what you want.

‘A highly professional piece of psychological suspense… Duckworth has plenty up her sleeve.’
Barry Forshaw, The Guardian, ‘Best recent thrillers’ August 2018

A page-turner, and also has important things to say about maternal mental health, the ways that a baby can change a woman’s sense of herself, and how torn some mothers feel between their previous life as a career woman and a new life at home with a little one.’
Claire Handscombe, BookRiot

‘Duckworth isn’t kind on the sisterhood, shining a spotlight on bad behaviour, which has more than a touch of workplace reality for many women. This makes The Rival a rare find.’
Courier Mail

‘A taut, chilling read with a killer twist at the end’
The Sun

‘Absolutely terrific, a beautifully written debut from an exciting new voice in psychological fiction.’
Cass Green, author of In a Cottage in a Wood and The Woman Next Door

‘A gripping psychological suspense that delves deep into the complex relationship of two women.’
Elisabeth Carpenter, author of 99 Red Balloons

‘A chilling and compelling debut.’
Lucy Dawson, author of The Daughter and White Lies

‘Brilliant and insidious.’
Lucy Clarke, author of Last Seen and The Blue

‘A compelling, addictive read… I absolutely loved it.’
Karen Hamilton, author of The Perfect Girlfriend

‘As compelling as it is unpredictable, building tension cleverly right up to the satisfying conclusion. An excellent, fresh and absorbing read.’
Caroline Hulse, author of The Adults

‘A novel that charts how the toxicity of the modern workplace pits women against each other in a battle no one can win… unnerving.’
Holly Cave, author of The Memory Chamber

‘Rivalry in the workplace, full of ambition and jealousy – a fantastic debut of how female relationships can turn toxic with devastating consequences.’
Sue Fortin, author of Sister Sister and The Birthday Girl

‘The Rival is a compelling, original read about ambition, motherhood and how far people will go to get what they want. Chilling, complex and unnerving, I loved it.’
Phoebe Morgan, author of The Doll House