Review: When I was Ten by Fiona Cummins

Everyone remembered Sara and Shannon Carter, the little blonde haired sisters. Their Dad was the local GP and they lived in the beautiful house on the hill. Their best friend, Brinley Booth, lived next door. They would do anything for each other but everything shifted on that fateful day when Dr Richard Carter and his wife Pamela were stabbed fourteen times with a pair of scissors in what has become the most talked about double murder of the modern age.

The girls were aged ten and twelve at the time. One, nicknamed the Angel of Death, spent eight years in a children’s secure unit accused of the brutal killings. The other lived in foster care out of the limelight and prying questions. Now, on the anniversary of the trial, a documentary team has tracked down one of the sisters, persuading her to speak about the events of that night for the first time.

Her explosive interview sparks national headlines and Brinley Booth, now a journalist, is tasked with covering the news story which brings to light fresh evidence and triggers a chain of events which will have devastating consequences.


Totally lost for words! I hope this review will not turn into a mumbling mess as I attempt to articulate just how much I enjoyed this title.

The first chapter sets the tone for this heart-pounding read. A woman is woken up by a sound in the middle of the night. She has to quickly get her family together and leave her home. However, we are informed that in a few minutes, someone will be dead. Phew! What an opening! My mind was racing as I tried to guess what was going on. I had some wild guesses. At some point, the words ‘alien abduction’ might have crossed my mind but no, this isn’t that kind of read. And again, no I don’t even know what alien abduction really means but the suspense gave me crazy ideas.

This is the story of two young girls, Sara and Shanon Carter, whose lives were shattered by the murder of their parents. In the present time, the narrative follows one of the sisters in her new life with a new identity. There is also a second narration by Brinley, a journalist who used to live next door to the Carter sisters. A number of chapters are set in the past detailing events that led to the murders.

With dual narratives, I usually tend to prefer one timeline over the other. This time, I was equally invested in both timelines. I really needed answers from the past so as to understand present events and both narratives were totally engrossing.

I loved this book; it’s obvious, isn’t it? I enjoyed the suspense and action from both timelines. The writing was flawless and utterly captivating. The short and snappy chapters had me turning pages into the dead of night. This is my first book by Fiona Cummins and I cannot wait to read more from her. What a stunning thriller.

20 thoughts on “Review: When I was Ten by Fiona Cummins

    1. Thanks Laila. Agreed. I tend to struggle to organize my thoughts when I’m excited but I’m glad my review communicated my feelings well.

  1. I almost always enjoy one narrative over the other when I read dual narratives so it’s interesting that both were great in this book. Your review wasn’t a bumbling mess at all. It makes me want to run out and get this book right now!! Excellent review. 😃

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