Book Review: What Have I Done by Amanda Prowse

This review has been sitting in my drafts for almost 4 months now. I’ve been giving my house a good spring clean, and decide to take it to my virtual home as well. So you might see some forgotten reviews pop up in the next few days. This was one of the books I definitely want to talk about.

The opening of the book had me hooked, ‘Oh, I know. I’m sorry, I’ll try and speak up a bit. It’s always a terrible connection from here, even if I’m phoning someone locally. It’s because I am up in the main bedroom and the reception is very bad. My son thinks it may be because of all the big trees around us; we did cut them right back one year, but I can’t remember if it made any difference. Plus we get interference from the computers in the next building; we’ve been meaning to get it looked at, but that’s by the by. Right, yes. I said, I have murdered my husband.’

Kathryn Booker is the head master’s wife in a rather grand school, Mountbriars Academy. Kathryn spends her time baking scones and playing the perfect, happy wife. To the everybody, they are the perfect couple, still very much in love with each other, despite being married for decades.

So why does Kathyrn kill her husband? Why was she so calm, collected and composed while reporting her crime? As the story unfolds, we are shown Kathryn’s private hell, the prison that she lived in, the nightmare she was ready to trade with a life in jail. What could have been so bad in Kathryn’s seemingly perfect life? You have to read it to find out.

A book which I couldn’t put down, because I so wanted to know more. To know why Kathryn did what she did, to understand why the people around her and her own children reacted the way they did. Kathryn’s story before she killed her husband was interesting, and eye-opening. It gave an insight into how easy it can be, to get away with domestic violence. So easy to mask and hide, if you knew how to play people. That thought gave me the shivers. What let this book down, in my opinion were the characters. While Kathryn’s husband and Kathyrn’s characters made sense, I found it difficult to believe their children. they refused to see what was in front of them. Even when the evidence was in front of them, even after it all came out in the aftermath of their father’s death. The way the refused to see things from their mother’s point of view was heart-breaking, absolutely heart-breaking to read. Kathryn’s pain from the final way her husband managed to hurt her, long after his death was incredibly sad. I guess, it takes all sorts, there definitely are people like them, self centered, refusing to see what is in front of them, so what if they end up hurting those who love them the most.

A 3.5/5 book for me, because this book started off with so much promise, it could have been fantastic, but it fell short, somewhere. While it was an absolute page turner, there was something missing, something that left you unsatisfied. I have to say, the ending definitely made sense, it ended in the only way it could. I would still read a sequel if there is any, simply because this book felt unfinished. And for all it’s flaws, it still is a book that is very memorable, mainly because of the subject that refuses to let you go. Stuff that nightmares are made of, and yet important enough to be written about, and read, because I’m sure it will help someone in similar situations at some point in time.

About the Author
Amanda Prowse was a management consultant for ten years before realising that she was born to write. Amanda lives in the West Country with her husband and their two teenage sons.

This book is available on Amazon(UK).


One thought on “Book Review: What Have I Done by Amanda Prowse

  1. A great review, I’m so glad you did some virtual spring cleaning! The opening of this book does sound great so it’s a shame that the secondary characters disbelief meant that this didn’t deliver on the original promise.


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