Sticks and Stones by Jo Jakeman

Sticks and Stones is a deliciously twisting psychological thriller from an unforgettable new voice.




Imogen’s husband is a bad man. His ex-wife and his new mistress might have different perspectives but Imogen thinks she knows the truth. And now he’s given her an ultimatum: get out of the family home in the next fortnight or I’ll fight you for custody of our son.

In a moment of madness, Imogen does something unthinkable: she locks her husband in the cellar. Now she’s in control. But how far will she go to protect her son and punish her husband? And what will happen when his ex and his girlfriend get tangled up in her plans?

My thoughts

The book opens at Philip’s funeral – Imogen, Naomi and Ruby are all there. Two ex-wives and the current girlfriend. Tears are shed but for who and why?

Imogen takes us through the days before the funeral and we learn that all was not what it seemed in Philip’s world – a police officer, a father, a husband, ex husband and partner. Imogen see’s him as he really is – an abuser who needs to control, who craves admiration and attention.  They are going through a torturous divorce, Philip wants everything his own way and he’s a master manipulator.

Imogen goes to see Philip to move the divorce along but he’s not home, Naomi’s there and Imogen realises all is not well with this new relationship. Then she bumps into Naomi again at the hospital and see’s how bad things have become.

Philip turns up at Imogen’s laying down the law, threatening until Imogen breaks and locks him up in the ‘cinema room’ – the cellar…

Jo Jakeman has written a terrific book which is well paced and almost borders, at times, on dark humour but this is too serious a subject for that.  There is some difficult reading, it’s tense and moving. She writes it so well you cannot but become engrossed – to read about what Imogen does, what Philip does, what Naomi does and whether Ruby will ever see the truth. You will want to know because the characters are drawn so well and engage you throughout the book. You will be hooked and the final chapters…..

A really good book which addresses abuse in the home, physical and mental, and the long term effect that it can have even when the marriage breaks up, even when he has moved in with someone else, even when you’re supposed to be free in a distinctive, compelling and, dare I say, rather satisfying way.

With thanks to Harvill Secker via NetGalley for an eARC in return for an honest opinion.

Rating: 4*


Hardcover: 368 pages

Publisher: Harvill Secker (12 July 2018)

ISBN-10: 1787300315

ISBN-13: 978-1787300316


2C8EE006-2027-42C7-A984-7DE33B774D67Jo is a writer based in Derbyshire. Her debut Psychological Thriller will be published in the UK as Sticks and Stones by Harvill Secker (Penguin Random House) on 12 July 2018, and as The Exes’ Revenge by Berkley in the USA on 11 September.

Jo Jakeman            @JoJakemanWrites

JoJakemanBlog: Sticks and Stones

One Comment on “Sticks and Stones by Jo Jakeman

  1. Pingback: #20BooksofSummer June round-up – Love Books, Read Books


Looking for thoughtful discussions about books and beverages? Well, you've come to the right place.

Taking On a World of Words

Homepage for fledgling writer Sam A. Stevens

Books, Cats, Etc.

A place to share my love of books, old and new


Thinking, writing, thinking about writing...


Book reviews by someone who loves books ...

Just One More Chapter

Book Reviews & More

Years of Reading Selfishly

Life is too short to read books you don't love

Crime Cymru

The Welsh Crime Writing Collective

Sharon Dempsey

First Chapter

Beverley's Reads

Book Reviews & The Joy of Reading

the dead authors club

a classics club blog


The poetry and writing of Ailsa Cawley. Welcome!

The Last Word Book Review

Musings about books and a blog journal

Crime Writer Margot Kinberg

...a crime-fictional site

Hugh's Views & News  

WordPress & Blogging tips, flash fiction, photography and lots more!

The Classics Club

A Community of Classics Lovers

Reading Matters

Book reviews of mainly modern & contemporary fiction

Raven Crime Reads

Criminally good reads

The book review café

Book reviews and the occasional ramblings of a book blogger

A crime readers blog

A place for crime fiction reviews and occasional ramblings of a 40 something in York

A Fangirl's Opinion

One Girl, Too Many Books

Jen Med's Book Reviews

Musings and Ramblings of a Disorganised Blogger

Digital Reads Media

Shalini's Digital Reads & Promotions

KayCKay Book Reviews

No one ever reads the same book. We all react to the written word differently. The following are my opinions regarding the books I have read.

Being Anne...

Books, travel, and other things that make life interesting

What Cathy Read Next...

For book lovers everywhere

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

Book related stuff in English and Dutch!

Nordic Lighthouse

Spotlight on Nordic / Scandinavian crime fiction... and connections

Novel Deelights

Escaping reality one book at a time

Jess Bookish Life

Reader | Writer | Blogger

Scribbling Clouds

The place where I put down all my thoughts and observations

Pages Below the Vaulted Sky

A book blog with a speculative focus

Jennifer ~ Tar Heel Reader

Reading under the light of a Carolina moon



Ah Sweet Mystery!

Celebrating the Golden Age of Detection in books and on screen

Bibliophile Book Club

Books, reviews and more...


Life in Newcastle and beyond...

Reviews by Chloé

Feast your eyes on all the books that I have absolutely LOVED


Book reviews and random musings

%d bloggers like this: