Trust Me, Gemma Metcalfe

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One-Sentence Summary: A woman who is trying to sell holidays on the phone encounters a suicidal man, and she wants to save him by exchanging their misery life and dark past.


Lana is a 26-year-old single mother who has been working at Tenerife for five months, but she still hasn't sold a holiday yet. She left Manchester with her six-year-old daughter Amber, and she is on the run to protect her daughter. Today is probably Lana's last day at work if she can't get a sale by the end of the day.

Liam is 36 years old and lives in Manchester with his adopted son Elliott. The introduction was a bit vague at the beginning. The story only reveals that he is asthmatic, and someone close to him named Alice is not around. He is trying to smoke his sorrows away and thinking to leave his son behind.

Liam is going to end his life on that day but before he wants to commit suicide, his mobile phone rings. The phone call is from a lady who introduces herself as Lana from Getaway Holidays. He rejected her holiday offer, causes Lana feeling frustrated with all the usual excuses that other clients that always make them up to get rid of her. Liam is not sure whether because he doesn't want to make himself sounds like other time waster or maybe he wants to have someone to talk to, he reveals to her that he is going to kill himself.

Lana is not confident that she can convince a stranger not to take their own life because she can't even convince someone to come on holiday for ninety-nine pounds. But she wants to help Liam, and so she calls him back. Liam is hesitant for a while, but he still decides to end his life anyway. When Lana called him back, he chooses to tell the truth to her. So at least one person in the whole world knows the truth.

I always don't understand why whenever someone is so broke, they still have extra money for a pet, cigarettes or alcoholic beverages. And especially if the person has a child or children, why they don't keep that extra money for them instead of spending on a pet, cigarettes or alcoholic drinks? They always said that their child is the highest priority. Although they are no longer able to afford food and bills, they still keep spending on unnecessities with the usual excuse that they need to make themselves better. I always feel that when you have hit rock bottom in your life, making yourself feel better is something too luxurious to afford during that stage. I don't have space to think of making myself feel better because I'm so eager to find a solution to the problem.

The story is full of dramas and sad lives of different people with various struggles. Although I felt the story seems slightly overdramatic and too many plot twists, the story was enthralling to read. It's a story that keeps pushing you to continue reading it because it has more to offer.

SPOILER WARNING! Liam
Liam's story begins from 7th January 2009 on a big snow day. Alice was pregnant at that time after three miscarriages. But on that day, a horrific car accident occurred, and Alice died after asking Liam to promise to save their baby.

At the same time, another woman's son was also fighting for his life caused by the same accident. He might not able to make it. On Alice's and the baby's funeral, the woman came with flowers and the gift tag with the names Jessica, Amy and Elliott. Meanwhile, Elliott suffered brain damage, and Liam wishes that he can do whatever he can to make it up to Jessica and Elliott.

After quite some time, Jessica was pregnant, and she married to Liam. But they lost the baby not long after. The marriage started to fall apart since then, especially Jessica tried to harm the baby during her pregnancy. She also can't control her jealousy after she knew Liam is still missing Alice.

Jessica tried to kill Liam a couple of times. There was once she fought with Liam when she was drunk. She called the police although she said that she doesn't want to press charges after she sober up. Liam was released after that, but Jessica probably planned the entire thing to ruin his friendship with Sally, a policewoman who works at the local police station.

Liam had decided to walk out, but Jessica told him that she is pregnant.

On his suicidal day in the morning, Liam went to collect Elliott's prescription. Dr Moore is curious with the change, and he told her that Jessica is pregnant and he wanted her to rest. From there onwards, the conversation between them began with the revelation of Jessica had aborted their baby several years ago, and she already sterilized since then. Another shocking truth is the accident didn't cause Elliott's brain damage. He was born with cerebral palsy.

When Liam wanted to confront Jessica after what he heard from the doctor, he saw Jessica is slapping Elliott in his room. They started to argue, and she revealed that she aborted the baby because she knew Liam would love the baby more than her. Liam wants to save Elliott from his mother. The final nail in the coffin is the fake adoption papers, which means Liam can't take Elliott away. After hearing that, Liam just pushed her down the stairs.


Lana
Lana's story dated back to Christmas in 2014. Her drug-addict brother had stolen all her daughter's presents before Christmas. She has no choice but to borrow money from a loan shark to get any last-minute presents for her daughter.

When she thought she has the money to pay back the loan, her wage from her bank account had already stolen by Benji. She has no money for herself but able to get some money from her neighbour Sue, who cares for her like her daughter. Then, her brother came and asked for help because he is in debt as well. Lana decided to help her brother and delayed the payment for her debt for the second time.

When the debt is getting higher with interests, she went to her estranged parents to ask for help. From her mother, she only knew that they are going to move to France in two days and her brother already dead. Her brother duped her about some men after him, but actually, he had run out of money for drugs. He died of an overdose.

Lana believed that the debt collector has a boss and he is in big trouble of covering her. The debt collector assured her that he would protect her, and ended up she slept with him. She felt guilty on the next day and rejected his advance, which led him to reveal the truth that there wasn't a boss chasing him. Since she is in debt with more than two thousand quids, he wanted her to prostitute herself and to expect her first visitor on that night.

After a few weeks, a second visitor came, and this time is an older man with fetish behaviour. She felt disgusting and sick and asked him to leave. Before he was able to leave the house, he had a heart attack and died. She was lost and not sure what to do. Sue came to her house, and after hearing Lana's story, Sue gave her the winning money that she got from bingo, and she booked cheap air tickets for them.

Before she was able to finish her story, Liam seems gone, and she was panic. She heard the sound of a door closed and assumed Jessica is back. But what came is a voice from Amy, and she told Lana that Liam had killed her mother.
EndingEighteen months later, Lana appears in a courtroom. She came back from Tenerife and handed herself to the police in Manchester. She is a witness for Liam's trial, and she has to tell the entire story and hopefully can save Liam.

The older man who had died at Lana's house was a wanted criminal. Lana was charged with failing to report a death and received a fine and Community Service. The police will track down the debt collector that already vanished for more than twenty months.


Ending
Eighteen months later, Lana appears in a courtroom. She came back from Tenerife and handed herself to the police in Manchester. She is a witness for Liam's trial, and she has to tell the entire story and hopefully can save Liam.

The older man who had died at Lana's house was a wanted criminal. Lana was charged with failing to report a death and received a fine and Community Service. The police will track down the debt collector that already vanished for more than twenty months.

Rating: ★★★
More reviews can be found on Goodreads: Trust Me by Gemma Metcalfe.

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