Publication: 19th August 2021 – Michael Joseph
Teddy Crutcher has just won Teacher of the Year at the prestigious Belmont Academy, home exclusively to the brightest and the best.
He says his wife couldn’t be more proud – though no-one has seen her in a while.
He’s deeply committed to improving his students. And well aware which ones need improving.
And all he wants is for his colleagues – and the endlessly interfering parents – to stay out of his way.
Oddly, not everyone agrees that Teddy has their best interests at heart.
But will that change when someone receives a lesson to die for…?
Good morning and welcome on my stop for the blog tour for For Your Own Good, the thrilling new novel by Samantha Downing.
Belmont Academy is an exclusive school where wealthy parents send their children in the hope they can get in the best universities and where teachers seem eager for their students to succeed. Teddy Crutcher has been named Teacher of the Year and he has a plaque on the wall of his class that reminds it to everyone. Teddy thinks he deserves the plaque even though he is not like the other teachers who are mostly former students of the academy. He wasn’t a spoiled and entitled student like the children at Belmont so he enjoys punishing them with extra work. He dislikes the students, their parents, and the other teachers, he is jealous and vindictive and arrogant, so, of course, something bad is bound to happen… and then another, and then another. Is anyone safe at Belmont Academy?
After reading a few fantasy books, I needed a change of genre and a good thriller was the right fit. Slow-burning and engrossing, I read For Your Own Good in one night, in one sitting, staying up late to finish it because I needed to see how it would end (thankfully I was off work so I didn’t need to get up early in the morning).
The plot is clever and intriguing with a constant sense of dread that something bad is about to happen – and it usually does. The story is told from different narrators, starting from Teddy who, in an arrogant and narcissistic way, tries to justify to the reader his behaviour. There are other characters who play a part in Teddy’s twisted narrative: the teacher who befriends the students, the student who is pressured by his parents to be the best, the former student on a revenge path, the math teacher on the verge of a mental breakdown… quite a cast of complex characters!
I found For Your Own Good impossible to put down: lies, revenge, obsession, and murder, multi-layered characters, twists and turns every few pages… what more do you want?
A huge thank you to Kallie and Michael Joseph for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing me with a copy of this incredible novel.
Samantha Downing lives in New Orleans. Her debut novel, My Lovely Wife, was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick and has been published in thirty languages. It won a Dead Good Reader Award, and was shortlisted for four other major awards: The CWA John Creasey Dagger, The Edgar Award for Best First Novel, The ITW Thriller Award for Best First Novel and The Macavity Award for Best First Mystery. There will also be a forthcoming film adaptation, produced by Nicole Kidman. Her second novel, He Started It, was also a Sunday Times bestseller.