Tuesday intro: The People at Number Nine by Felicity Everett

Once again I’m linking up again with Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea who hosts a post every Tuesday for people to share the first chapter / paragraph of the book they are reading, or thinking of reading soon. In really enjoy these tasters when I read them on other blogs so wanted to join in.

This week, I’m reading The People at Number Nine by Felicity Everett, which it felt like I was seeing everywhere not so long ago and really peaked my interest.   Here’s what it’s about…

32600066Have you met them yet, the new couple?

When Gav and Lou move into the house next door, Sara spends days plucking up courage to say hello. The neighbours are glamorous, chaotic and just a little eccentric. They make the rest of Sara’s street seem dull by comparison.

When the hand of friendship is extended, Sara is delighted and flattered. Incredibly, Gav and Lou seem to see something in Sara and Neil that they admire too. In no time at all, the two couples are soulmates, sharing suppers, bottles of red wine and childcare, laughing and trading stories and secrets late into the night in one another’s houses.

And the more time Sara spends with Gav and Lou, the more she longs to make changes in her own life. But those changes will come at a price. Soon Gav and Lou will be asking things they’ve no right to ask of their neighbours, with shattering consequences for all of them…

And here’s how it starts…

Sara’s gaze drifted toward the window.  It was dark outside now, and she could see her own reflection superimposed like a hologram on the house across the road. Their curtains were half-closed but the cold blue flicker of the TV could just be seen.  She imagined Gavin lounging in the Eames chair with a glass of red, Lou lolling barefoot on the sofa. They might be watching an art-house movie together – or perhaps just slumming it with Saturday night telly. It was all too easy to conjure – the flea-bitten heath rug, the aroma of Pinot Noir mingled with woodsmoke. Even after everything that had happened, the scene still had allure.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Emma

 

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Viral by Helen Fitzgerald

27409074So far, twenty-three thousand and ninety six people have seen me online. They include my mother, my father, my little sister, my grandmother, my other grandmother, my grandfather, my boss, my sixth year Biology teacher and my boyfriend James.

When Leah Oliphant-Brotheridge and her adopted sister Su go on holiday together to Magaluf to celebrate their A-levels, only Leah returns home. Her successful, swotty sister remains abroad, humiliated and afraid: there is an online video of her, drunkenly performing a sex act in a nightclub. And everyone has seen it.

Ruth Oliphant-Brotheridge, mother of the girls, successful court judge, is furious. How could this have happened? How can she bring justice to these men who took advantage of her dutiful, virginal daughter? What role has Leah played in all this? And can Ruth find Su and bring her back home when Su doesn’t want to be found?

Viral’s opening is pretty shocking and pulls no punches.  In a way, it feels ripped from the headlines (and possibly was?), with the story of a young woman getting caught on camera doing things that she normally wouldn’t.  However, on a girls holiday in Magaluf and fuelled by drinks and drugs, her defences were down and – as we all know nowadays – it doesn’t take long for someone to get out a phone and start recording.  And, once it was on the intranet, there is no going back.

This book just reminded me of everything I hate about the internet (which sometimes seems to overwhelm the good in it).  It shows people to be shallow, selfish and mean and just how little recourse there is for people who are it’s victims.  That’s certainly the case for Su and her family, all of whom feel the impact and all of whom come under the spotlight.

That one moment in time might be remembered forever and impact on everything you do (or can do) for the rest of your life is scary and Helen Fitzgerald makes that loud and clear and has made me think twice about everything I do online. I absolutely felt for Su and her family as their lives spiralled as a result.  After my shock, I started to feel despair.  Would any of them every be the same again?

Then there is light at the end of the tunnel (which won’t be shared for spoilers) and that made me happy.  Life, it seems, does go on and from adversity we often appear stronger and wiser. It all brought the story full circle.  I do have to wonder if in real life there would have been such a happy ending (there are a few plot leaps that make this happen and they don’t seem that based in reality but, hey, this is fiction) and that wonder has put a slight shadow over the book, but only a bit.

After my last outing with Helen Fitzgerald (The Exit), which didn’t go very well for me, this has restored my faith in an author who, for me, comes up with different storylines and strong, interesting characters.  This book was short (272 pages) and perfectly formed.  I really enjoyed it and think it’s a must read.

Enjoy!

Emma

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Source: Library
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Publication Date: February, 2016
Format: ebook
Pages: 272
Genre: thriller, suspense, general fiction
Find on: Amazon UK / Amazon US / Goodreads

 

 

 

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Tuesday Intro: Forgotten by Nicole Trope

Once again I’m linking up again with Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea who hosts a post every Tuesday for people to share the first chapter / paragraph of the book they are reading, or thinking of reading soon. In really enjoy these tasters when I read them on other blogs so wanted to join in.

This week I’m reading Forgotten by Nicole Trope, an author I have only read once before but promised myself I would read again this year. Lucky me, she has a new book out in July and I managed to get a review copy.  To say I’m excited is an understatement and, whilst I won’t be able to post a review for a month or so, I couldn’t wait that long to read it.  Here’s what it’s about…

51j92jJ6+dLA moment of distraction, an unlocked car and a missing baby. How on earth could this happen?

All Malia needed was a single litre of milk and now she’s surrounded by police and Zach has disappeared.

Detective Ali Greenberg knows that this is not the best case for her, not with her history – but she of all people knows what Malia is going through and what is at stake.

Edna is worried about the new residents at the boarding house. She knows Mary would turn in her grave if she knew the kinds of people her son was letting in.

And then there is someone else. Someone whose heart is broken. Someone who feels she has been unfairly punished for her mistakes. Someone who wants what she can’t have.

And here’s how it starts…

8:00 am

The bowl spins across the floor, ricochets off the cabinet and shatters into pieces, showering Coco Pops over every square foot of the kitchen.  Malia watches as her five year old son, Aaron, stamps his feet, crushing the cereal into dust.

What do you think – not much to go on and not much to hint of the story to come…would you keep on reading?

Emma

Find on: Amazon UK / Amazon US / Goodreads

 

Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson

29938032Growing up, Kate Priddy was always a bit neurotic, experiencing momentary bouts of anxiety that exploded into full-blown panic attacks after an ex-boyfriend kidnapped her and nearly ended her life. When Corbin Dell, a distant cousin in Boston, suggests the two temporarily swap apartments, Kate, an art student in London, agrees, hoping that time away in a new place will help her overcome the recent wreckage of her life.

Soon after her arrival at Corbin’s grand apartment on Beacon Hill, Kate makes a shocking discovery: his next-door neighbor, a young woman named Audrey Marshall, has been murdered. When the police question her about Corbin, a shaken Kate has few answers, and many questions of her own—curiosity that intensifies when she meets Alan Cherney, a handsome, quiet tenant who lives across the courtyard, in the apartment facing Audrey’s. Alan saw Corbin surreptitiously come and go from Audrey’s place, yet he’s denied knowing her. Then, Kate runs into a tearful man claiming to be the dead woman’s old boyfriend, who insists Corbin did the deed the night that he left for London.

When she reaches out to her cousin, he proclaims his innocence and calms her nerves–until she comes across disturbing objects hidden in the apartment and accidentally learns that Corbin is not where he says he is. Could Corbin be a killer? What about Alan? Kate finds herself drawn to this appealing man who seems so sincere, yet she isn’t sure. Jet-lagged and emotionally unstable, her imagination full of dark images caused by the terror of her past, Kate can barely trust herself, so how could she take the chance on a stranger she’s just met?

After reading The Kind Worth Killing last year, which was my first book by Peter Swanson and one of my favourite of 2016, I set myself a mini-challenge for 2017 – of reading at least one more of his books.  As it was due out, I decided Her Every Fear would be the one and was rather excited to finally pick it up a couple of weeks ago.

The description above (from Goodreads) is rather long and goes a long way to explaining the story, so I won’t repeat it here and maybe spend a little time instead talking about how the book is written and the characters.  It starts with Kate’s story, her anxiety as she moves to Boston and her thoughts / feelings as she settles in to the apartment of a cousin she’s never met.  Walking around the strange flat, opening drawers, skimming across shelves, she can’t get a feeling for him at all, immediately setting her to wonder and pushing her imagination into overdrive.

And she does have an imagination, one that sees danger everywhere.  Just seeing a friend knock on her neighbours door convinces her that neighbour is dead, and when she’s proved right, she spirals.  Her behaviour, which seems erratic from the moment you meet her, becomes more so as she starts to lock herself away from a city she hasn’t even had time to explore and begins to suspect her neighbours and he cousin.  She feels claustrophobic and so did I.

The fist third of the book is Kate’s story and it was easy to fall into.  I can’t say I liked Kate (I didn’t) but I understood some of her behaviours as her past was revealed.  Then it jumps to Corbin, her cousin. I have to say, I found the switch to Corbin’s voice jarring after spending so long with Kate and it pulled me out of the story a bit…I’m not sure I ever really got back into it.

You hear about Corbin’s arrival in London but not much more before you move back over a decade to when he was a student, also in London, and a series of events that set his life on a trajectory he couldn’t have imagined and definitely didn’t want.  His past doesn’t paint him in a good light and does lead you to question whether he is Audrey’s killer.  In Corbin, I found another unlikeable character…leaving me struggling to connect with the book.

Strangely, I did quite like Alan, whose voice you hear through chapters interspersed throughout the book.  He’s an odd one and definitely suspect.  But there was something about him that drew me to him and made me warm to him, hoping he wasn’t the killer.  There is another voice too (not saying whose – spoilers), which sheds more light on Corbin’s story and helps bring everything to a conclusion.

I have to say, for me, that (the conclusion) couldn’t come soon enough because I was tired.  The book felt long. The story – for me – dragged for the second half and the characters – as mentioned above – just didn’t do it for me.  Their fates, I felt blah about and this made me sad.

I so wanted to like this book and, no matter how many times I think back to it, I have to say I just didn’t.  It wasn’t badly written and the story had some great twists but not caring about the characters meant that even these weren’t enough to save it for me.  I know from other reviews I am in the minority here but it just wasn’t for me  – I liked it, but only a little!

Sorry!

Emma

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Source: Library
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: 10th January, 2017
Pages: 353
Format: ebook
Genre: crime, mystery
Find on: Amazon UK / Amazon US

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before The Fall by Noah Hawley

26245850On a foggy summer night, eleven people–ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter–depart Martha’s Vineyard headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the passengers disappear into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs–the painter–and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of a wealthy and powerful media mogul’s family.

With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the tragedy and the backstories of the passengers and crew members–including a Wall Street titan and his wife, a Texan-born party boy just in from London, a young woman questioning her path in life, and a career pilot–the mystery surrounding the crash heightens. As the passengers’ intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy: Was it merely dumb chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something far more sinister at work? Events soon threaten to spiral out of control in an escalating storm of media outrage and accusations–all while the reader draws closer and closer to uncovering the truth.

A chance meeting in a farmers market leads to Scott Burroughs being invited to fly to New York on the private jet of a woman he barely knows. Along with her family, and two of their friends, they take off on a foggy night…only for Scott to come to in the ocean 15 minutes later. Initially, he thinks he’s the lone survivor. Then he hears the cries of four year old JJ. The two are alone. It is cold, it is dark. Scott is injured. But he starts to swim.

The next morning, they are found – alive – on the beach, Scott having swum 15 miles. He is hailed a hero. At first. Then the questions start. The media aren’t convinced. Neither are the FBI. His story seems to good to be true. After being hailed, Scott starts to be hounded, hunted down as he tries to lay low and come to terms with what happens.

It’s uncomfortable reading, but very believable. I find it amazing that in this day and age, we find it so hard to believe people don’t have an ulterior motive or something to hide. But I think that that’s true. We are always waiting for the other shoe to drop…and the media, the 24 hour, instant access nature of it, plays a large part in this…as it does here.

In the meantime, Scott is trying to pick up the pieces. Suddenly things he thought were important aren’t and he isn’t sure of anything, including what happened. The accident is a blank for him. As investigators try to figure it out, searching for remains and the black box, you – as the reader – get to hear the stories of everyone else on the plane.

Chapters, which alternate with what is happening in the present to Scott and JJ, present snapshots of their lives, who they were (the good, bad, and ugly) and how they ended up on their plane. You see their hopes and dreams. And you slowly start to paint a picture of what happened.

It’s an interesting way to tell a story, and it meant this wasn’t a fast paced read. It was enthralling though and kept me engaged all the way through. I started to create scenarios in my head (none of which came to pass) and found myself really coming to like Scott and feel for JJ. The writing here is excellent, and the reflection of modern life and our obsession with social media and 24-hour news rang true. I really enjoyed this, from start to finish, and would definitely recommend it to any and everyone.

Enjoy!

Emma

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Source: Publisher
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: 6th April, 2017 (paperback – first published 31st May, 2016)
Pages: 391
Format: paperback
Genre: suspense, mystery
Find on: Amazon UK / Amazon US

Note: I received a copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review.  All thoughts, feelings and opinions are my own

Tuesday intro: Mercy Killing by Lisa Cutts

Once again I’m linking up again with Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea who hosts a post every Tuesday for people to share the first chapter / paragraph of the book they are reading, or thinking of reading soon. In really enjoy these tasters when I read them on other blogs so wanted to join in.

This week, after a few weeks of review copies, I’m back at the library with Mercy Killing by Lisa Cutts, which I know nothing about but which caught my eye because of the title. Here’s what it’s about…

31129137The death of a local sex offender places the police officers at East Rise incident room under immense pressure – they must treat this case like any other murder, but they know what Albie Woodville did and can feel little sympathy. Except, as the investigation progresses, it becomes clear this isn’t just a one-off killing – someone is out for revenge …

Not much to go on is there?  Here’s how it starts…

Few things made Dean Stillbrook happy any more but the one part of the day he really enjoyed, relished, adored, was his early morning walk through the woods from his flat to work.

The hideous experience of the last six months was only now starting to blur into the past where it belonged.  He hadn’t for one moment believed that he would ever look forward to the rest of his life. One stupid mistake had cost him so much but he was learning to adapt and be glad for the small things in his day to day existence.

As he made his way deeper into the trees, he paused for a second to tilt his face up towards the sky, the May sunshine breaking through the branches and warming his face. He stood still, eyes shut, and listened to the birds, a slight breeze rustling the leaves, and then he heard the sound of movement behind him.

A bit of a longer intro to make up for the blurb. What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Emma

 

The Red Hunter by Lisa Unger

31443401Claudia Bishop’s perfect life fell apart when the aftermath of a brutal assault left her with a crumbling marriage, a newborn daughter, and a constant sense of anxiety about the world around her. Now, looking for a fresh start with a home restoration project and growing blog, Claudia takes on a crumbling old house—one that unbeknownst to her has an ugly history and may hide long buried secrets.

For Zoey Drake the defining moment of her childhood was the horrific home invasion murder of her parents. Years later, she has embraced the rage that fuels her. Training in the martial arts has made her strong and ready to face the demons from the past—and within.

Strangers to each other, and walking very different paths in the wake of trauma, these two women are on a collision course—because Zoey’s past nightmare and Claudia’s dreams for her future take place in the very same house. As Zoey seeks justice, and Claudia seeks peace, both will confront the monsters at the door that are the most frightening of all.

Red, the colour of anger and revenge, and the colour Zoey imagines inside herself as she prowls the streets of New York looking for people who need saving. It’s not all altruistic though, it’s her way of taking control of her life, something she doesn’t feel and hasn’t had since her parents were killed and she was left for dead 10 years previously. No one was ever arrested for the murders but Zoey knows who is guilty and, now, she feels strong enough to start making them pay.

On the outskirts of New York, Claudia is looking to start afresh, having left the city and moved into a run down farmhouse left to her by her father. Her plan is to rebuild and refinish the farm, creating a life away from the grind of the city for her and her daughter. Like Zoey, Claudia has a past touched by violence – her daughter, Raven, is possibly the result of rape. She has never wanted to know but it has coloured her and Raven’s lives.

As Zoey and Claudia’s stories unfold over alternating chapters it starts to become clear that violence isn’t the only thing that links them and that their lives are on a collision course, destined to intersect and putting them all in danger again. Just how this happens I won’t say (spoilers) but I will say Lisa Unger brings it all together very well, building the tension slowly and steadily until the final scenes.Read More »

Driven by James Sallis

14623750Seven years have passed since Driver ended his campaign against those who double-crossed him. He has left the old life, become Paul West and founded a successful business back in Phoenix. But walking down the street one day, he and his fiancee are attacked by two men and, while Driver dispatches both, his fiancee is killed. Sinking back into anonymity, aided by his friend Felix, an ex-gangbanger and Desert Storm vet, Driver realises that his past stalks him – and will not stop. He has to turn and face it

One of the many things I love about James Sallis is that he writes his characters as he finds them.  They are dysfunctional, not always likeable, definitely broken but also incredibly compelling.  So it is with Driver, who you meet as he watches his fiancé get gunned down in the street, seemingly for no reason.

In Driver’s world though, there is always a reason, and so there is here if he can just figure it out in between fighting for his life and constantly trying to stay one step ahead of a seemingly endless supply of hired guns determined to earn their money.   It involves talking to shady people, hitting shadier people and never giving up.  I like that about Driver – he doesn’t stop.

Like him, this book is relentless, never letting up for a second.  It’s dialogue heavy with not much in the way of descriptive scenes bar the odd flashback to his childhood or earlier life, before he tried to start again.  And it’s short (only 155 pages), meaning there isn’t much time to breath.

The language seems simple on first reading but then you realise that a picture is being painted, of men (mainly) who believe in action versus trying to talk things out.  It’s not a world I understand but it’s lived by a code and it’s best not to break it.  It’s a world where you don’t go to the police, you sort out your own problems. And it’s a world where people live with the idea of an eye for an eye.

It’s a world I was drawn into quickly and was quite sad to see the end of, especially as it was left open so you don’t know what is going to happen to Driver next and whether it will be good or bad.  Perhaps it’s good for me as I will get to meet him again…I just hope it’s not another seven years before I get the chance.  Loved this one and a recommended read!

Enjoy!

Emma

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Source: Library
Publisher: No Exit
Publication Date: 1st January, 2012
Pages: 155
Format: ebook
Genre: crime, mystery
Buy now: Amazon UK / Amazon US

The Murder Game by Julie Apple

29619695Ten years working as a prosecutor have left Meredith Delay jaded and unsure of what she wants out of life. She’s good at her job, but it haunts her. Her boyfriend wants her to commit, but she keeps him at arm’s length. Then Meredith is assigned to a high-profile prosecution involving the violent murder of a fallen hockey star. At first, it appears to be just another case to work. But when her old friend Julian is accused of the murder, it takes on a whole new dimension.

Meredith, Julian, Jonathan, and Lily were a tight-knit group in law school. But now, Jonathan’s defending Julian, and Lily’s loyalties aren’t clear. And when Julian invokes a rare—and risky—defence, Meredith is forced to confront their past.

Has something they played at as students finally been brought to death?

So, for those who aren’t already aware, Julie Apple is the pseudonym of Catherine McKenzie, who happens to be one of my favourite authors, and The Murder Game is a book written by one of her characters (the same Julie Apple) in the book Fractured.

In Fractured, The Murder Game is a huge hit.  It is about a group of law students who play at planning murder.  Then a fellow student is murdered. The question is just how much did the students know – did they manage to plan a perfect murder after all?  Although a work of fiction, there was a death at Julie’s college and so fans and critics alike want to know just how much of her book was real, just how involved she was in the murder of a fellow student.  And by the end of Fractured, you, the reader, are also wondering just where the truth lies.

At no point, though, do you get to read the book or find out a huge amount about it (Fractured is more about Julie fitting into a new neighbourhood and running from her past).  And you don’t here, at least not quite – because the murder victim isn’t a college student but a former hockey star, one convicted of molesting a child.  The killer, though, is one of a group of law students, a group of four who sat around planning just how they would kill someone and get away with it.

The students are Meredith, the central character and whose voice you hear throughout as she is also the story teller; Julian, the killer who owns up to the murder and finds himself on trial; Lily, his sometimes girlfriend who has an IQ of 164 and strives for perfection in all things; and Jonathan, Meredith’s on again / off again boyfriend and Julian’s defence attorney.  As characters, all four are fascinating to read about and get to know.

They are so well drawn that I felt I knew them….and disliked them, even Meredith who felt like the underdog, the odd one out and the one I should be rooting for (especially as she was looking to put her friend away for murder).  Whilst I did at first, slowly, through flashbacks to their college years, I started to realise maybe she wasn’t as innocent as she first appeared. She has a darker side, one that makes her more interesting but definitely less likeable.  Or maybe that darker side was more about her not being confident in herself, which meant she was easily led and I should feel more sympathy for her.  Throughout the book, right till the end, I went back and forth and am still not sure how I feel about her.

It’s one of the things I love about Catherine McKenzie – she creates complicated people that seem to leap out of the page.  And it wasn’t just Meredith, it was all four characters,  Each had so many quirks and character flaws, so many things that might make you love or hate them – that made you wonder if their behaviour was because they were young or spoilt or just too bright for their own good or if they were fundamentally flawed as human beings.  Again, I went back and forth throughout the book about how I felt.

For me, the flashback scenes were the best as I felt I was getting to know each of them more and I had the chance to put the pieces together, figure out if it was a game or just a coincidence that they had all ended up where they had, in a courtroom facing off against each other.  The whether Julian was guilty of not, which took place mainly in the courtroom, was almost secondary (though probably shouldn’t have been).  I wanted to know how they had gotten there and why.  Plus, if I’m honest, I am not the biggest fan of courtroom dramas and so these bits, which lots of questioning of witnesses and the stand aren’t something I normally enjoy reading.  Not enough action.

Thankfully I got the action in the college scenes and the chapters on Meredith’s life, which kept me more than satisfied.  And I learnt something about the Canadian legal system, and a little learning is never a bad thing.  I also got a great story with plenty of twists, turns and red herrings  – things that kept me guessing.  It wasn’t my favourite Catherine McKenzie book but it was still a really good one.  I liked this a lot – a recommended read!

Enjoy!

Emma x

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Source: Purchased
Publication Date: November 1st, 2016
Pages: 300
Format: ebook
Genre: crime fiction / mystery
Buy now: Amazon UK / Amazon US

You might also like…

Fractured

Smoke

Hidden

 

 

 

 

 

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

28187230Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for—and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong…

I have waited quite a while to read The Woman in Cabin 10. Despite having loved Ruth Ware’s debut (In A Dark Dark Wood), I was anxious.  Anxious that this wouldn’t live up to the expectations I already had of her as an author able to craft a story that kept me on the edge of my seat from the opening paragraph to the final sentence.

Thankfully, my fears were unfounded (though I am refusing to kick myself for waiting so long to pick this book up, regret never getting me anywhere).  The Woman in Cabin 10 is a cracking read.  It opens strongly, with a break in at Lo’s flat that sounds more than a bit terrifying and means by the time she gets to the ship, she is tired, strung out and just a little (o.k. a lot) on edge.

Her behaviour is unpredictable, fuelled as it is by lack of sleep, too much alcohol and anxiety (something she is already on medication for).  It doesn’t make her the most likeable character, even if you understand her behaviours, and it definitely makes her an unreliable one.  It is no wonder people don’t believe her, or take her seriously, when she says someone has been murdered on the first night of the cruise or that that same murderer is now after her.

As a reader, I have to say I wasn’t too sure myself.  Had I been on board I may have taken the same tack as the head of security or other passengers and asked her how much was down to drink and drugs.  I doubt I would have scoured the ship or locked people in their cabins until land was reached.  Ware does a great job in Lo of building a character that you just don’t quite believe, even if you want to.  And then the question is why would the other passengers want to when she hasn’t done a lot to win them over.

At first, I found Lo quite irritating.  Then, I started to realise that was possibly the point.  She isn’t that likeable and she isn’t that believable.  Which means she is on her own.  She has to overcome her demons, her insecurities in order to prove that she is right and, in the end, survive.  So, it’s not just about saving the mystery woman in cabin 10.  It’s about saving herself too and moving on with a life that is, quite frankly, stuck and going nowhere because of her fears and insecurities.

With that lightbulb moment (I do occasionally have them) it felt like all was forgiven with Lo and I started to enjoy her character and root for her.  It’s a good thing too as she is not only the main character, it’s her voice you hear throughout – not liking it would have mean not liking the book.  Other passengers are slightly stereotypical – handsome photographer, wealthy man of industry, bitchy journalist, plus an ex-boyfriend (which I did find a bit odd given where they were) – and not as well rounded as I might have liked.

They are, really, a means to an end.  Characters that Lo can play off and which provide an ideal cast of potential suspects in a very Miss Marple kind of way – was it the beautiful model with the broken champagne flute in the spa or the Bear Grylls wanna be with the carving knife in the library?

Because of this guess who game I started playing, the stereotypes didn’t bother me. In fact, I enjoyed them and I enjoyed the book.  It was well written, with great pace and it was fun.  For all those reasons I liked it a lot – a recommended read!

Enjoy!

Emma

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Source: Library
Publisher: Vintage Digital
Publication Date: 30th June, 2016
Pages: 352
Format: ebook
Genre: crime fiction
Buy now: Amazon UK / Amazon US