THE ONLY THING MORE SHOCKING THAN THE FIRST CHAPTER . . . IS THE LAST.
Everything changed the night Flora disappeared.
Heather and Jess were best friends – until the night Heather’s sister vanished.
Jess has never forgiven herself for the lie she told that night. Nor has Heather.
But now Heather is accused of an awful crime.
And Jess is forced to return to the sleepy seaside town where they grew up, to ask the question she’s avoided for so long:
What really happened the night Flora disappeared?
I received a copy of this book from Penguin UK Books – Michael Joseph via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
It is this novel’s complexity and depth that makes it such a riveting read.
A shooting, a missing girl and a failed suicide, the clues are evident, but there are so many permutations when the past is interwoven with the present, is it really as simple as it seems? The beginning is shocking, and the guilty party obvious? Until you meet the cast of characters, both in the present day and eighteen years previously. Everyone seems guilty, and you begin to doubt your observation skills and understanding of what is happening.
Jess, a journalist is trying to make a new start in Bristol, but when there is a sudden, violent incident in the town where she grew up, the past and present collide, and she has to face secrets she kept for years, and confront why she always seems to be running away.
Margot’s life changed irrevocably eighteen years ago, but not for the first time. Now she faces heartbreak again, can she survive the loss of both her daughters?
The plot is fast-paced and easy to follow, as it moves between the past and present, and the different points of view. The characters are believable, as are the situations they find themselves in. Jess has a unique role in the story, both objective from her profession and subjective from her relationship with the family. This allows her, and the reader insights that an outsider wouldn’t have, but also raises moral questions of bias and loyalty.
The unravelling of what led to the murders and the disappearance of Flora is realistic. The twists are clever, and the final chapters, adrenaline led and thought-provoking.
A cerebral thriller, that is both poignant and twisted.