It all starts with an accident, a tragic accident, that in a split second changes the lives of those involved. But could it have been prevented?
The story follows Jenna Gray who’s life is turned upside down, one fateful winters night. Unable to cope with the grief and torment that ensue’s, Jenna packs up and relocates to start a new life in an isolated sea side village.
With time, Jenna slowly begins to feel some hope about her future but the past has a funny way of catching up with people and she soon starts to realize there is no escaping hers.
What can I say about this book only WOW, WOW and WOW. It blew me away with the amazing plot and the tension was palpable throughout. Clare Mackintosh has a wonderfully descriptive writing style that brings you right into the room with her characters and into their minds. I read this exert from the book over and over again as it really resonated with me and I couldn’t think of a more poetic way to describe the grieving process.
“Gradually, without my noticing, my grief has changed shape; from a raw, jagged pain, that won’t be silenced, to a dull, rounded ache I’m able to lock away at the back of my mind.” Very apt and beautifully written.
I found the first 1/4 of the book a little slow in pace but quickly realized that character development took precadence at this stage and emotionally drew the reader in. This worked for me and when the pace did pick up, boy did it pick up.
I literally could not put the book down and am ashamed to say that my poor husband had to end up making dinner on Fathers Day as I needed SO BADLY to get to the end.
The most memorable element of this story, for me, is the shocking twist. I have never read a twist like it. It could not have been predicted in my opinion and came out of no-where. It sent me into a state of disbelief and confusion until I finally accepted it. I took a little break at this point, in order to digest what I had read, only to find I was light headed on standing up. The reason being that without even being aware, I had been holding my breath while taking everything in. So yes … the twist literally took my breath away. It was the mother of all twists, just WOW !!!
What I enjoyed most about this book was the tension and suspense. Once I got into it, I was well and truly gripped. Another great aspect is that the reader gets a well earned rest from the tension every second chapter, as it switches between Jenna Gray and Detective Investigator Ray Stevens who is another central character to the story. This, I was very grateful for, as lets face it, I may have stopped breathing altoghether if there wasn’t that reprieve.
All in all, a wonderful debut novel from Clare Mackintosh with believable characters, a flawless story line and emotion and tension in bucket loads. I am giving this book 4.5 out of 5. I am taking half a star off as it took me a little while to get into. That said, once it did I was 100% absorbed. Excellent book 🙂