Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Review Round-Up: One by One by Ruth Ware, To Tell You the Truth by Gilly Macmillan & The Night Swim by Megan Goldin.

 



 Ruth Ware hits the slopes in One by One, a nail-biting thriller, which sees a corporate getaway at a luxury mountain retreat turn deadly, as an avalanche hits, a power cut ensues, and then people start to die, one by one…

Online streaming platform Snoop is a modern day success story, downloaded millions of times, loved by celebrities and ordinary people alike. Ever wondered what songs Lady Gaga likes to listen to as she does the ironing? Snoop on her to find out! Now Snoop is at a crossroads, on the cusp of a major buyout which will see the shareholders become multi-millionaires, if only they can all agree to sell. Snoop founders, Topher and Eva, can’t come to an agreement, and so it’s up to the other shareholders to cast the deciding votes. 

Danny and Erin, caretakers at the luxury chalet Snoop has chosen for its ‘mindfulness and collaboration’ getaway, have seen all the bad behaviour that untold success brings. Nothing much shocks them. So when Eva goes missing after a day of skiing, and then an avalanche hits, they keep calm and carry on as normal. However, when two more members of the Snoop team turn up dead, seemingly murdered, it seems it might be time for panic stations. After all, they are snowed in. They can’t leave the chalet. And it looks as though there is a murderer in their midst.

An exciting thriller that builds to a breakneck crescendo, One by One, though entirely predictable, nevertheless kept me on the edge of my seat, with plenty of entertaining twists and revelations throughout.


Four Stars.
Published November 12th 2020 by Harvill Secker.
Received for review.


*****




Lucy Harper is a born storyteller. In fact, many years ago, Lucy spun a tale about her little brother Teddy’s disappearance, that wasn’t entirely true. Though Teddy has never been found, Lucy has moved on with her life, and these days enjoys a career as a bestselling author.  Readers can’t get enough of Lucy’s DS Eliza Grey crime novels. We’re talking Gillian Flynn levels of success. Lucy is also happily married to Dan. Or is she…?

Lucy’s husband, Dan, is a character readers will love to hate. An aspiring author himself, it’s clear from the off that Dan is riding on Lucy’s coattails, and jealous of her success. Unfortunately for Lucy, she has chosen to put Dan in charge of her finances (never a good idea at the best of times and certainly not when you’re a multi-million selling author), and so when Dan surprises her by purchasing a house near to where Teddy went missing, Lucy can’t do a thing about it.

You could say that things aren’t hunky dory between Lucy and Dan after he pulls this stunt, and so when Dan vanishes without a trace, all eyes turn to Lucy. After all, she has form in this area…

I can’t think of higher praise for To Tell You the Truth than to say I now want to read more books by Gilly Macmillan. Multi-layered and unpredictable, To Tell You the Truth, is a twist-filled thrill ride, guaranteed to keep you hooked from start to finish.


Four Stars.
Published June 25th 2020 by Century.
Received for review.


*****




The first season of Rachel Krall’s true crime podcast Guilty or Not Guilty was a runaway success, leading to the exoneration of an innocent man, and catapulting Rachel into podcast superstardom. With Guilty or Not Guilty entering its third season, and with copycat podcasts springing up left, right and centre (I’m seeing a lot of Serial comparisons here), Rachel feels more pressure than ever before to do something different, something special, something meaningful.

Deciding that investigating a case in real time is the something different she needs, Rachel journeys to the town of Neapolis, where the town’s golden boy has been accused of the rape of a teenage girl. While Neapolis may be a town devastated by the fall from grace of its golden boy – an Olympic hopeful swimmer named Scott Blair – it is also a town hiding a decidedly dark past.

Before she arrives in town, a note left on Rachel’s windshield urges her to investigate the death of local girl Jenny Stills, who died by drowning twenty-five years earlier. Jenny’s death, the note alleges, was no accident. In fact, Jenny was murdered and, in a town where past and present forever intertwine, Jenny’s murderer will be present in the courtroom at upcoming rape trial.

It’s up to Rachel to uncover the murderer, who has been hiding in plain sight for twenty-five years, and get justice for Jenny. Now that’s something meaningful.

Thoughtful examination rather than explosive page-turner, The Night Swim by Megan Goldin, is a meticulous exploration of what can happen in a town that fails to learn from the mistakes of its past.


3.5 Stars.
Published August 4th 2020 by St. Martin's Press.
Received for review.

*****


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