HarperCollins | January 2019 | 400 pgs
Source: Purchased

"Some people, given just the right amount of pressure, taken out of their usual, comfortable environments, don't need much encouragement at all to become monsters." ~ Pg 64

There's something about the remote wilderness and the snowbound situation that are so widely featured and we find irresistible in books, especially thrillers. I'm a sucker for such books, and they remind me so much about Agatha Christie's mysteries novels, which I loved. Anyway, this was a buddy read with my blogging friend, Lark, and I hope you'll enjoy reading our thoughts on it (click here to Lark's blog.) 

So in this story we have a group of nine old college friends meeting up at a remote hunting lodge in the wintry landscapes of the Scottish highlands. It's kind of a tradition for them to gather and to celebrate the arrival of the new year but no one expects that they'd be snowbound. Heather and Doug, the lodge manager and the gamekeeper, have ensured the guests meet the needs until a guest goes missing. They never found the guest but Doug did find a body. By the look of the body it seemed it was no accident and this speculation sent Heather in a frenzy state. You see, Heather had experienced something which made her chose to work far away from the city. Doug is the same, but what he'd gone through was far more complicated and traumatic. 

Onto the nine friends, we've the beautiful and perfect couple, Julien and Miranda. Married couple Giles and Samira are happily devoted to their 6-month-old baby. Mark and Emma, another couple with the latter more as a new addition than old college-mates. And then there's gay couple, Nick and Bo. Finally, there's Katie who's single and a successful lawyer. But that's not all, there's an Icelandic couple who had booked the lodge earlier as well, much to the group's chagrin. So what's the dynamic amid this group of people and what really happened?

This book was unputdownable right from the beginning. Though I found the multiple POVs a bit confusing initially, I got over it pretty quickly once I had familiarised with the characters and that the story was well under way. Aside from all the drama and suspense, one interesting aspect of this story is the identity of the victim isn't revealed until the last few chapters. While I'd had a good guess over this, I was still surprised by a few circumstances as the story progresses. Overall it was an engrossing suspense; and all the more better I read it with Lark as we'd fun discussing our thoughts thereafter. 

As like our previous buddy reads, we'll ask each other some questions on the book and here's my answers to her questions:

1) In your opinion, did telling the story from multiple viewpoints add to the plot, or subtract from it? Which character's POV was your favorite? And who was your least favorite character?

This is a good question. I love reading different POVs as you can find out a lot about the characters and what they're thinking. However, they can be tricky as having too many might lead to confusion. I suppose it's fine as long as the viewpoints contribute to the story; and what's more it's fun to analyze the characters and see if we're right about them towards the end. 

I think my favourite POV in this book will be Miranda. She was the most interesting person among all and she was the kind many women would envy and hate for her beauty, confidence and arrogance. She wasn't my favourite character, though, but her story was ever so "colourful" and dramatic. And my least favourite character would be Julien. 

2) Did you have a favorite line/quote ... or moment from the book? 

Yes; it's right up at the beginning of this post. The quote says everything about the characters here and I couldn't agree more.

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8 Responses
  1. jenclair Says:

    Oooh. Interesting! If the voices sound truly different, I like multiple pov plots.

  2. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - I've to say this group of friends are all complex characters but they made an interesting read. I'll be curious of your thoughts if you do read it, Jenclair. :)

  3. Lark Says:

    Great review as always, Melody! I knew you'd tell about all the different couples. And I almost chose that quote you posted as part of my review. It's such a perfect summing up of these characters and this book. :)

  4. I enjoy yours and Lark's buddy reads. :-) This sounds like a good one. I don't mind multiple viewpoints if the voices are distinct, and it sounds like they are in this one.

    The quote you shared says so much and is all too true.

  5. Iliana Says:

    I do like multiple POVs but I think they can be a bit tricky to pull off because sometimes the characters almost seem the same so an author has to really do a good job of creating the differences. Curious about this one!

  6. Melody Says:

    Lark - Thank you, Lark! It's always so fun reading the books and sharing the thoughts with you. And I'm glad we shared the same view on many aspects. :)

  7. Melody Says:

    Wendy - It's always fun reading with Lark. :)

    I knew I'd to share that quote the moment I read it because it fits perfectly to the story and generally, too.

  8. Melody Says:

    Iliana - I totally agree with you on having multiple POVs. They can be interesting but confusing too if it doesn't done well.

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