Berkley | 18 February 2020 | 315 pgs
Source: Library 

Former NYPD detective Shana Merchant had a brush with death thirteen months ago after she was abducted by a notorious serial killer. Flawed and not fully emotionally healed from the abduction, Shana's condition has improved a little after seeking treatment from a therapist, who's stopped seeing her as a patient ever since they'd started seeing each other. He's now her fiancé. 

Since Shana's condition has gotten better, she's now back to work in her fiancé's sleepy hometown in the Thousand Islands region of Upstate New York, and find herself working with local investigator, Tim Wellington. He's received a call from a Sinclair family that one of their family members is missing. Shana and Tim are assigned to travel to the island to gather more information with the assurance from their department that more manpower would be dispatched thereafter. However, Shana and Tim gather little information except to learn that Jasper, the missing man, has left no traces except a blood-soaked bed which he'd shared with his girlfriend. His girlfriend claimed she didn't hear anything, but that's maybe her mind is fuzzy from the drinks they'd had the previous night. 

Tim's initial guess is that they're dealing with a runaway case, but Shana doesn't think so after interviewing the Sinclairs (including their caretaker and the girlfriend) and find their dynamics complicated and on edge. To complicate matters, Shana and Tim find themselves cut off from the mainland and police's manpower as the storm strikes the island, leaving all of them stranded and with a possibly restless murderer around. As Shana continues to find the truth and secrets surrounding the Sinclairs, she is soon faced with more uncertainties as Tim's reliability is thrown into question and her biggest challenge is finding faith in herself again as her trauma-fueled flashbacks are returning and she has no one to rely on but herself. 

The setup of this story was great - chilling, atmospheric and with a touch of Agatha Christie vibe. The dynamics and the complexity relationship of the Sinclairs, combines with the claustrophobic setting, made a riveting read and all the more seeing Shana battling her own demons. The Sinclairs make up of a cast of unusual characters and while not all are unlikeable, their morality is most often questioned and what motivates Jasper's disappearance remains the crux of this thriller. There's also an exploration of Shana's relationship with her fiancé; considering she was his patient before. All in all, this was an intense thriller which captivated my attention from the beginning till the end and I'm glad to note that Shana will make her appearance again in the next book, The Dead Season

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10 Responses
  1. Lark Says:

    I only skimmed your review today because I actually have this book on hold at the library. I'm picking it up on Thursday. We really do read a lot of the same books, don't we? :D

  2. Melody Says:

    Lark - I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this book, Lark. And great minds think alike! ;)

  3. jenclair Says:

    Is there a previous book about the abduction? I haven't read this author before, but I do like the sound of this one.

  4. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - I'd love to read the story about Shana's abduction too, so hopefully the author has plans to write this in the near future. That said, I understand that Shana will be facing her abductor again in the next book, The Dead Season, so I'll definitely put this book on my to-read list.

  5. Susan Says:

    I really enjoyed this one too. It definitely gave me AND THEN THERE WERE NONE vibes!

  6. Melody Says:

    Susan - I share the same sentiments.

  7. Iliana Says:

    Great review Melody! I like that there's that bit of romance with the mystery. Will have to look for this one.

  8. Melody Says:

    Iliana - Thanks, Iliana! The romance element is minimal, but I've to say the atmospheric setting is great.

  9. This does sound good! I have not heard too much about it before, but you have me curious. I will have to add it to my wish list.

  10. Melody Says:

    Wendy - I hope you'll enjoy the book if you get to it, Wendy.

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