Headline | 21 January 2021 | 432 pgs
Source: Library 

The weather has been getting warmer over here and while I couldn't do anything about it, I could indulge in a book set in a cold place and let my imagination run wild. While a murder plot isn't what I'd had in mind, I thought it still makes a good temporary fix considering how much I like reading a locked-room mystery. 

The book opens with Milla getting an invitation for a reunion in the French Alps resort from one of her friends whom she didn't contact for ten years. She and Curtis go way back and they were all at the height of their snowboarding career then until Curtis's younger sister disappeared. While Milla doesn't want to be reminded of the past, she does miss Curtis and has been wondering how he's been doing. She is glad to find their other three friends are also coming along, until they reach the destination and find it totally deserted. Thinking it is off-season, they dismiss the unsettling feeling until their icebreaker game turns menacing. 

As they question themselves and the purpose of the trip, it turns out that no one really knows who has sent the invite and that someone wants them to be there for solely one purpose - to find out the truth surrounding Saskia's disappearance since her body has yet to be found. As the group of five struggles to find ways of leaving the place with limited manpower and resources, their biggest fear is that they didn't know who to trust and that their secrets ten years ago are about to come to light. 

Atmospheric and filled with intensity, this debut novel by Allie Reynolds easily captured my attention not only of the chilling premise but also the theme surrounding the story - snowboarding. Ms Reynolds was once a freestyle snowboarder in the UK top ten at halfpipe so it was a treat and an eye-opener to read about the experiences and challenges of snowboarding alongside the suspense (my deepest respect and admiration to all the athletes who train hard for their love of sports no matter how risky some of them can be). 

The balance between intrigue and intensity was effectively narrated by two alternative timeline and while this is a common trope used in many thrillers, this will remain as one of my favourites as far as (writing) style is concerned. The cast of characters are also well depicted through their personality and exchanges; as well as who they are and how they behave under a hyper-competitive and a dangerous environment. A captivating debut novel and I'll be sure to look out for the author's future releases. 
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8 Responses
  1. Susan Says:

    The first time I went snowboarding, I came off the mountain covered from head to toe in bruises! Ouch. It's a painful sport if you're not very coordinated (which I'm definitely not).

    I love a locked-room mystery, especially when it's set in a remote location. I hadn't heard of this one before, but I'm definitely going to look it up now. Thanks for the review!

  2. Lark Says:

    I love these kinds of books! And what a great title. Can't wait to read this one. :)

  3. Melody Says:

    Susan - I'm not good in balancing when such sports are concerned, sigh. I better stick to running, lol.

    Locked-room mystery set in a remote location never gets old, isn't it? Love reading them!

  4. Melody Says:

    Lark - Me too! I hope you'll enjoy this if you get to it, Lark. :)

  5. jenclair Says:

    I love a book set in an isolated location and snow. I'll look for this one!

  6. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - There's something about isolated and a cold setting, isn't it?

  7. Iliana Says:

    I love reading cold settings during our very hot summers too so I need to keep this one on my list!

  8. Melody Says:

    Iliana - I hope you'll enjoy this book if you get to it, Iliana.

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