THE PLACE: Seawings, a beautiful Art Deco home overlooking the sweep of the bay in Midtown-on-Sea.
THE CRIME: The gilded Holden family – Piper and Gray and their two teenage children, Riva and Artie – has vanished from the house without a trace.
THE DETECTIVE: DS Saul Anguish, brilliant but with a dark past, treads the narrow line between light and shade.
One late autumn morning, Julianne, Piper’s best friend arrives at Seawings to discover an eerie scene – the kettle is still warm, all the family’s phones are charging on the worktop, the cars are in the garage. But the house is deserted.
In fifteen-year-old Riva Holden’s bedroom, scrawled across the mirror in blood, are three words:
What happens next?
Wow. This was nothing like I would have imagined. It’s been a while since I read a novel as twisty as this and thoroughly enjoyed it.
The book starts off on a relatively quiet morning and slowly builds its way into the mystery. As soon as it makes its way in, it seems to go into overdrive.
I loved how compelling the characters were written to be – manipulative, unreliable and each of them holding sinister secrets that could well be the motive for the Holden family’s disappearance.
There is some devious plotting here with timelines going back and forth, the day of note being the day the Holdens disappear. Between jumping back and forth to lay open the facts of the case, some shocking twists are presented that reveal a toxic, dysfunctional family. Then there is Julianne who seems eager to help while hiding her true agenda. The Detective Sergeant has a sharp mind for crime solving but, unfortunately, this comes with his own laws for administering justice.
The tension throughout the book is so thick you could cut it with a knife and the ambiguous ending opens up more questions than can be answered.
Unsettlingly addictive, this shows some deadly, depraved minds hiding under the garb of ambition. I’m still thinking about this dark, chilling, psychological thriller that leaves your heart in your throat.
Book 16 of 2022.
Aquamarine Flavours Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟.
Available on Amazon*.
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