To continue with the “Summer Holiday Reads” theme, here is a review of a brilliant psychological thriller set on a deserted island in the middle of the ocean off the coast of Malaysia. It will have you looking over your shoulder as you bask in the sun!
Stranded – Emily Barr
After the breakdown of her marriage, Esther Lomax needs to escape. She is hoping a little R&R on the beaches and islands of Malaysia will be just the thing to help her de-stress and get on the road to recovery.
A couple of days into her holiday at the beach resort, Esther takes a boat day trip with six other holiday makers to have lunch, catch some sunshine and seek solitude on an uninhabited island. It is peaceful and quiet there and as they begin to set up the cooking facilities, the guide realises he has forgotten to bring some essential equipment for the day and decides to go back to collect what they need, promising to return within the hour.
The hour passes, then another hour, then the afternoon and then the day, but, neither the guide nor a boat returns to collect them. Slowly this group of strangers all begin to realise they are stranded together, in the middle of the ocean on a remote, uninhabited island without food and more importantly, without drinking water. The days pass by, tensions rise and secrets emerge and Ester and her companions are tested to the limit in order to survive. Will they ever see the mainland again? Esther begins to wonder; ‘if no-one knows you are missing, how can you be found?’
This book was sent to me by my lovely friend, Dot, from Dot Scribbles. It is not a book I would have picked up myself and what a shame that would have been because I loved every word of it and could not put it down once I started reading.
The storyline may sound familiar and even a little contrived; people stranded on an uninhabited island, nobody knows they are missing, they have to struggle for survival etc, but, this story is anything but contrived, each person has their own story and as time goes by more and more is revealed. It is packed with surprising twists and turns and even though I thought I had it all figured out towards the end, I was completely wrong about what was going on! So wrong, in fact, that I began reading it again as soon as I had finished to see where the clues were hidden along the way. They are not easy to find and it is a testimony to Emily Barr’s clever storytelling that this is such a great book and such a thrilling read.
If you like testing your powers of detection and enjoy stories about people in tense situations, then this is the book for you. I can highly recommend it as a classic summer read; one which may make you think twice about taking a boat trip anywhere!
The Kim-stillreading blog is book review blog. I read what appeals to me and that's not always the most recently published books. When I land on a book that looks interesting or when I discover a new author, I have been known to buy all their backlist! So, you may find a mixture of books being reviewed on the blog; those that are about to be published; those recently published; those published ages ago and classics!
For the You Couldn't Make This Up! blog, it all started with a challenge from a friend who asked me to write for six consecutive days about things I am grateful for. I did that and soon realised there were many more than six things to write about and so I decided to continue the list on this blog.
Feel free to tag along with me on my journey as I read and write my way through each day.