I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on the debut novel by Allie Reynolds, Shiver, on my blog today.
When Milla is invited to a reunion in the French Alps resort that saw the peak of her snowboarding career, she drops everything to go. While she would rather forget the events of that winter, the invitation comes from Curtis, the one person she can’t seem to let go.
The five friends haven’t seen each other for ten years, since the disappearance of the beautiful and enigmatic Saskia. But when an icebreaker game turns menacing, they realise they don’t know who has really gathered them there and how far they will go to find the truth.
In a deserted lodge high up a mountain, the secrets of the past are about to come to light.
I absolutely loved Shiver by Allie Reynolds. It is utterly unique. You can see that Allie Reynolds draws on her own experience from when she competed in the British Snowboarding Championships. What I really liked about it was the characters. They felt so real, and they kept me turning the pages. I felt the chill of the mountain air as I was reading and Allie Reynolds brought the setting to life really well. She also highlights just how dangerous the picturesque setting can be.
The opening prologue is so chilling, and it immediately sparked questions inside my mind. What had happened in this character’s past? The opening line – “it’s that time of year again. The time the glacier gives up the bodies,” had me hooked. Who was killed? Who is the character referring to? I knew I had to continue reading to find out.
The characters we meet in this book are Saskia, Curtis, Milla, Dale, Heather and Brent. They haven’t seen each other for ten years, not since they last all competed in the British championships together. It is also ten years since Saskia disappeared. There is tension from the moment they arrive at the lodge. Neither of them has a clear idea who invited them. They also don’t know what the purpose of this reunion is for. Strange things start to happen, and the group begin to tear each other apart. At the heart of all this is the question: what happened to Saskia?
The scenes I think I found the most engaging were the flashback scenes to ten years previously. I loved how Allie Reynolds brought her characters to life as some of them meet each other for the first time. They are at the top of their game at this point in time, seemingly without a care in the world. Everything is going perfect. But there is also tension as they compete against each other. It’s in these scenes that you see the true colours of the characters emerge.
Right the way through I didn’t have a clue as to who was behind the decision to bring them back in the present day. It made for such gripping reading. I wanted to find out if any of them had anything to do with Saskia’s disappearance.
Shiver is a really exciting, gripping page-tuner. Allie Reynolds will keep you guessing right the way through; I loved it. I’m certain that it’s going to feature in my top ten books of 2021. Thriller lovers, you need to add this novel to your TBR pile.
Publication date: 21st January 2021
Print length: 432 pages
Shiver is available to buy: