Shiver by Allie Reynolds #bookreview

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on the debut novel by Allie Reynolds, Shiver, on my blog today.

BLURB

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.

MY THOUGHTS

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.

Publisher: Headline

Publication date: 21st January 2021

Print length: 432 pages

Shiver is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

One By One by Ruth Ware #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the chilling new thriller by Ruth Ware, One By One.

BLURB

Snow is falling in the exclusive alpine ski resort of Saint Antoine

The shareholders and directors of Snoop, the hottest new music app, gather for a make or break corporate retreat to decide the future of the company. At stake is a billion-dollar dot com buyout that could make them all millionaires, or leave some of them out in the cold.

The clock is ticking on the offer, and with the group irrevocably split, tensions are running high. When an avalanche cuts the chalet off from help, and one board member goes missing in the snow, the group is forced to ask – would someone resort to murder, to get what they want?

MY THOUGHTS

Having enjoyed Ruth Ware’s previous novels, In a Dark Dark Wood and The Lying Game, I was very excited to get my hands on a copy of One By One. I still need to catch up on some of her books which I hope to get round to doing this year. I thought this was such a tense read and I was racing through it to find out what was really going on here. It was atmospheric and really entertaining. Throughout the book, there was a menacing atmosphere which kept the tension turning up a notch.

I’ve really grown to enjoy locked room mysteries, and One By One is a really chilling one. A group of business partners have travelled to the French Alps and are staying in a luxury chalet. They are there to discuss the next proposals for their new app, Snoop, which they plan to roll out. There are already tensions among the group early on. When they venture out skiing, just before an avalanche is about to come crashing down, one of them doesn’t come back. As they try to work out what is going on and if their friend could still be alive, someone starts killing them one by one. This is when the tensions really begin to rise.

I couldn’t turn the pages in this book fast enough. The chapters are told primarily from Erin and Liz’s point of view, and they are short and snappy. One By One is definitely the kind of book which makes you think; oh I’ll just read one more chapter. As I got to know the characters, the only person I felt sympathy for was Erin. Erin works at the host and is there to accommodate the guests when they arrive, and during their stay. I didn’t like any of the individuals who were staying there. That didn’t stop me, though, from wanting to find out who the killer was. Erin finds herself in the midst of everything that is happening. Liz, the other person whose point of view the book is told from, is one of the shareholders of Snoop.

The pace doesn’t drop at all, and it keeps picking up as the novel progresses. I found it a little slow at the beginning, as the group started to arrive at the chalet, but as I got further into it, I couldn’t put it down.

I loved the isolated setting, which definitely heightens the tension. I could picture the mountains and the chalet really well in my mind. You feel as though everyone is walking around on eggshells. They know the killer could be among them, but the question is, who is it, and why are they doing this?

I really enjoyed One By One. I’m looking forward to catching up on Ruth Ware’s previous books that I have missed. If you’re looking for a chilling, highly entertaining crime thriller which will keep you hooked, then I highly recommend this book.

Publisher: Harvill & Seeker

Publication date: 12th November 2020

Print length: 384 pages

One By One is available to buy:

Amazon UK Waterstones