The Pact by Sharon Bolton #bookreview #blogtour @AuthorSJBolton @TrapezeBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new thriller by Sharon Bolton, The Pact as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for inviting me to take part.

The Pact: A dark and compulsive thriller about secrets, privilege and revenge by [Sharon Bolton]

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A golden summer, and six talented friends are looking forward to the brightest of futures – until a daredevil game goes horribly wrong, and a woman and two children are killed.

18-year-old Megan takes the blame, leaving the others free to get on with their lives. In return, they each agree to a ‘favour’, payable on her release from prison.

Twenty years later Megan is free.
Let the games begin . . .

MY THOUGHTS

The Pact by Sharon Bolton was utterly gripping. She starts the novel with a bang, and the tension and action get going right from the first page. We’re presented with a horrifying scene when a group of students drive the wrong way up a road, and they collide with another vehicle. A woman and her two children are killed in the collision. The group are horrified by what has happened. They are more concerned, though, by what this will mean for their futures and the reputation of their families. They come from wealthy and high profile families. One girl, Megan, a scholarship student, decides to take the blame for the accident and goes to prison. This is on one condition that when she is released, they all have to do her a favour, and it can be anything she chooses.

Once the group had made this decision, I wanted to know just how much of an impact it would have on the rest of their lives. They came across as really unlikeable, and I couldn’t believe that they would much rather think about themselves rather than the woman and her two children who they had just killed. Even though Megan is willing to go to prison, you can see that she is only doing this for herself. But I wanted to know what favour she would ask of the rest of her friends when she is eventually released. They know they will have to agree to whatever she says as Megan has the cards which will destroy their lives.

Twenty years on from the crime and the group of friends are all successful and have happy families. But they always have this shadow hanging over their shoulders. I flew through this book as I waited to see what Megan was going to demand of them. The rest of the group are all on tenterhooks as they wait to find out as well.

Although I didn’t like any member of the group, I thought the favours which Megan asks of them were utterly horrifying. I almost wanted the group not to give in to her demands, and I wanted to see if they would try to do anything to get out of them. You can see them all weighing up the options they had, and it makes for really tense reading as they come to a decision.

Sharon Bolton explores some very dark areas as she continues to peel back the layers and as we get to know the group of friends more. There are some shocking and disturbing revelations as the book reaches the conclusion, and it made me see the story in a very different light.

I really enjoyed this book. If you’ve enjoyed Sharon Bolton’s previous books, then you will love this. I highly recommend it for psychological thriller lovers.

Publisher: Trapeze

Publication date: 1st May 2021

Print length: 335 pages

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The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton blog tour @AuthorSJBolton @TrapezeBooks #HeWillComeForYou

On my blog today I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour to celebrate the paperback release of Sharon Bolton’s latest thriller The Craftsman.

The Craftsman: The most chilling book you'll read this year by [Bolton, Sharon]

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Devoted father or merciless killer?

His secrets are buried with him.

Florence Lovelady’s career was made when she convicted coffin-maker Larry Glassbrook of a series of child murders 30 years ago. Like something from our worst nightmares the victims were buried…ALIVE.

Larry confessed to the crimes; it was an open and shut case. But now he’s dead, and events from the past start to repeat themselves.

Did she get it wrong all those years ago?
Or is there something much darker at play?

MY THOUGHTS

Sharon Bolton has created a belter of a thriller with her latest novel, The Craftsman. With a mixture of mystery and gothic elements, I feel that this should be real winner amongst crime lovers! I seized every opportunity I could to dive into this book! Creepy and full of suspense! I have to admit that I haven’t read any of Sharon’s previous books, but she has definitely won me over with this read, I’m sure it will win her lots of new fans!

The Craftsman opens with the funeral of convicted murderer, Larry Glassbrook, thirty years after he was brought to justice after confessing to the kidnappings of three children. Florence Lovelady has been riding on a high ever since she solved the complex case and she returns to her former home town to see his coffin being lowered into the ground. His funeral stirs old memories and we revisit the time when her home town faced a very dark time in its history. The story is set in the late 1960s and in 1999, when Florence returns to the town for Larry’s funeral, but as we return to the present, old questions about the case begin to resurface. Larry Glassbrook confessed to the crimes, it was an open and shut case, wasn’t it? It appears that The Craftsman isn’t quite ready to be laid to rest…

As we re-visit the time frame when the children disappeared, we can see the trials that Florence faces in the police force as she fights for her voice to be heard in the male dominated world. Although Sharon Bolton doesn’t play too heavily on this theme it is subtly there in the background and it was interesting to compare her situation as it was back then to how it is now when she returns to the town. The treatment she received from some of her colleagues really did make me feel quite angry and I really wanted her to get results. For a lot of the time she can only depend on her colleague Tom to help argue her case.

Another theme which fascinated me was the subject of witchcraft. As the novel opens, Sharon gives us a little background information on the Pendle Witch trials which took place in the sixteenth century. I found this really helpful in getting to know more about the backdrop of the book and already she had me wanting to find out more about how this particular theme was going to shape the rest of the story. I had to google images of Pendle Hill which is the perfect setting for this type of book.

I really enjoyed this one. Sharon Bolton has crafted a clever and fascinating tale which I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

Publisher: Trapeze

Publication date: 3rd May 2018 (kindle & hardcover) 18th October 2018 (paperback)

Print length: 432 pages

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