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]

BLURB

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

The Pact is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

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The Pact by Amy Heydenrych #bookreview blog tour @AmyHeydenrych @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

I’s my pleasure to be taking part in the blog tour today for The Pact by Amy Heydenrych. With thanks to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for inviting me to take part.

The Pact: Can you guess what happened the night Nicole died? by [Heydenrych, Amy]

BLURB

What if a prank leads to murder?

When Freya arrives at her dream job with the city’s hottest start-up, she can’t wait to begin a new and exciting life, including dating her new colleague Jay.

However, Nicole, Jay’s ex and fellow employee, seems intent on making her life a misery. After a big deadline, where Nicole continually picks on her, Freya snaps and tells Jay about the bullying and together they concoct a revenge prank.

The next morning, Nicole is found dead in her apartment . . .

Is this just a prank gone wrong? Or does Freya know someone who is capable of murder – and could she be next?

MY THOUGHTS

The Pact is a highly engaging novel by Amy Heydenrych, and I was quickly pulled into the lives of her characters. It did make me think about how I would have reacted if I was in their shoes when the plot started to unfold. What Amy Heydenrych also, so cleverly does, is she makes you re-examine everything you thought you knew about her characters. Nothing is as it seems in this book.

This was a really intense read. I felt this right from the beginning when the body of a young woman, Nicole is discovered at her flat, and when Amy Heydenrych takes us back in time to reveal the person who she was. As Amy started to reveal more about her, I started to evaluate every other character in the book as I tried to work out who killed Nicole. From very early on, she doesn’t come across as the most likeable of characters, so it seems that there are plenty of people out there who may have a motive to kill her. As Amy begins to reveal more details, you really do get the sense that something sinister is going on behind the scenes.

Every single character in this book kept me engaged. The story is told primarily through the viewpoints of Freya, a woman who briefly worked with Nicole and Isla, a journalist reporting on the case. What I thought I was down really well here were the two timelines. Amy switches between several weeks prior to Nicole’s death and the present, but this didn’t in any way feel confusing to me, and I was able to keep up with everything that was going on.

There were characters who I didn’t trust right from the start, but I don’t want to reveal too much about this as I don’t want to spoil the story. When you start to read this book, you will soon know who I mean. Amy Heydenrych does take us on a twisty ride, and there were a couple of big reveals that completely surprised me. I became so invested in the characters that I thought I had the plot worked out until Amy threw a spanner into the works. This made the ending so exciting as everything that had been held from us, the reader, began to unravel.

This novel also deals with many moral issues, such as the ‘me too’ movement. There is also an intense storyline that ensues when Freya starts receiving disturbing messages, and she begins to think this may have a possible link to Nicole’s death. Is the same person who killed Nicole also targeting her?

Although I found parts of the novel a little slow, I was kept fully engaged. It was maybe a little longer than I felt it needed to be, but I thought everything was wrapped up well, and it made for a very satisfactory ending. Overall, an excellent read!

Publisher: Zaffre

Publication date: 28th November 2019

Print length: 480 pages

If you would like to purchase The Pact, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below. 

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones

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