After being utterly gobsmacked by ‘Lies’, I couldn’t possibly turn down another psychological thriller recommendation given to me by my sister. So I trotted off, downloaded it straight to my kindle and got reading right away. To be honest, I’m in two minds about this book and had trouble forming a solid conclusion.
The story follows Daniel and Laura as they travel around Europe. However, after a perfect start to their trip, things begin to go horribly wrong when they’re thrown off a train in the middle of nowhere. To find their way back to civilization, their only hope is to follow the tracks and hike through the forest… a terrifying journey that leaves them both disturbed. Back in London, both Daniel and Laura vow never to speak of that night. But, as they try to slot back in to everyday life, it becomes clear that their nightmare has only just started.
The suspense in this book was beyond brilliant. Although we don’t actually find out what happened that night until roughly half way through the book, the build up is constant and done in such a fashion that I was totally immersed in the story. Not only this, but the way the writing would switch from present to past and also from points of views was skillfully done. I especially liked how the writing allowed the reader to really get inside Daniel’s head; all his thoughts, emotions and feelings were exposed.
Furthermore, I appreciated the intricate plot, and how it didn’t deviate but stayed true to its course. All the twists and turns were well thought out – especially the major twist at the end, which blindsided me completely. Although the ending was left a tad ambiguous (not necessarily a bad thing), everything else had been explained and neatly wrapped up.
Despite this, there were a couple of issues that I had with this book. Firstly, the characters themselves weren’t in any way remarkable. I felt no connection and didn’t really care for them. Of course, I fully sympathized with them, however I felt totally disconnected which bugged me a little. Maybe it’s just harder to form connection with characters from standalone books? Yet when I read ‘Lies’, I liked Joe and cared what happened to him, so I don’t think this is the case.
“I shrugged. ‘My life is unremarkable.’ She smiled. ‘No life is unremarkable.”
The mystery itself left me feeling a tad disappointed. I suppose I was hoping it was going to have a supernatural element to it but this wasn’t quite the case. In fact, whilst reading about what had happened that night, I felt physically sick and disgusted. Anyhow, that’s more of a personal thing rather than a direct negative point to be used against the book – it just wasn’t my cup of tea.
In a nutshell, this was a great book in the way it had been written. I managed to finish it roughly within a day, which basically says that it was an engrossing book from start to finish. Nonetheless, I don’t think I’ll be reading more of Mark Edwards but that’s more to do with the topics he writes about rather than his writing.