Monday, 31 May 2021

Books Read: Shiver by Allie Reynolds

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.

Book Links: Kindle or Hardcover

I'd like to thank Headline for my copy of Shiver to review via NetGalley.

Firstly I must apologise to the author and publisher for the delay in reviewing this book that I initially read back in January but then a blogging and reading slump got in the way meaning that the review never got written. I'm slowly getting back on track so hoping to catch up on getting the reviews written for the few books that I've read so far this year.   

Allie Reynold's debut novel Shiver is the ultimate locked room thriller which features a group of former snowboarding friends, Milla, Curtis, Brent, Dale and Heather, who have all been invited back to the French Alps for a reunion. But no sooner do we meet the group then we discover that something traumatic happened 10 years ago which caused relationships between the group to shatter and they have not seen or spoken to each other for years. But now there's someone out for revenge and the questions arise, who and why?

Shortly after the group arrive at the remote location, a series of strange and eerie incidents start to happen which amps up the tension between them and they are soon suspicious of one another not knowing who is their friend or foe. With no communication with the outside world and a storm approaching, they will need their wits about them to fight for survival.  

Our main protagonist Milla had always felt like the outsider of the group, not really fitting in due to her different background and experiences, and it didn't help that her main rival Saskia was the ultimate competitor who would do whatever it takes to win. After everything that had happened that fateful Winter Milla quit the snowboarding world and hadn't looked back until now. Curtis and Brent were both extremely talented snowboarders but also the ultimate players who liked to live it up just as much off the snow as they did whilst training and competing but haven't spoken to each other in years. Dale was the rebel of the group and the only non-snowboarder Heather, who had been a bartender in the the local bar they used to frequent, is now his wife. 

Moving between the strange events in the present day and with flashbacks to what had happened in the past, Shiver explores the dynamics and relationships between the group, and Saskia whose presence is ever felt even though she disappeared without a trace 10 years ago, giving us an insight into who each of them are and the part they played in the build up to the events of the past. Old resentments and attractions resurface forcing each of them to take into account the information that is unfolding to try and figure out exactly what is going on. 

No sooner had I started reading then I was trying to piece together the snippets of information that were being revealed, trying to work out whether each was a vital clue to keep a note of or a red herring that I could ignore. I had my suspicions about each and every one of the characters although I had my fingers crossed that two of them in particular were not involved and I was secretly hoping that their reconnection would be the perfect outcome for them both.  

Shiver was a tense and atmospheric read that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend and I'm looking forward to seeing what the author has in store for us next.

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