From the international number one bestseller comes the most clever and gripping thriller of 2019.
It’s June 2008 and twenty-one-year-old Adam Lattimer vanishes, presumed dead. The strain of his disappearance breaks his already fragile family.
Ten years later, with his mother deceased and siblings scattered across the globe, Adam turns up unannounced at the family home. His siblings return reluctantly to Spanish Cove, but Adam’s reappearance poses more questions than answers. The past is a tangled web of deceit.
And, as tension builds, it’s apparent somebody has planned murderous revenge for the events of ten years ago.
The thriller genre is full of dysfunctional family dynamics but they don’t come more twisted than this. The Lattimer family is made up of a deceased mother, a narcissistic father, and six children, each of whom has their own reason to hate their father. One of the brothers, Adam, disappeared ten years previously but, when he suddenly returns, the family have a lot of questions for him. When the father of the family, Frazer, is killed on a yacht when celebrating Adam’s return and his own recent engagement, it soon becomes clear that he was murdered. What follows is an examination of each member of the family and their individual relationship with the rest of their siblings, their parents, and with money, which is an important element throughout the book.
Each sibling narrates their own chapters and the book is incredibly balanced and engaging throughout. Each narrator has secrets as a result of growing up within such a dysfunctional household and, although not all are completely sympathetic, we can identify with all of them because of their upbringing. Frazer is one of the cruelest and most narcissistic characters I’ve read in a long time. He tormented each of his kids with his vicious tongue and mind games and drove many of them away from him. On a personal note, as the child of a toxic father, each of the siblings’ relationship with Frazer feels startlingly real and authentic.
The book also features both past and present narratives from the various perspectives and DS Rob Downes, who has a personal connection with the family, investigates Frazer’s death. The book feels like an Agatha Christie novel, as Downes questions each of the suspects in turn, including family friend Danny whose yacht the family was on when Frazer was murdered and Frazer’s new girlfriend. The book gradually culminates in a truly satisfying conclusion, which is quite rare these days, illustrating just how well it’s constructed and how much Spain is still at the top of her game. Jo Spain never disappoints and this is no different. It’s an outstanding whodunit that feels like an old fashioned murder mystery.
My thanks to Jo Spain, Quercus, Milly Reid, and NetGalley for giving me an advanced review copy in return for an honest review.
Kindle edition, 432 pages
Publication: January 16th 2020 by Quercus
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